Genre: Thriller
Premise: A home invasion crew targets the richest family in town, only to get a lot more than they bargained for.
About: This script was just purchased a couple of months ago. Eric Bress actually sold ANOTHER script, American Drifter, a couple of weeks later. Bress is best known as the co-writer and co-director of The Butterfly Effect, a film that he’s remaking as we speak. Let’s all pray that Ashton Kutcher isn’t in it.
Writer: Eric Bress
Details: 85 pages

kodi-smit-mcphee-premiere-romeo-and-juliet-02

Is Kodi Smit Mcphee ready to go this dark??

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

On Monday, I officially changed the definition of insanity to just: George Miller, after seeing how fucked up Fury Road was.

Well, I’m about to change the definition again. I’m going to give half of that definition to Eric Bress. Holy SHIT is this guy dark. I mean…. Lol… I’m sitting here still shaking my head. And I finished this script 20 minutes ago.

This is, like, disturbed shit on a whole other level.

But the great thing about art? Is that you can be disturbed as well as admired. And I admire the hell out of this screenplay. I mean, this was supposed to be a home invasion movie. How crazy could it get?

Here’s an answer for you: VERY FUCKING CRAZY.

The Schottenfelds are rich as hell. We notice that by their 20 acre property and huge mansion. We have the wiry, maybe even wimpy, father, David. The trophy wife who’s secretly a badass in Barbara. 17 year-old emo, Meredith. And the jock of the family, 12 year-old Lance.

Oh, and there’s one more family member. 18 year-old loner, James. Now, the way this script is written, we start with a home invasion and then jump back in time at various points to get to know the characters before the event.

And what we learn about James is that he’d purchased a Contra-sized arsenal of weapons and was planning on pulling off the biggest school shooting in history. Luckily for those students, his parents found out about it, and were about to send him off to a special program to make him better.

But James hasn’t left yet. And thank God for that.

On a seemingly normal evening, the family is getting ready to do what families do, when eight men barge into the house and demand, well, just about every cent this family has, including every bank account they’ve stashed money in across the world.

The group is led by one nasty motherfucker in Burke. Burke isn’t afraid to feel up Meridith, hang Lance over a 30 foot balcony, light David on fire, and beat the shit out of Barbara. This is just not a good dude in any sense of the word.

The problem is, while Burke seems to know way more than he should about this home, he doesn’t know that James hasn’t left yet. And that James has a stockade of weapons that could take down ISIS. What follows is the reversal of all reversals. Burke and his crew go from the hunters… to the hunted.

There is so much good about this script, I don’t know where to start. First of all, it’s not for the squeamish. There is some hardcore violence in here so if that’s not your thing, the charms of this screenplay will likely not work on you.

But if you were delighted by scripts like Fatties, then read on!

Let’s start with ANGLES. Remember that there are about 75 movie types out there. By that I mean, sub-genres within the main genres. So we have the teenage romantic comedy, the alien invasion movie, the body switch movie, the serial killer procedural, the trapped in a box with monsters flick, the buddy comedy, the revenge flick, the coming-of-age movie, etc., etc.

These are all proven movie types so they’re used over and over again. What your job is when you write one of these films is to find an ANGLE that makes them different. So take teenage romantic comedies (Clueless, The Breakfast Club, Mean Girls). If you’re going to write a teenage romantic comedy, you need to find a new angle, because if you give us a generic teenage rom-com or one that doesn’t offer anything new (example: the Freddie Prinze Jr. masterpiece, “Down To You”), we won’t feel any need to see it.

A recent example of Hollywood finding a new angle for this type of movie is The Fault In Our Stars. A teenage romantic comedy about cancer patients. Hadn’t been done before. It was risky as shit, but usually the angle you pick will be risky. In order to find a new angle, you’ll need to do something that’s never been done before. Which is, by definition, risky.

So here we have the home invasion movie. We’ve seen this film before with Panic Room and Firewall and The Purge. So what’s the new angle you’re going to bring to it? In American Hostage, it’s that the teenage son is a psychopathic murderer who’s a thousand times worse than any of the invaders. And instead of them hunting him, he hunts them. That’s the angle that makes this script different.

Now if that was all there was, it wouldn’t be enough. You can’t JUST be different. You have to execute. And boy does Bress execute. I usually know I’m in good hands when I read something in a script that I’ve never read before. That tells me the writer is creative and that he’s TRYING. That last part sounds like it should be a given. But 90% of writers out there aren’t trying hard enough to make their scripts great. So it’s a big deal when I notice this.

What’s the moment I’d never seen before?

James drives the invaders’ van up to the house with the head of one of the men he’s killed planted on top of the swaying antennae. Before he killed this poor guy, he made him record a message in his iphone to the other invaders (telling them to leave). So when the invaders come outside, the head bobs back and forth, the message playing from the iphone, making it sound like the severed head is really talking. It’s the creepiest fucking image I’ve read all year.

But what about the story, Carson! I mean is this just a series of gross gimmicks? No! This script is really good. And it works because we know that James is out there. And that he’s killing these guys one by one. So we’re driven to keep reading to see where he’s going to strike next. And since Bress did such a great job making us hate these guys (beating up the mom, groping the daughter, lighting the dad on fire), we can’t wait for that next attack.

Also, I really liked the jump-back structure here, with the invasion occasionally interrupted to go back a week and meet the characters in their everyday environments. This allowed us to get to know the characters on a deeper level so that we gave a shit when they were stabbed or hit or… lit on fire.

Usually in a script that jumps into the action right away, you don’t get that, so we don’t really know the people we’re supposed to care for. Bress found a way around that problem. And he didn’t do it with super-long flashbacks or anything. Each jump-back was one scene. Very tight and easy to digest.

The script also made me feel something I’ve never felt before. We learn, early on, that James planned on shooting up a school, one of the most horrific acts you can imagine. So the fact that you’re rooting for this guy gives you this complicated uneasy feeling inside. You know you shouldn’t love him. And yet you do. You can’t wait for him to dole out more pain to these assholes.

It’s pretty rare that a script will make you feel multiple things at once. So when you find one that does, you raise your cap. And then put it on a car antennae.

The only downside to this script is that it’s so violent that it won’t be for everyone. And that sucks, because there are people who won’t be able to appreciate how well-written American Hostage is. And it’s really well-written. This is a great example of how to write a memorable contained thriller.

[ ] what the hell did I just read?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[ ] worth the read
[x] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: Do yourself a favor and consider an UNEXPECTED HERO for your screenplay. Everyone knows Vin Diesel’s going to beat ass, that The Rock is going to take names, that Jason Statham is going to kick your teeth in. These characters are all very on-the-nose. So what if, instead, you went with the most unexpected choice for the ass-kicker (or hero) in your movie? A mentally unstable 18 year-old who was planning to shoot up a school. That’s about as unexpected as it gets.

  • S.C.

    I’m gonna be busy.

    Fuck.

    (Just kidding!)

    • ChristianSavage

      Hey Scott! Sorry to add to the busyness, but if you could send me a copy, I’d be ever so grateful. My email is soulspelunker@gmail.com. Thank you!

      • S.C.

        Sent!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Frankie Hollywood

          Hey Scott, Please and Thank You.

          • S.C.

            Sent!!!!!!!!!

    • Buddy

      You know the name, you know the email :-)
      buddy255 at voila.fr
      thank you man !

      • S.C.

        Sent!!!!!!1

    • GYAD

      Me too, please: 13a769cf [at] opayq [dot] com

      • S.C.

        Sent!!!!!!1

      • ABHews

        Love to jump on the band wagon here, if you could please send a copy to abmruff(at)yahoo.com

        Cheers,

        • S.C.

          Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • ABHews

            Thanks.

    • Sullivan

      Me. Me. Me. And thanks. :)

      sullivantrent @ hotmail . com

      • S.C.

        Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Geir Kristiansen

          Can I get a copy as well? faustians@gmail.com

        • JNave

          Hey S.C.!

          Do you mind sending me a copy? jason.c.nave at gmail.

          Thanks!!!

    • Will_Alexander

      willalexander1 at yahoo, please, and I thank you for your generosity.

      • S.C.

        Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • johnny_ironjacket

        Hi Will, any chance of you forwarding American Hostage script to johngmlee@btinternet.com
        Thanks in anticipation
        John

    • kevin thomas

      S.C., can I get a copy?

      kevthomz@gmail.com

      Thanks in advance.

      • S.C.

        Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • JakeBarnes12

      Hey, Scott, man, can I hit you up for a copy?

      cardinallemoine74 at yahoo dot com

      • S.C.

        Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • JakeBarnes12

          Thanks, man!

    • NajlaAnn

      So S.C. is the person to pester? How about a copy please? Thanks a bunch in advance. :)

      NajlaAnn@hotmail.com

      • S.C.

        Sent!

        • NajlaAnn

          Thank you!

    • kenglo

      SC – If you’re still sharing, or if anybody on this string who knows my address wants to share….also looking for the other one AMERICAN DRIFTER if anyone has it….

      glover_13000 AT YAHOO

      thanks!

    • Scott Chamberlain

      Me too, please?
      scott dot chamberlain at chamberlains dot com dot au

    • johnny_ironjacket

      Hey S.C.
      Would be v grateful if you pinged me a copy to:
      Johngmlee@btinternet.com
      Thanks in anticipation J

    • johnny_ironjacket

      Hi S.C.,
      Could you send American Hostage script to johngmlee@btinternet.com?
      Many thanks
      Johnny

  • FD

    I have a question: Is a page count of 85 not a problem for readers? I’ve heard that they consider everything under about 95 to be proof of something lacking in the screenplay.
    ?

    • S.C.

      It’s a problem for me, but it depends on the script. You can bet this wasn’t always 85 pages; Bress probably cut a load. Some scripts though they feel lightweight. Postage Stamp Plot, usually.

      If you’re showing a script to someone and it’s really short, then what is that person gonna say? He wants to say “cut this bit”, but that’s only going to make the screenplay shorter!

      • FD

        So if I, as a nobody, hand in a spec script with 85 pages, I’m going to set off alarms in the reader’s head, right?

        • Gregory Mandarano

          By the time a reader has seen the page count, they are already tasked with reading the script, so I don’t think it changes much. If they like it, they like it. The opposite can be said for scripts that are too long. You have to fight that much longer to keep a reader’s interest.

          My writing style tends to vary with the script. My biopic has a lot of description with long action lines, while my action packed tv pilot is a very brisk read. Almost every line of action is only a single line. My terse style raised the page count to 70, which is high for an hour long spec, but 1 page doesn’t always equal 1 minute, and if a reader hasn’t felt weighed down by the style of your prose, then it won’t make a difference.

          My biopic on the other hand runs 125 with dense lines. This makes it far more of a chore to read, which is why it’s so important to get a reader emotionally invested, if you haven’t suckered them in with mystery boxes and suspense.

          Page count is just a buoy in the sea of your script. It’s probably more important to consider your words per page count. For the biopic it was 224, for my pilot 191.

          Density matters.

          • FD

            Interesting. Thanks.

        • S.C.

          Are you going to see off alarm bells? Not necessarily. As Gregory said, a reader has to read the whole script, and if it’s good, page count won’t matter (if it’s good, very little matters).

          However, say a producer read your screenplay, as a favor or because the liked the premise, and it was all talk-talk-talk, very little plot. He looks at the page count – 85 pages – and he figures this guy’s LAZY. He can’t even fill 85 pages.

          (Worse if where the margins are fudged to make a script look longer than it is!).

          In this case, AMERICAN HOSTAGE, there are only three sentences of dialogue on the first two pages.

          In fact, this is the opening:

          TITLES OVER:

          We start on a fax-paper sonogram. A baby is coming.

          A birth certificate with a baby’s footprint.

          A messy finger-painting, the infant is growing.

          A crayon drawing by a four year old, more sophisticated, of a mother and father and son. Burned by the sun.

          A pencil sketch. Mom, Dad and two kids with their heads cut off, blood pooled around them. The eldest son smiling.

          More sophisticated artwork. A brutally murdered family in every image. Then firemen, police, mailmen, teachers, all beheaded and castrated and eviscerated.

          Then the paintings stop.

          A spelling bee with an “A” grade.

          A middle school essay — A+. History tests, math quizzes,

          English papers. Straight A’s.

          High school trophies for sports. Varsity Track. Awards

          for academics. Science fair winner. 1st Place in Chess

          Team, Mental Olympics, Mock Trial.

          A near-perfect SAT score and college acceptances…

          Yearbook photos show a lonely face. A photobomber who is

          never part of the crowd. A kid lurking behind the

          football team, picking up his books at the far end of the

          hallway.

          Then we FADE OUT to let the story begin…

          But we never forgot the beheadings, did we?

          We need to talk about Kevin!

          Is a 85 page count going to put you off after reading that opening? This is clearly not a lazy writer.

          • Gregory Mandarano

            I feel like this is the type of movie moms will boycot, and it’ll get negative flak in the media. Should do well with free publicity in that respect.

          • Randy Williams

            I haven’t read the script but I would believe the school shooter probably experiences some type of psychological release with all this havoc and becomes more sympathetic to humanity in general and his family in particular in the end. Well, I would hope so.

            Hollywood, which has been anti-gun for the most part, especially keeping one at home, may be waking up to the cold reality that a weapon or two in the home may save your life.

            A friend and I fended off a potential home invader once. The culprit followed us home from the bank. Pretended to be a neighbor with my mail to get me to open the door. Attempted to get in, holding a broken bottle, I suppose he was going to threaten us with. He was a big guy and we’re two 95 pound weaklings soaking wet. We got the door to close on him, fortunately because the door was at the bottom of some stairs and we could leverage our weight much better leaning from the stairs.
            It could have gotten nasty otherwise. Lesson learned. Always armed and ready.

          • Citizen M

            Thank God we don’t FADE IN to a presidential inauguration after that beginning.

            Then we really would expect Armageddon.

  • Jan

    This actually sounds a lot like 2012’s “No One Lives.”
    Regardless, if anyone has this, would love to read it.

    karliefloss @ hotmail dot com

    • S.C.

      Sent!

      • Citizen M

        Me too please
        martin.back.za AT gmail.com

        • S.C.

          Sent!!

    • Steex
      • S.C.

        Sent!!!

  • carsonreeves1

    Oh God yes. Writers don’t understand how that page number, for better or worse, psychologically affects readers.

    A script should be as long as the story needs it to be. Braveheart shouldn’t be 85 pages. But man, as a reader, when you see that magical low number, you are so happy. You can sense that 25 extra minutes of your life and what you can do with it.

    • FD

      Thanks. That’s a big help.

      • HRV

        I guess it’s nice if it’s shorter from a readiing standpoint, but personally I like a two hour movie.

  • S.C.

    Sent! Thanks. Yes, Goldman knew with ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN that, if he had the 12 key events of the story, he would have the structure. That’s what I was looking at.

    There’s a lot about Entebbe that hasn’t been told – the negotiations, the released hostage with a photographic memory who could tell them all the terrorists and their guns, Kenya bucking the trend by offering to refuel the plane (and paying for it later).

    • romer6

      Would you be so kind? Once more? :) romer6 at gmail dot com
      Thanks in advance!

      • S.C.

        Sent!!!!!

        • romer6

          Thanks again, S.C.!

    • Seba

      SC, may I have a copy please? It would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance, sebastianora@yahoo.it

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!

    • Marija ZombiGirl

      Hey Scott :)
      Would you, please ? And thank you!
      nielsen (dot) marija (at) gmail

      • S.C.

        Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Randall Alexander

      Can I get it? Ralex75@yahoo.com

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!

  • Casper Chris

    James drives the invaders’ van up to the house with the head of one of the men he’s killed planted on top of the swaying antennae. Before he killed this poor guy, he made him record a message in his iphone to the other invaders (telling them to leave). So when the invaders come outside, the head bobs back and forth, the message playing from the iphone, making it sound like the severed head is really talking. It’s the creepiest fucking image I’ve read all year.

    Come on, Carson. That’s goofy as all hell. That’s not trying. That’s trying too hard.

    • S.C.
      • Citizen M

        Depends if I’m going postal or not.

        • S.C.

          • Mike.H

            Some use rimshots. But Dr. Sheldon Cooper TBBT uses BAZZINGA!!! [ Penny… Penny… Penny…]

          • Mike.H

            Thank you S.C…!

      • brenkilco

        Aren’t you supposed to be the guy who makes the recipient really want to open the envelope?

      • Casper Chris

        I’m sorry, but this is one of those things that might seem okay on the page if you’re just looking for something different to capture your attention. But if you actually take the time to visualize it in your head properly, it’s more goofy than dark.

        Speaking of being born, I wrote a script recently called “The Unborn”, about a sect who cuts babies from the wombs of their mothers so that their unsullied babies can be initiated into sectarian life. How does the script start? Over black. All we hear is a heart beating. And muffled voices talking. Then arguing. Heart beating faster. Racing. A scuffle. Still no visuals. Where are we? Inside the womb. Then we hear a woman screaming. Then we see metal piercing flesh. Shards of light stabbing our eyes. Filthy man hands grabbing us, pulling us from the dark comforts. And then we’re “born”, screaming and kicking into the smoke-filled underworld of a shitty trailer van. Or rather, our protagonist is. Fade in motherfucker.

        A severed head bobbing on a car antennae is not dark or pushing the envelope. It’s goofy.

        • S.C.

          Here’s how it reads:

          A KNOCK at the door silences Ryan. The robbers all go silent and trade looks.

          Another KNOCK.

          Burke cocks his weapon and marches toward the front door.

          He swings it open–

          The VAN somehow sits in front of the house.

          Kyle’s headless body is in the shotgun seat.

          But his HEAD is mounted on the front antenna like a 76 ball. It sags and bobs up and down.

          Then it speaks.

          KYLE
          I talk too much. The police are on their way to your homes. To Vic’s house on Electric Avenue. And Ryan’s off of Rose and Fifth…

          The robbers gather round, blinking their eyes as their names and addresses are spoken out loud. By a severed head.

          Burke sticks his hand into Kyle’s mouth and pulls out a thin iPhone. Someone has left a recording on the voice memo that plays full blast.

          VARGA

          What the fuck!? When did this-?

          GUNTHER
          Shhh. Who told them our names?

          Vic stares at the decapitated Kyle.

          VIC
          Three guesses.

          The message comes to the end.

          IPHONE
          Perhaps it’s time you leave while you still have an alibi. Thank you for being our guests.

          Beat. Then Varga limps to the front seat of the VAN.

          RYAN
          Where are you-?

          VIC
          Let him go. This couldn’t get any more sideways.

          INT. VAN – CONTINUOUS

          Varga looks at the empty ignition, then sees the Van keys around Kyle’s dead finger.

          Creepy.

          He gingerly removes the keys, sticks it in the ignition and turns it, putting his hand on the syrup-covered steering wheel –

          Syrup-covered steering wheel! Yuck!

          • Casper Chris

            Yea, like a Scooby Doo cartoon.

        • brenkilco

          The Unborn.

          Not sure your decision to make this an animated musical was the right call.

          • Casper Chris

            Actually, I’ve since changed the title to “The Caesar”.
            Working on another script now.

        • S_P_1

          It’s one thing to kill a person. It’s another thing to decapitate a person. That’s two different levels of psychosis. I wouldn’t term it goofy. Unbelievable sounds more appropriate.

      • Randy Williams

        What’s an envelope?

        • S.C.

          Analogue e-mail application.

          This is my childhood.

          • Randy Williams

            Mrs. Thompson’s hens. What trouble makers!

          • klmn

            Seeing Postman Pat’s performance, it’s no wonder email has displaced snail mail.

          • IgorWasTaken

            Analog.

            Please write in American.

  • brenkilco

    A basically hackneyed premise. The purge gussied it up with some stuff swiped from Shirley Jackson and an old Star Trek episode. This has a psycho kid. The Ransom of Red Chief. Only Red Chief is more like Travis Bickle. The script runs barely longer than a TV episode, so I’m guessing we’re not getting a lot of fascinating character interplay. OK, the quality will depend on execution. And to me anyway that doesn’t mean how gruesomely original the deaths are. That’s Friday the 13th rubbish. Rather the cat and mouse dynamics within the confined space and the ingenuity with which the confrontations are contrived. Nothing Carson has said suggests that this is particularly clever or ingenious. So it sounds like maybe tense but mostly over the top junk. Still would be curious to read if anybody has. Brenkilco@gmail.com

    • S.C.

      Sent!

      • brenkilco

        Thanks

      • charliesb

        could I get a copy as well pls birdieey at g mail dot com

        • S.C.

          Sent!!!!!

  • Somersby

    Love to get a copy from anyone who wouldn’t mind sharing. Thanks in advance!
    anvil@total[dot]net

    • S.C.

      Sent!!!!!!!!

      • Javier Eliezer Otero

        Scott I’d love to receive it too… javierotero26 at hotmail.

        • S.C.

          Sent!!!!!!!!!!!

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!

  • charliesb
    • Buddy

      looks like the murder in NIGHTCRAWLER…

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!

    • hackofalltrade

      Could you hook me up? Joel_helm[at}yahoo{dot}com. Thanks!

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jai Brandon

    I love dark material and would like to take a look at this: jai.brandon@gmail.com. Thanks in advance!

    • S.C.

      Sent!!

      • Jai Brandon

        Thanks, Scott!

  • cjob3

    Speaking of dark, I heard The Butterfly Effect was supposed to end with…

    (SPOILERS)
    Ashton Kutcher committing suicide in the womb – strangled by the umbilical cord. How great would that have been?
    (END SPOILERS)

    Also – if anyone could spare me a copy of this- cjob3 AT hotmail

    • Casper Chris

      Wasn’t that one of the alternate endings on the original DVD?

      Or maybe that’s your point…

    • S.C.

      Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • cjob3

        thanks, buddy

    • S.C.

    • Dan B

      The Baby suicide was in the deleted scenes. It ties together the story that Ashton Kutcher’s mom kept having pregnancy issues, suggesting that she’s been pregnant before and each time the fetus goes through a similar experience and commits baby suicide.

  • Nicholas J

    I’m sorry, but for me, making the reader root for a kid that was going to shoot up a school isn’t an accomplishment at all. It seems rather simple – you make us hate the villain more, and we’ll root for whoever is going to take them down.

    That’s not great writing, that’s like screenwriting 201. Plenty of movies have made us root for unlikable protagonists over the years.

    The real accomplishment would be exploring this character, why he is the way he is. And then, through this experience, we see how it affects him. Maybe changes him if you want to go that route. So that the script leaves us with some kind of message or theme, and not just an anti-hero that fucked up teens can aspire to be.

    I would hope, that with an impressive rating, this script did that. Maybe used the contrast of violence – the home invasion with the school shooting plans – combined with the flashbacks, to in some way give us insights into this kid and his issues. So the story has been used to leave the viewer with something to think about, other than just how fucked up that part with the iPhone was.

    Otherwise, to me, it’s disturbing shit for the sake of disturbing shit.

    • Buddy

      You’re probably right. But I think that this kind of “heroes” are the exact opposite of all the comic books heroes you see on every theater in every city in the world is the reason why Carson said it was original.
      Now with that said I agree with you. I like the fact that the kid is fucking crazy but I have the feeling that the whole concept/plot is an excuse for him to kill people. It sounds a little “easy” and without depth.

      But I don’t think we have to be to hard on this one. I see it more like a fun B-movie with a clever contained concept (like the purge was) than a real original one (like nightcrawler was).

      • Citizen M

        Definitely more Purge than Nightcrawler.

      • Nicholas J

        Right, and I’m not saying what this script does or doesn’t do, because I haven’t read it. Just saying that making us root for a despicable person isn’t that impressive, but going beyond that and making that choice matter, is. Even The Purge had something to say. How successful that film was in saying that something, well, I’ll leave that up to others to decide.

        • S_P_1

          I’m onboard for the original Purge. The sequel was garbage.

          • Nicholas J

            Really? I didn’t see the sequel, but based on the trailer thought it looked like it utilized the high concept better. The first one was basically a home invasion movie and didn’t really use the concept as well as it could have.

          • S_P_1

            The concept of The Purge works in a confined setting. The sequel had all of downtown L.A to play in. It was a mess. I’m still interested in the series. The next installment will be the deal breaker.

          • Bacon Statham

            The concept of The Purge works anywhere. All crime is legal for 12 hours. Everything and everyone is fair game. Like Nicholas said, without that angle, it’s just another home invasion move.

            I don’t know about you, but I’m more scared of walking the streets alone, in the middle of the night. I don’t feel scared when I’m in my own home, I feel secure. Safe. Yeah, you hear a creak on the landing and you think ”what the fuck is that?”, but when I’m walking down the street and it’s pitch black, I’m in full Jason Bourne mode.

            I’m looking over my shoulder, I’m checking the corners, the dark alleys, I pick up speed when I realise there’s someone behind me, I put my keys between my fingers like I’m Wolverine, expecting to get jumped.

            Imagine that kind of paranoia, but on a night when anyone can and will be gunning for you. That scares me more. And I think that’s why the sequel works more than the first one.

          • S_P_1

            SPOILERS
            The PURGE: Anarchy
            The sequel had 5 storylines.
            A)Father revenge
            B)Hispanic rape attempt / stranded couple
            C)Government instigation to perpetuate The PURGE
            D)Millionaire snuff club
            E)Grass root organization to end The PURGE
            I was initially interested in the father’s revenge until he started taking on passengers. He was guilt tripped into defending people he didn’t care about.
            Hispanic rape attempt / stranded couple was meant to be the moral backbone. Their true purpose was an exposition dump.
            The Hispanic women were inadvertently saved by the government. Their storyline should have ended at that point.
            The stranded couple never should have went to work the day of The PURGE. That made absolutely NO SENSE.
            The government noticed a decrease in participation so they engineered a plan to increase the body count. This is the same situation in the movie Battle Royale – Hunger Games – The PURGE.
            The millionaire snuff club was completely unnecessary. These PURGE participants basically wanted a Turkey Shoot. They wanted to kill in a relative safe and anonymous setting. The conditions in which they were trying to operate under are the same set of circumstances the lead to them being killed.
            The Grass roots organization was basically deus ex machine. They were PURGE participants under the false flag of justice and righteousness.
            As you can see this movie is spread out. Because they widen the stakes I didn’t care about any of the protagonists. I kinda got the Blair Witch 2 vibe. Where the events of the first movie never happened. They went gonzo with the sequel since anything goes they did just that.
            I would have rather seen the Hispanic women continuously chased by people they knew during The PURGE. Think how much of a twist it could have been if the grandfather turned against them. This would have made for a tighter movie.
            OR a complete revenge fantasy of the father. Where he administers justice on everyone he found guilty during The PURGE.
            This series could go really dark and provocative. But ultimately they’re gonna go predictable and mainstream.
            Think if The PURGE participants took it to the next level where they did things that even the government couldn’t condone. That should be the direction for The PURGE.

          • S_P_1

            What happened to my return breaks?

          • Bacon Statham

            I think they should’ve just focused on the father looking for revenge, with the mother and daughter he rescues acting as his moral guide.

            I had an idea that The Purge 3 should be about a government sanctioned team of soldiers who are used to track down and kill certain people that can’t be touched normally. High level politicians and diplomats who have committed crimes but get off because of the power they wield. The CIA doesn’t operate on U.S. soil so the purge would be a good cover for this team to do their thing.

            And in regards to your return breaks, you need to type your post out and then copy/paste it for it to work. It happened to me all of the time until I figured out what I needed to do.

          • S_P_1

            Thanks

        • Fish Tank Festival

          Purge 1 and 2 fan, here!

    • IgorWasTaken

      That’s not great writing, that’s like screenwriting 201.

      Great comment. (Versus the usual 101.) But still, knowing to do it may be 201, but actually doing it well… is hard. First, you need to devise the concept of what will make a character ever more despicable than your despicable protagonist. Then you have to execute it.

      Among the execution challenges: Getting the reader to read past page 5 or 10 or wherever so he/she gets past the opening – past the part where he/she meets the terrible protagonist and thinks, “Why do I want to keep reading about this miscreant?” So that the reader actually meets that “worse” character and learns how that character relates to the protagonist.

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Randy Williams

      Does the number of exclamation points after “Sent” indicate the esteem you hold for that particular requester?
      What is it about herbwest that you find so appealing?

      • S.C.

        You can’t post the same comment twice. So I have to add !!! after each one.

        I love you all the same.

        No, that’s bullshit. I love most of you the same.

  • S.C.

    VIOLENT!

    OVER-THE-TOP!

    COLD-BLOODED!

    • Felip Serra

      Okay… MORE of a fucking psycho.

      • S.C.

        McClane winces when he kills people. Riddick has no facial expression. Eastwood’s been pushed too far.

        Different movies, different themes, different tones.

        If McClane was decapitating people, if Riddick showed remorse at killing, or if Eastwood waited for people to draw, these would be different films.

        • Felip Serra

          Oh, certainly. But I would argue that there’s a connective tissue that threads all those characters to a single archetype (the hero?) and that, generation after generation, that archetype or ideal is reevaluated and renewed. Eastwood’s western persona (say: Man with No Name) wouldn’t have been as accepted had the earlier idea of the cowboy or gunslinger (a la John Wayne) been exhausted out first, just as Bill Munny wouldn’t have been accepted had he done it right after “High Plains Drifter”.

          • S.C.

            I think it was Alex Cox who explained the hero as the dichotomy between good and evil.

            The villain does bad things (like killing) for bad reasons.
            The good person does good things for good reasons.
            The HERO does bad things (like killing) for good reasons.

            In AMERICAN HOSTAGE – or TAKEN for that matter – we see how violence can do good. In a way.

  • purplerose

    Hey S.C. a copy to tresorville at yahoo dot co dot uk would be hugely appreciated. Many thanks!!

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!1

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!!

    • http://vimeo.com/adamwparker Adam W. Parker

      adam @ alumni . vcu . edu

      You’re on the ball man, thanks a million.

      • S.C.

        Sent!!! Glad to be on your ball.

        • ericjeske

          S.C. can you send to etjeske at gmail dot com? you are the library of congress of scripts!!

          • S.C.

            I’m just a guy with a lot of spare time. Enjoy!

  • spencerD

    Something that has always bugged me. Reading so and so “sold” a script.
    All I see/hear is he sold a script, which may not end up anywhere near what he originally sold. I mean various rewrites, which may not even be by the original writer themselves. I’ve heard so many stories about people – getting one chance to rewrite there script after it sells and then gone from the project till it comes out (in most cases). To see or not seen projecrs one create that may change drastically, end up in development hell, and tons of other such things.

    Yes, sometimes they maybe asked to join the film and be on set for rewriting lines or even full scenes at the directors need – but how much this happens? I don’t think that often.
    All this is many of the reasons which have kept me not wanting to work in Hollywood’a studios. I could not write something spending months to a year putting my heart and soul into something to end up giving it away. Yes they are paying me, which gives one securities but it’s like a painter making art then selling it so someone else can add to their work, their emotions on the canvous. Weird is all.

    Maybe I’m wrong and Ive just not seen it someway differently…but this has been the reason I only write that which I’ll make myself as I in visioned it from the very start to the end. Not saying there cannot be input. But again, why sell your work to have people change what you wanted to say afterwards? I know screenlays are not art and not 100% finite – instead locked in the netherworld in between.

    Again, maybe I’m wrong but how would a write be able to get his vision created as he saw with a director who would want to work close to what he had in his mind and not bastardize it? I mean if the studioes were gonna allow me to continue on after the rewriting and be there to work with the director -co/director or other wise that be great. But most likely won’t happen. I’m very interested to hear from people.

    But, maybe there’s a way to work in Hollywood both in TV (HBO, NETFLIX, NBC, AMAZON, HULU) and the studios where they let you keep your vision, help in all manners of the script even after your work on the original draft is complete and not just send you to another project.

    This comes from someone with all the projects and concepts he wants to make in his life planned out – nearly 150-250 (even more, rough estimate). So you can see as I said when I started: Something that has always bugged me. Reading so and so “sold” a script.
    All I see/hear is he sold a script, which may not end up anywhere near what he originally sold. I mean various rewrites, which may not even be by the original writer themselves. I’ve heard so many stories about people – getting one chance to rewrite there script after it sells and then gone from the project till it comes out (in most cases). To see or not seen projecrs one create that may change drastically, end up in development hell, and tons of other such things.

    Maybe that’s just my feelings and there are more truths that I’ve missed. Again can’t wait to hear responses.

    Thanks.

    • SandbaggerOne

      The type of control you are talking about doesn’t exist in mainstream Hollywood (unless you are James Cameron). Even if you were the writer and director you would still answer to, and take notes from, the Producers and Studio. The people with the money buy projects that they can change and mould into what they want it to be and what fits their needs and business plan.

      If you have that many ideas and want that much control over them, and you want to be part of mainstream Hollywood, then you want to be a producer, not a writer. Start looking into that career path, because if you hope to sell scripts and not have them changed you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Film production is a collaborative effort, there are dozens of variables that will force script changes that are beyond any one persons ability to control unless you are super rich and paying for everything yourself (or if you have already played the game for a long time and made the two highest grossing films of all time).

      • Bacon Statham

        That’s the main reason why I’m really sceptical about this whole thing. As much as I wanna be a writer, I don’t wanna spend months of my life writing something I really care about and if it sells, watch it get turned into something I don’t even recognise anymore. I mean what’s the point in that?

        I understand that sometimes it might be better off for it, but it just seems like such a kick in the face.

        • spencerD

          I understand that sometimes it might be better off for it, but it just seems like such a kick in the face. I heartily agree.

      • spencerD

        I understand, that’s why I’m doing all my films independently, looking to hollywood only for distribution. I don’t mind talking to the Producers and Studio, sometimes they might have great ideas. But, most of the “HORROR” stories I’ve heard have been about people messing too much with the work. Maybe back in the day, 20-40s, when HOLLYWOOD WAS THE DREAM “FACTORY”, people writing and pumping out a movie a week, or even a day…it was different and there wasn’t so much interference.

        I’m not saying they don’t have good ideas that can help make stories/movies better but again every-time I hear, this or that person, “Sold” A script, I feel bad. Unless that person was only in it for the cash, good for them to sell the script. Unless the project was something I only wanted money for and didn’t care about the project nor the story that would be okay to sell it. But everything I write is something I put my heart, soul, blood, Toil, sweat and tears.

        Again, with more like 250-300 concepts, including nearly 100-200 titles (Just titles many which have not been used yet as films) I have a lot and I wouldn’t want just anyone to pay me to take my “ART” and leave me behind as it gets made. Unless the person was going to elevate my art in ways I hadn’t thought of or planned. IF someone like Spielberg came to me to want to make my film….that would be different. But again, that’s why my work has to be done independently.

        As you said, “The type of control you are talking about doesn’t exist in mainstream Hollywood (unless you are James Cameron). Even if you were the writer and director you would still answer to, and take notes from, the Producers and Studio. The people with the money buy projects that they can change and mould into what they want it to be and what fits their needs and business plan. If you have that many ideas and want that much control over them, and you want to be part of mainstream Hollywood, then you want to be a producer, not a writer.”

        I want to be both, because the stories I want to tell, have to be written before they can go anywhere. Also reading, “The people with the money buy projects that they can change and mould into what they want it to be and what fits their needs and business plan.” I think about hollywood, wanting for the most part – the mainstream sector, franchise, movies that can have sequels, and adaptations. Which, I don’t mind. But my stories are more – dramatic almost play like but with larger scale then can be accomplished on a stage. I am more from the time when film was more about the drama and the story and the art then COMIC BOOK FILMS and what will make a billion dollars.

        I’m more the person that would make a film like ED WOODS, OR BARRY LYNDON, or even let’s say 8 12. I mean one of my film concepts is the life of KUBRICK, who is gonna make that or want to see that for the most part? If I don’t put my own money in it wouldn’t get made….many of my films are like that. I think of some people in the system we need patronage like MUSICIANS OF THE 1700s had, paid to make what they want with out being told how or why something had to be such a way. But, I don’t think that will ever be. But if it could what a thought.

        I’d love to make three or four films a year and the follow year or two release them, a different view of the same artist, each year in multiple takes. Any way that’s my feelings on the subject a bit more.

        • gregthegreg

          Would love to read one of these scripts you’re talking about.

          • spencerD

            Same here some are easier to find then others. I’d love to read old drafts of Chinatown draft 1 and 2,
            A place only Mary knows,
            The drafts of Dirty Harry,
            And more…..

          • gregthegreg

            I actually meant your personal scripts.

          • spencerD

            Which ones? Some I’ve not written yet and many are still being written.
            PLEASE CLARIFY.

          • gregthegreg

            Anything that’s ready. Your ideas sound interesting. Would love to see how the end up on the page.

          • spencerD

            Okay, I can understand that but what sounds interesting I don’t think I’ve really said much about my work. Maybe 2-3 projects just saying. Do you write if so what? If I did give you any of my work it would need to be a fare trade.

          • gregthegreg

            You’ve compared your work to arguably the best director of our time. Consider my interest piqued.

            I have several samples. Some pilots and features.

          • spencerD

            Kubrick or kurosawa? Think those are the two I spoke of. Or I might have said Nolan but I feel more inclined to Kubrick and Kurosawa.

          • gregthegreg

            Kubrick. Either way, ready to read your sample!

          • spencerD

            Surely soon. Inspires me greatly Kubrick hope to do a docudram of his life soon.

          • gregthegreg

            Got anything ready now?

          • spencerD

            No, lots of starts and stops just keep moving back and fourth between many projects. Plus to show you I’d need to know there wouldn’t be any possibility of your reading, like and taking my work for your own.

            Safety firsts. That’s all.

            But, I’m workng toget my stuff complete. As for Kubrick I wish he could have gotten even more films made like his holocaust film that was killed because of shindlers list. And his Napoleon, which inspired me in writing a birth to death TV adaption of napoleons life!
            I’m sure there are countless other films he wanted go make that we will learn of one or never at all.

          • spencerD

            Dang autocorrect, meant to say TV adaptation, countless projects we will learn of one day.

          • gregthegreg

            What’s your logline? Excited to hear it!

          • spencerD

            For what? Napoleon? It’s just history dramatized and putting more emotion and TV episode to episode style. If you meant that…

          • gregthegreg

            I’d like to read a logline for any of your personal scripts.

          • spencerD

            Okay, and then what after will you do? I’m a semi-skeptical person, not distrusting but fearful of even a logline being taken and written as someone else’s own take. From a logline to a script which gets made and thus kills a script of mine that could have been a feature someday.

            I’ve nearly 250-450 or so titles/script concepts. It’s a lot to pick which one as well lol

          • gregthegreg

            Even if somebody did take your logline, you still have 449 more to choose from ;)

            Here’s some loglines of mine:

            -Santa goes on a bloody vengeful rampage after all the reindeer are murdered. (dark comedy)

            -Paul Bunyan teams up with Daniel Boone, Annie Oakley, and Davy Crockett to battle an ancient evil. (big shared universe movie)

          • spencerD

            You could say that much each story in someway is meaningful to me and I would not want to give them up to another person unless that was my writing partner…..the only person that is similar enough to do so is….MAX LANDIS after hearing him on nerdist and such places….even YouTube.

            I like the shared universe idea…wonder where it goes….is that written? I’d want to read it…is it separate movies that link up?

          • gregthegreg

            Sure, totally get that man. Our ideas become one with us essentially.

            My shared universe idea is written. Who knows, might be seen on here some day.

          • spencerD

            I hope so. How many films make up the universe before they come together…?

          • spencerD

            How many films are there and when do they link up? How many pages all together…?

          • gregthegreg

            Sorry you’re asking specific questions I don’t feel comfortable answering here ;)

            Good luck on all your projects keep me updated!

          • spencerD

            I don’t think so,

            all I’m saying how many pages….
            and How many films. (Interested and so I know how many films I can hope to see on here one day) :)
            That’s all. Just saying. Nothing more

            But your allowed to not say. Just wondering is all.

          • spencerD

            Interested in the shared universe project, is it seperate films or one story? Do they come together as one story….?

            Also each story I want to tell I feel deeply interwoven with and do not want to give up even one. I know a story must go into the world to read, money put down for it to become a reality on the screenplay but its hard for me to have others mess with it. Or read it without the clear concent they wont run off it with it … To make it their own.

            Even if I have that many stories is how I feel, with each and everyone I plan, and work on.

          • spencerD

            Also love Barry Lyndon in my opinion best film he ever made and it’s too underrated!

          • spencerD

            Think I even spoke of speilburg….which one did you mean?

    • charliesb

      I was reading an interview on the tracking board where a writer (Lewaa Nasserdeen) talked a bit about this. I bolded the parts I liked best.

      Q. What’s the biggest industry lessons you learned along the way?

      A. When my first movie came out, it was not really a representation of the original script. They had changed some huge thematic ideas. It was good, but it didn’t feel like my authentic voice. At the time I was upset about that, because I felt like what I had signed up for wasn’t executed.

      But the thing is, that’s a common reality when you’re working in this industry. Sometimes the finished film or television product after it’s gone through the process might not ideally be what you as a writer wanted it to be, but that’s not up to you.

      Looking back, I’m just so grateful for that opportunity because what I didn’t realize at the time is that, you just need to get out there. And those filmmakers gave me a yes in an industry filled with no’s. I could not be more grateful to them. They did exceptional work taking the script and making their vision.

      Not everything is going to turn out but it doesn’t have to define your career. I think Kevin Smith said, this is the only industry where you can fail up, like where a hairdresser becomes an executive producer. You determine the next step in your career. If you put something out there and you don’t get the reaction you wanted, then it’s up to you to change that. You can only change that with the next thing you write or create.

      http://www.tracking-board.com/launch-pad-mini-series-part-two-of-our-interview-with-tv-writer-lewaa-nasserdeen/

      • spencerD

        So true. When you get down to it…what is being said is that it’s great to have a film made and get started but loosing out the original integrity of the original drafts we write and seeing them change not alwsys for the better is what is a worse feeling!

  • drifting in space

    I’ll take a copy, please and thank you.

    I was wondering how there were already 100 comments but I see why now. Everyone is asking for it.

    • S.C.

      Sorry, I need an email address. Can’t find it.

      Yes, any impressive script that’s not on the Black List is going to be popular.

      • drifting in space

        Driftinginscripts at gmail dot com

        • S.C.

          Sent!!!!!!

  • leitskev

    Had time to read some. Here’s the thing, and it’s what this script does well: the most important task a story has is to hold our attention. Whether it’s a movie, a script, a book, one of Carson’s reviews, a campfire tale, a porn clip. It has to grab and then hold our attention.

    That’s not as easy to do as people suppose. How many scripts really succeed in doing that?

    This script excels at that. It makes you look at it, it forces you to watch, and it doesn’t let you turn away.

    Once a script/film manages to do that, once it has captured our attention, then it can explore theme and character. And that’s where a story finds its richness. I have not read deep into this script to give an opinion on whether it succeeds in this, but from the review it sounds like it at least tries to.

    One might argue that watching knee replacement surgery on the Discovery Channel can hold our attention too. Well, ok. But how many amateur scripts have we read that fail to hold our attention? How many pro scripts? See, all the character and theme exploration in the world is worthless if a story doesn’t hold our attention.

    • S.C.

      Every weekend we see this problem, that after how many pages we stop reading cause we’re just not into it.

      And yet we’ve all read pro scripts about things we’re not even interested in – like mops! – and you sit there transfixed.

      Don’t give the reader a chance to put your script down (or press delete or whatever).

      • leitskev

        I personally think it’s the golden rule of storytelling. Keep them turning the page. Don’t let their attention wander. If you see their eyes start to glass over, throw in something to wake them up. This doesn’t require car chases and shoot outs. It just means give us something that holds our attention.

        • S.C.

          Each page costs maybe a million dollars to film, perhaps more. Some people spend $5 million on people talking about their childhood.

          Others start with a bloody murder, then follow it up with talk, talk, talk, instead of building on the story they’ve started.

          • Bacon Statham

            I watched that for the first time last night. It was alright. Prefer Mad Max 2 though, but I absolutely hate the original. It almost put me off the series altogether.

          • S.C.

            I was looking for opening scenes and found this one – thought it might be appropriate given Fury Road. But I do like how they don’t feel the need to rush or add explosions to grab people’s attention.

            Slowed down a bit, but:

          • S.C.

  • Marky Marksonson

    Please please please can someone email me this script to ssimonhewitt@gmail.com (two x s not a typo) Many thanks

    • S.C.

      Sent!!!!!!!1

      • klmn

        Could you send me a copy? My usual source of scripts seems to have dried up.

        kenklmn AT yahoo dot com

        Thanks in advance.

        • S.C.

          Sent!!!!

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!

    • Bob Bradley

      Please, and thank you.
      robertbradley111111 (at) gmail.com

      • S.C.

        Sent!!!!!!!!!!

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!1

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!

  • Citizen M

    I read it. After a while it got so OTT I didn’t know whether to laugh or be horrified. It needs to be dialed back about 30% IMO.

    Interesting structure with the brief flashbacks, as Carson mentioned.

    • Casper Chris

      I read it. After a while it got so OTT I didn’t know whether to laugh or be horrified.

      Yea, that’s what I suspected (and what I was getting at with my comment below). If that one scene Carson related is representative of the screenplay as a whole, I knew that was going to be my reaction as well. There’s a fine line between trying hard and trying too hard.

    • S_P_1

      Have you noticed these type of home invasion / ransomed movies mostly take place in a mansion. The conceit is to separate the hostages and the kidnappers. These mansions have multiple utility closets, secret panic rooms and convenient crawl spaces.
      I recently watch Repentance (2013) this old mansion conveniently had a bomb shelter built in the basement so the hostages couldn’t be heard outside the home.
      The most believable hostage situation is an airline hijacking. Unless its some type of super jumbo jet everyone is always within eyesight of each other. That’s a difficult challenge as a writer to overcome. Especially if you write your antagonists as intelligent as your protagonist. Logic would indicate a stalemate or the antagonist coming out ahead. But Hollywood logic allows the antagonist to suffer a loss of intelligence in order to allow the protagonist to save the day.
      I’m guessing in this script the bad guys don’t realize they’re being picked off until the midpoint.

  • kevin thomas

    An “Impressive” rating and 85 pages!? Can someone send it to me… ?

    kevthomz@gmail.com

    Thanks in advance.

    • S.C.

      Sent!!!!!!!!!!11

  • ScriptChick

    Can someone send me the script as well, please? Dark thriller to go with my morning black coffee. Delicious. Botts100@gmail.com

    • Citizen M

      Sent.

  • Bacon Statham

    I almost don’t wanna ask, but if anyone could send this to me, I’d appreciate it. rooster82@hotmail.co.uk. Thanks.

    • Citizen M

      Sent

      • S.C.

        Thanks, Citizen.

      • Bacon Statham

        Thanks, man.

  • Andrew Parker

    Not to get all preachy, but I think this script is everything that is wrong with movies today:

    – 85 pages. People have such a short attention span they can’t even stay in a theater for 90 minutes.
    – Excessive gratuitous violence, underage girls being sexualized, random use of the “n” word largely because it will shock the reader/viewer
    – Characters that I can’t relate to and don’t really care about

    I know Hollywood is just a reflection of society at large, but who wants to pay $10 (or $15 in NY/LA) to watch misery? I kinda get why John Hughes decided to become an anonymous midwesterner towards the end of his life.

    • brenkilco

      Absolute junk. From the trippy sadism to the unbelievable characters, to the ridiculous action to the ultimately nonsensical plot. Don’t think the writer is either stupid or without ability. Which makes it worse.

    • Scott Strybos

      I don’t have a problem with scripts being only 85-90 pages. First off, I don’t think one page equals one minute is an accurate ratio, so these scripts will end up being longer on screen.

      Second, I think Hollywood is being inundated by bloated films with excessive runtimes. Scripts that throw everything in but the kitchen sink, hoping something will stick.(Avengers: Age of Ultron,141 minutes, really?) The restraint it takes to write a 90-minute film shows talent and craft.

      • Andrew Parker

        One page doesn’t equal one minute if there’s extended action sequences or long contemplative Terrence Malick style scenes. I don’t think this script really has either.

        Agreed on superhero films being too long. Ditto Judd Apatow films. But I don’t necessarily think it’s always restraint or talent or craft that would lead to an 85 page script. Sometimes the story is just thin.

        • S.C.

          Something I just checked: the film RED EYE (which I loved) is about 84 minutes, but take away the credits and it’s actually about 72 minutes – really short!

          But the shooting script is 100 pages long. And not all dialogue.

          Writer Carl Ellsworth did say they trimmed a bit in editing to make a tighter movie. But, yeah, I mean, all things being equal, don’t hand in a super-short script.

          • Scott Strybos

            Phonebooth is only 81 minutes, probably a contender for shortest film of all time, with an opening credit sequence obviously tacked on to pad its length and there wasn’t anything else I wanted or needed to see—it was a complete story, a complete character arc. Anything more would have been extraneous.

          • S.C.

            You’re right. Right everything then cut, cut, cut!

            That’s how they do comedy films: they shoot two hours of stuff and cut out the bits that aren’t funny – leaving them a 90 minute film.

            Here’s the Phone Booth script, but there are no page numbers on it. It’s only about 17,000 words which IS quite short.

            http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/phone_booth_11_15_02.html

          • Scott Strybos

            When I started to (try and) write screenplays, the template was 120 pages. So I kept stretching and padding the story to fit.

            What it took me a while to learn was some stories don’t require 120 pages. Some stories don’t have 90 pages of life in them.

            Write to fulfil the story, not a page length.

            (Thanks for the link, but I am already reading it… My post gave me a craving for the screenplay.)

          • davejc

            yup. 18,000 – 22,000 words for a 90 – 120 minute film is what I’ve always been told. And with formatting standards abandoned word count is the only semi reliable way to gauge when your plot points occur and so on.

            Concerning scripts that run short of 18,000 words i think it’s better to tell the story in the amount of time the story requires rather than pad it with unnecessary filler. As i recall Run Lola Run was short, but it didn’t hurt the viewing experience.

    • S_P_1

      A History of Violence and Blue Ruin are two gratuitous violent movies. Both movies are critically acclaimed.
      If an entertaining feature film can be told in less than 120 minutes I don’t see that as being an issue. There have been numerous occasions where I kept checking my watch wondering when a movie would end. But I’ve never had an instance where I said that movie was too short.

      • drifting in space

        I check the clock on almost every single movie I watch. It’s not about my attention span, it’s about the empty or bloated scenes that everyone thinks each movie needs when they really don’t.

        • S_P_1

          Cloud Atlas, Requiem for a Dream, Blue is the Warmest Color, Upstream Colour, Nymphomaniac I & II, ect.

          • Casper Chris

            What’s wrong with Requiem for a Dream?

          • S_P_1

            The downfall after they lost the drug money felt dragged out. The pimp / hoe scene felt tacked on. Virtually no plot.

          • Casper Chris

            It’s been a while since I watched it, but I think showing the full downward spiral serves the message. What is the pimp / hoe scene again? The double dildo scene?

            I remember reading the novel as well. Good shit.

          • S_P_1

            Big Tim was basically Marion’s pimp boyfriend. I didn’t know she was a call girl until basically right before the double dildo scene.

      • Andrew Parker

        For both of the movies you mentioned, I felt like the violence was organic to the situation and somewhat motivated. There was a thematic purpose to it. In American Hostage — and some other modern torture porn movies — I feel like a lot of the violence exists mainly to titillate.

        As for page length, I’m glad this was 85 pages. I’m not asking for 120 minute movies. But anything less than 90 minutes is crazy, unless it’s a kid’s movie or documentary. I just don’t think we should jump up and celebrate cramming a thin story into 85 pages as some sort of accomplishment.

        • S_P_1

          I get your point. You’re opposed to going light on the page count to make a script reader friendly. This script is in a unique position instead of trimming fat you can add substance.

  • ff

    Sounds pretty inspired by Straw Dogs

    • Buddy

      True ! but straw dog’s hero is much more complex and relatable than a psycho kid !

    • S.C.

      Straw Dogs retrospective

      • Midnight Luck

        and then they have to do a remake, which was, how do I put this….Limp.

  • brenkilco

    Read it. The prose is reasonably good. Dialogue less so. But my God. Do you honestly believe this is an impressive script? Home Alone if Home Alone had been scripted by the Marquis De Sade. Starts out just dumb. Thieves carefully plan a home invasion but don’t bother to make sure how many people are home. Ultimately of course it degenerates from implausible, to illogical to utterly irrational. A model family that suddenly turns out to harbor psychopaths of every stripe. Numerous eleventh hour “twists” that leave us to wonder exactly whose plan we’re seeing being carried out and just what the plan actually was. It’s the crooked friends plan. No his duplicitous gf’s, no it was all devised by the daughter who is actually the gf’s lover. See the daughter wants revenge on the crooked family friend who molested her and a home invasion is required, well, who the hell knows why. She frames her brother as a homicidal maniac, though he actually is a homicidal maniac. Half a dozen people are murdered but somehow the authorities never find out. I won’t even dwell on the utterly impractical Rube Goldbergian death devices utilized or how unnecessary they are.

    If you like your torture porn utterly confused and over plotted- flashbacks within flashbacks no less- this is your dream script. Impressive? Somebody help me out here. I’m really lost.

    • Citizen M

      Good review. You nailed it.

    • Casper Chris

      Like I said, goofy.

    • Andrew Parker

      Excellent review. My favorite part — “She frames her brother as a homicidal maniac, though he actually is a homicidal maniac.”

      I guess I can somehow pretend the whole script is some sort of metaphor for how the 1%ers can get away with anything.

    • Fish Tank Festival

      What’s more despicable, the script or the review?

      • brenkilco

        It’s not the what that bothers me. It’s the who. Because from a purely commercial point of view I’m not sure that a torture porn version of Home Alone featuring teens is a bad gamble. There’s probably an audience for this thing. Certainly for this sort of thing.

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!

  • Poe_Serling

    Carson wrote:

    ” I’m sitting here still shaking my head. And I finished this script 20 minutes ago… This is, like, disturbed shit on a whole other level.

    But the great thing about art? Is that you can be disturbed as well as admired. And I admire the hell out of this screenplay.”

    Again, for those planning on entering the Scriptshadow 250 Contest, take note of what appeals to the ONLY judge in the contest.

    CR really gravitates toward these black as coal, edgy types of stories/scripts… Fatties, Where Angels Die, just to name a few.

    And I’m not saying not to enter your romcom, Western, etc., but if you have something (story) that skews more to the dark side in your bag of scripts – I might toss it into the contest mix too and see what happens.

    • S.C.

      Very, very true.

      I would add that Judge Carson also likes stories that surprise.

      Now, me, I don’t mind watching a lighthearted predictable movie, at least once in a while. But such a script wouldn’t stand out to Carson.

      Perhaps, tomorrow, we should compile a checklist of things that Carson likes in a script.

      • Casper Chris

        To be fair, Carson likes a lot of different stuff. He’s hard to peg. His Top 25 over there on the side runs the whole gamut. Desperate Hours, Dogs of Babel, When The Streetslight Go On, Hot Air and The Discpile Program are as different as they come.

        • S.C.

          I wasn’t thinking specifically of what he LIKES – I’m sure he can be objective in regards to subject matter. But there are things that he hasn’t pointed out, like:

          The importance of a good idea.
          The need to outline.
          The need to surprise.
          Not having characters repeat themselves in dialogue (“I got the message. Oh, I got the message, alright.”)

          Stuff like that.

          • Casper Chris

            Perhaps, tomorrow, we should compile a checklist of things that Carson likes in a script.

            And you suggest ‘the need to outline’? Really?

            Maybe you should write an article on that and Carson can feature it as a guest article. He’s been open to that in the past. I can think of no one more suited to write an article on outlining than Scott Crawford.

          • Poe_Serling

            I have a hunch that a S.C. article on outlining and the ensuing comments would go off the tracks pretty quickly. I think the naysayers of generating an outline (there would be more than a few) would get under Scott’s skin and things would probably just escalate from there.

            And this isn’t a potshot at Scott…

            He has a real and obvious passion for all aspects of screenwriting, especially outlining. I just think some elements of the craft are more hot-button subjects than others for him.

            Perhaps someday soon one of S.C.’s projects will grace AOW and we’ll all get to see his outlining prowess in full swing.

            On a lighter note, I’d love to see S.C.’s review of the script Deep Rising – giving us the lowdown on why it is possibly the greatest monster/heist movie in cinema history. ;-)

          • wlubake

            He must hate Scandal if he doesn’t like characters repeating themselves. My wife can’t watch that show with me because I point it out every time. Any emotionally heavy moment is emphasized with repeated dialogue.

          • brenkilco

            Not having characters repeat themselves in dialogue

            You talkin to me?

      • Nicholas J

        we should compile a checklist of things that Carson likes in a script.

        1. Star Wars

        • aDriveAway

          2. Unicorns

    • Casper Chris

      I liked Where Angels Die (aside from the ending which spiralled into mindless action), but it also took a step into goofy territory with that drag scene. Carson loved it though.

      Even The Disciple Program, which I thought was a great screenplay (for what it was), had that goofy moment when the bad guy draws a circle of blood on the cell glass with his arm stump. Another case of going too far.

    • Midnight Luck

      Yet he doesn’t gravitate to them if he considers them too “depressing”.

      • Poe_Serling

        Hmm, I never thought about that … perhaps CR doesn’t mind a heaping dose of mayhem in his stories as long as someone gets a ‘happy meal’ ending. ;-)

        • Midnight Luck

          see my other comment.

          I think the way he responds to the script is either “ACTIVE-DEPRESSING” or “PASSIVE-DEPRESSING”, based on the subject matter, topic, and the way it’s handled.

        • Midnight Luck

          I write extremely dark, so that kind of thing is right up my alley. But I have too many quirks that seem not to be up his alley.

          Dark, gritty, full of atmosphere.
          Three of my favorite things.

          yet I am a sucker for and love great rom coms.
          the dark and the light.
          go figure.

      • Bacon Statham

        Which this one actually is. I mean, I wasn’t expecting My Little Pony, but I didn’t exactly expect to feel like shit afterwards.

        • Midnight Luck

          I think this is “action-depressing”, which is different from his impression of “depressing”. Here, while it is violent and vile, it is at least “ACTIVE”, with an ACTIVE protagonist. I get the impression when he finds something just not interesting because it is “depressing” to him, he means someone and their tale of woe. People with problems that are too sad and difficult to handle, and where they may be “talking” about their troubles, not slaughtering others, to deal with their issues. Which, if I remember correctly, is why he also wasn’t a fan of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, or some other kids-with-cancer scripts. Because kids with Cancer, and talking about it during a movie is too depressing, who wants to watch that?
          This is where I think we differ, as I wanted to watch that, and so did many, many other people.
          So, if someone is writing a NON-action depressing subject movie, they might need to turn it into a psychotic-action-depressing subject matter script to catch the attention.

          at least that is my takeaway.

          • Casper Chris

            He doesn’t seem to like when the good guy dies at the end either :P

          • Midnight Luck

            oh no.

            ALL my scripts end up being some variation on a THELMA & LOUISE Hail Mary!

          • Casper Chris

            Same :)

  • Somersby

    Just got through it—and I must admit, I’m nowhere near as enthusiastic about it as Carson.

    The first two acts read like an R-rated version of “Home Alone”. But instead of darling little Kevin McCallister foiling two bumbling home invaders, we have strange and enigmatic James thwarting the efforts of eight or so vicious but, at times, equally bumbling thugs intent on ripping off their respective families.

    I know the tone is supposed to be dark and sinister, but some of the devices used for inflicting pain and death come across as ridiculously comedic. Some of the contrivances make the coyote’s plans to capture the road runner seem like the stuff of amateurs. I wasn’t quite sure if this was intending to be a very black comedy or if it was taking itself seriously.

    Turns out, it takes itself seriously. Or at least it tries to. But what is totally missing from the script is the feel of any actual real familial connection. I just didn’t buy into any of these characters. Part of the reason is due to the fact that the world the writer has created here is so unbelievable cartoonish and overblown.

    I did like the unexpected twists at the end involving Phil. However, by that point in the script it seemed too forced, too clever, too manipulative to draw me in. (SPOILERS AHEAD!) When we learn that Meredith’s plan to exact revenge on Phil has caused the very gruesome deaths of ten people (that’s the number of graves on the estate at the end—but it could have been twenty or fifty it was so relentless), many of them unwittingly forced into the scheme by Phil, I was left with a feeling of total disconnect.

    For me, the problem with the script is rooted in tone. It can work as either a black comedy or a riveting suspense—but as is it doesn’t seem to have a foot planted firmly in either camp. Either way, we still want to feel we can connect or relate in some way with these people. That’s why “Panic Room” works so well. We care about what happens to the characters.

    Can’t say that’s the case here.

    • Casper Chris

      Part of the reason is due to the fact that the world the writer has created here is so unbelievable cartoonish and overblown.

      Yup.

      Re: Tone. I think tone and clarity are some of the hardest things to master as a writer. I also sometimes get carried away. Sometimes I need others to tell me when I’ve gone too far. I might’ve written what I feel is a great scene, but it’s not right for that particular story. It doesn’t fit tonally. That scene Carson highlighted, I could see working in a dark comedy, but this is supposed to be a “thriller”.

      • IgorWasTaken

        Instead of changing the problem scene, have you ever tried going back to the opening pages and changing them so the tone of the problem scene is now within the overall tone of your script?

        • Casper Chris

          Yea, I have. Sometimes that means changing the genre too, though. I guess that’s what happened to Dr. Strangelove.

          Sometimes you just need to rein yourself in. Knowing when to do that is the tricky part.

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • S.C.

    Sent! Fingers are fine, thanks!

    A writer should be able to write 2,000 words a day.

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!1

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!1

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • BigDeskPictures

    Many thanks in advance… paul [at] big desk pictures [dot] com

    • Casper Chris

      *sends dwarf porn*

      You’re welcome.

    • S.C.

      Sent!!!!!!!!

  • fragglewriter

    This sounds like a great idea because you’re taking a sensitive topic and putting a spin on it. I think this could also be considered maybe Horror, so the dual genre is not bad.

    I would like to read this script. Please send to fragglewriter at yahoo dot com

    • S.C.

      Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • fragglewriter

        Thank you!!

      • Midnight Luck

        Please, please?

        • S.C.

          Sent!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Midnight Luck

            thanks!

      • Bluedust

        Could you send a copy my way, S.C.? Thanks. Risingseeker@yahoo.com

        • S.C.

          Sent!!!!

      • Midnight Luck

        M at blackluck. .dot…com

        • S.C.

          Sent!!!!!!

          • Midnight Luck

            and thanks!

  • klmn

    I read to page 28. As others have stated, it’s way too cartoonish. And the characterization is nowhere on the level of the Roadrunner cartoons. You have to admire the coyote’s dedication to his goal, even if he is doomed to failure. Such is life.

    Now here’s some roadrunner music.

  • S_P_1

    The arsenal is to build up his confidence.

  • BellBlaq

    Just to be different: Anyone willing to share Brian Duffield’s VIVIEN HASN’T BEEN HERSELF…?
    bell.blaq atyahoo dotcom

    • S.C.

      Sent!!!!

      • BellBlaq

        Thank you kindly :)
        Do you also have Brian Duffield’s VIVIEN HASN’T BEEN HERSELF LATELY?

        • S.C.

          Sent!!!

          • BellBlaq

            Thanks, Scott. I am really enamored with Duffield’s writing atm. But I draw the line at INSURGENT :)

    • charliesb

      Curious to know what you think after you read it.

  • Tyler Givens

    Can anyone send me this script? Pretty please with sugar on top. tlrgivens@gmail.com

    • S.C.

      Sent!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Craig Mack

        SC – please hit me up thecraigmackATGmail

        • S.C.

          Sent!!!!!!!

          • Tyler Givens

            Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Midnight Luck

    It sounds like an almost exact mash up of Bruce Willis’ HOSTAGE and THE PURGE.

    • S.C.

      TRESPASS, STRAW DOGS, many others. Still, it got people’s attention…

  • Bacon Statham

    I admire the script for being so out there and batshit mental, I admire most scripts that go a little further than normal, but it’s not the kind of film I’d pay to watch.

    SPOILERS AHEAD

    I was rooting for the family to get out alive, apart from James. I just can’t root for someone who is pure evil. And then when the parents confront the family friend over his betrayal, I didn’t give a flying fuck if they made it out alive or not. As far as I’m concerned they’re all fucking psychopaths.

    Meredith was the only family member I cared about, because of what happened to her as a child and I’d attribute that as to why she’s nuttier than a fruitcake. On the other hand, I think her plan was completely ridiculous.

    I sort of liked Burke. He was quite menacing, yet vulnerable at the same time. I feel like he could’ve been the protagonist. He wasn’t a full on psycho, he was just a little bit damaged, because of what happened to him. He was pretty much the same as Meredith. They’d both had terrible things done to them and they came out of it differently as a result.

    I think I might’ve enjoyed it more if there was another reversal. Jessica comes to the house and reveals the real plan to a tied up Burke, he breaks free and kills her, Phil and the family, but leaves Meredith alive, as a way to show he they’re the same. So the third act is now about James and the others being hunted by Burke.

    And I think if you’re gonna go as dark as this, you might as well go all the way. Have James and Meredith in an incestuous relationship together. The way it was going towards the end, I was expecting it. You’ve already disturbed the audience, what’s one more little shocker.

    • kenglo

      If you would like to share hit me up – glover_13000 AT YAHOO

      please pretty please

      • Bacon Statham

        I don’t know if you’ve got this yet, but if you wanna email me directly, I’ll send it to you. I can’t seem to send it to you if I type your email out in full. I might be missing something. rooster82@hotmail.co.uk

  • charliesb

    Might I make a suggestion going forward.

    Obviously we all want to get a hold of the scripts Carson reviews (and some he doesn’t).

    Special shout out to Scott who graciously hooks us all up all day err day!!

    But if we could try to keep those requests in the same thread, I think it would make the discussion around here a bit easier. Just scroll a bit look for the first person who asked for the script and add your email, request and thx in that thread.

    Please and thanks!

    • S.C.

      Appreciate the suggestion, Charlie, and it would be easier and neater! But this has only happened (for me) two times before – the pilot of HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER and JOY. Won’t happen again for a while (fingers crossed).

      Things will be back to normal tomorrow.

    • drifting in space

      Or – he can say he has it with his email address and we can all email him asking for it.

      • S.C.

        Some do that already. mr.scottcrawford @ hotmail. Don’t bombard me, but I’m perfectly willing to take requests.

        • drifting in space

          You’ve been added to my list of people who come through in the clutch. :)

      • Citizen M

        Or put it on Sendspace, provide us with a link, then take it down after a few hours.

        • S.C.

          I did that once but I was warned off by another commentator. I’m not sure if I should do it again. Probably best to just email people. Besides, I like talking to people. Maybe not as mad as today, but still. Some people said some nice things to me and I like it!

  • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

    It’s funny how people become a lot more opinionated when Carson comes out with a impressive rating lol and some people even become offended as if we can like different things for different reason.

    My thoughts. As if they matter. ;)

    The script did suck me in at first. But by the third killing it started to feel repetitive. And repetitive usually means boring.

    And really, not much different than Saw, except that all the thought out death traps were outside.

    And unlike Carson, I was never actually rooting for anybody. I didn’t like any of the characters (except maybe the dad a little bit). And they could have all died in a masturbation of explosions and I would have been fine with that.

    There was only a couple minute instances of character. Mainly when the sister was in bed with her lesbian lover. But in hindsight, it’s not very believable. I’m supposed to believe that she goes from wanting to forget being raped and just wanting to leave it behind and start over, to a girl who peels her rapist like a potato from the inside out?

    I also thought there were too many twists. I think there were four or five? That feels like someone trying too hard. And they all happen almost right on top of each other, without leaving any breathing room to adjust to the new information.

    A small logic issue with the guy on the ATV. He stops the ATV, untied himself, and then takes off running, eventually being chased down by the psycho brother, a track star, and killed the a cleat in the face. Why didn’t he just keep going on the ATV? Those things can go up to 50 miles per hour. Way faster than any feet I know lol

    I did like that the school shooting thing was a sham, and that there really wasn’t a school shooting planned, and it was all a plan by the sister to get back at her rapist.

    But none of this really made any sense. So Meredith sets this up, gets her brother involved, makes her parents think he’s a psychotic killer (which he actually is), to get her rapist to show up at the house. How did she know he would come? And couldn’t there have been an easier way to get him without involving six other dudes from off the street? lol

    I also don’t think Kyle should have been his brother. He showed a one second moment of remorse for getting him involved. And then he just kind of forgives and forgets.

    I’m also not sure that I liked that almost all of them were blackmailed into doing this job. I think he could have found people more than willing.

    I don’t know if it was so we would like them more after we found out, like Burke witnessing his wife and 6 year old son being murdered during a gas station robbery.

    But then he goes on a campaign to stop gun violence. But all I takes for him to pick up a gun and go rob this family is that the guy to be robbed is the CEO of a gun company. I don’t know if I buy it.

    And I didn’t know if he was playing a part in the house, because he hit a Jessica as part of a role… I think. And he didn’t mean to set the father on fire. I wonder if he thought it was only water he was pouring on them, and didn’t realize it was real alcohol? I have no idea.

    I think the only time I ever felt any emotion was when he was joking his dead som and trying to protect his wife from getting shot as well.

    And it turns out all the kids are all off their rockers, they’re all murderers and psychos. Even Lance, the youngest brother, who we don’t get to know at all, helps ducktape a car and set it on fire, killing four unknown men we don’t really know either.

    And then everyone goes back to life as normal, and we’re supposed to be overjoyed by this? Lol

    It was still worth a read. Barely. But it sold, and Carson gave it an impressive, so I’m sure there’s an audience for it that won’t look too far beneath the skin at all the inconsistencies with this plot. And who knows what surgery they’ll do to the script if they make it, which I have a strong feeling they will. Just take the twists down a couple notches, and give us someone tangible to root for, that we actually like! Even if it’s the villain.

    Okay… I’ve made up for all the months I haven’t been away.

    • Bacon Statham

      I think Burke should have agreed to the robbery because David was somehow involved with his wife and son’s murder. And the Meredith twist should have been cut. Her molestation at the hands of Phil should still be there, but her involvement in the robbery doesn’t quite work. Perhaps Burke could kill Phil (sorry, Phil) for her instead so she doesn’t have to lose her innocence or whatever.

      And like you said, we need a character to root for. To latch onto. I think Meredith is that character. Either her or Burke. James is the total psycho, Burke is damaged goods, Phil is the charming sociopath and Meredith is the innocent caught up in it all.

      I can see a lot of people walking out of the cinema feeling dirty after watching this, but at the same time, I’m not entirely sure it would ever get made.

      • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

        I think it was over complicated with the all overlapping twists, when it didn’t need to be. I’m not sure what the fixes should be without thinking about them. But it doesn’t quite work as is.

        But I do like the idea of us thinking the protagonist is the antagonist for the first half, and then turning it on our heads.

        In some ways they tried to do that with Burke (I think), but it didn’t quite work for me. I seem to remember watching a movie or two where they did that, but I have no idea what they were. Can’t remember if I liked being tricked into rooting for the false-protagonist or not, to change my rooting interest to the false-antagonist.

    • gazrow

      Yeah – I pretty much agree with this analysis.

      Couple of things I would add: The writer seems to have forgotten that Burke had his leg mangled in a bear trap and it was bleeding so badly he had to use a tourniquet – yet later on he “runs” and “runs” from James without so much as a mention of the badly injured leg.

      Also, Burke seems surprised to learn that the family have their own bowling alley. Yet, he was specifically told by Phil earlier on that his own murdered son’s blood had helped pay for it.

      • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

        I forgot about the leg. Those bear traps are so sharp and damaging, he probably wouldn’t be able to walk for months. They’re meant for huge bear feet, so imagine what they would do to a man’s leg. My leg throbs just thinking about it lol

        And yeah, I thought the same thing when Phil mentioned the bowling alley on a flash back later on. Not sure how he missed that when rereading it for fixes.

  • Eric

    I wonder if he pitched it as Home Alone meets The Purge. Hey that would’ve been twisted. Keep everything pretty much the same, but make the kid ten.

    • S.C.

      This film was banned in my country!

      HOME ALONE meets THE PURGE!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-xZ1NMuHNg

      • S.C.

        This one is STILL banned!

      • Eric

        I liked The Good Son a lot when I was younger. Watched it repeatedly. It hasn’t aged that well. This certainly has though…

        • Guy Somebody

          The one thing the freaks me the f*ck out is evil children. Watching Pet Cemetery and The Bad Seed (1985) as a kid had a profound effect on me.

  • S.C.

    Yes, some comments are moderated, and I don’t want anyone to feel they missed out.

  • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

    I liked the first two Home Alone’s though. It’s been years since I’ve seen them, but they didn’t feel repetitive to me. At the time anyway.

    The Saw flicks just aren’t my cup of tea. I don’t need to see ingenious ways for people to be tortured for 90 minutes lol

  • Midnight Luck

    ahh, the resident town idiot speaks.

    so Gren-dull

  • sad jane

    thank you thank you SC!!! You da man!!

  • brenkilco

    Eighty five pages or eighty five minutes sound like a real B movie. But I was checking over at the They Shoot Pictures Website, a carefully assembled, if still debatable, list of the thousand best films. Lets you sort the list every which way, including by running time. And it turns out more revered classics than you think have extremely short running times. High Noon, F For Fake, Persona, Brief Encounter, Purple Rose of Cairo and Bride of Frankenstein all run fewer than eighty six minutes. How long should the script be? The right length I guess.

  • Jack F.

    Great pacing. Solid kills. Silly ass ending. But a tight read with bite.

  • Chiefton

    any chance you could shoot me the script please! amacdonald00 at gmail.com??

  • Poe_Serling

    “Carson said on AF that he didn’t know anything about Euro Horror, but I
    urge him to check-out Dario Argento in light of this one’s [x]
    impressive…”

    If he would take the plunge, Carson would probably be just one creepy lullaby away from becoming a full-fledged Euro Horror fan.

    • Levres de Sang

      Let’s hope so! :)

      ** I just realized why the remote control car thing felt familiar: there’s a scene in Deep Red with an eerie remote-controlled doll (a la the film’s poster artwork).

    • klmn

      Carson also referenced Fatties, but I didn’t see any humor here reminiscent of that.

      Shifting gears, I see that Animal Planet has a show on tonight titled Killer Hornets From Hell. I’ll be watching.

      • Levres de Sang

        I just love that title! Sounds like a 50s B-movie…

        • Poe_Serling

          My gold standard for mutated bugs on the loose – the film Them! from 1954.

          Such a great movie – even the pic’s special effects still hold up for me.

          • Levres de Sang

            I may have seen it absolutely years ago (although it might actually have been a giant spider flick!), but on the whole I haven’t seen too many of these 50s B movies.

            With that in mind, I’ve kind of had my eye on a very reasonably priced 4-DVD set that comprises:

            The Thing from Another World
            The Incredible Shrinking Man
            The Creature from the Black Lagoon
            It Came from Outer Space

            It seems like the best crash course out there…? (Although Them! sounds great…!)

          • Poe_Serling

            Sounds like a worthwhile DVD set to me and a great introduction to ’50s B movies.

          • Levres de Sang

            Nearly forgot to say… “thanks!” for these 50s recommendations! Curse of the Demon is great, but I’d not heard of I Bury the Living. Will look out for that one.

            And I had to smile at Halliwell’s reaction to House on Haunted Hill: “… the most outlandish of it’s producer’s cheapjack trick films…” Apparently they dangled a skeleton on wires over the heads of the audience!!

          • Poe_Serling

            Curse of the Demon is a real gem – one of my all-time favorites!

            I Bury the Living has its share of creepy moments and it’s sorta fun to see why King was so disappointed in the ending.

            House on Haunted Hill is just campy fun by today’s standards… back then, a dangled skeleton in the theater’s rafters might scare more than a few moviegoers.

        • klmn

          There’s this, courtesy of Roger Corman.

  • carsonreeves1

    I see that everyone agrees heartily with my review, lol. :)

    • Brian

      It was good, but seemed like a writing excercise to make a realistic, horror version of HOME ALONE

    • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

      lol should be used to it by now ;)

      • IgorWasTaken

        Who’s lol?

        • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

          Fill in the blank ;)

    • Citizen M

      Admit it, Carson. It was the tennis ball machine torture scene that swung it for you, wasn’t it?

      I bet there were times you wanted to do that in your tennis pro days.

      • carsonreeves1

        I did like that scene. :)

  • carsonreeves1

    It’s like You’re Next amped up a thousand decibels.

  • Brian

    I thought the exact same thing while reading it. I also wondered how James covered so much ground in that short amount of time.

  • Joe

    Real late to the party, but if anyone sees this and has a copy of the script , please send it my way!

    joecam1205 at aol dot com

  • jbird669

    I would like a copy as well please, if possible. jedi_116 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  • Pooh Bear

    Home invasion of an old folks home. They finally called in an old hit on an old time assassin living out his golden years. It’s Red meets Home Alone.

  • LOUHARPER

    Surprised nobody has mentioned The Aggression Scale. Bar a few minor differences seems to be near identical story. Home invasion, crazy kid brother takes them on home alone style.

  • HRV

    I agree. Didn’t get how Burke could know everything about the family, but not know about James.
    Why were sounds not heard? The van driving up, The music, the R.C. copter, the nail gun etc.
    The horse would have caught fire as well.
    A lot of things worked out too conveniently, too perfectly timed. Burke from front to back to catch them escaping. Too many, “Yeah, right” moments.

    • Levres de Sang

      Absolutely! I guess the efficient style ensures the reader glosses over some of these issues.

      I was still thinking about the script yesterday and surprised that Carson didn’t mention what for me was a structural flaw: namely, that Uncle Phil’s real motivation — and transgression against Meredith — should both have been revealed in the first act NOT the third. That way the audience would have information the family doesn’t (superior positioning), thereby allowing us to feel scared for them…

  • HRV

    Well stated.

  • carsonreeves1

    This is a good question. It depends on how the spikes are positioned on the ball and the type of machine. I sense we will need to go try this out to make sure.

    • HRV

      Then again, if we used special Phantasm balls…

  • Steve

    Did anyone manage to find a copy and would you be able to send to stevedmann1984@gmail.com? It’d be much appreciated. Thanks….

  • august4

    Well written and a fast read with an imaginative angle on the home invasion, BUT one really must suspend ALL REALITY to take this seriously…

    And I thought Carson was a stickler for logic and reason…. Apparently not.

    **SPOILERS**

    I think the writer REALLY overthought (and didn’t think this through… all at once) his premise JUST to put a twist in the end that makes no sense…

    So… We’re supposed to believe that a girl was molested by a family friend, grew up with psychological problems, gets put in a hospital to help her recover from an eating disorder, meets a fellow girl with the same problem, they become lovers, then plot a VERY roundabout way to exact revenge against the family friend by:
    A. Having the Lesbian lover infiltrate the family friend’s business (the family’s money manager)
    B. She then gives him the idea to steal the family’s money AND then hire a gang of guys to rob the family to make it appear like THEY emptied out their offshore bank accounts (when actually the family friend already did… or did he? This was NEVER followed up on)
    C. Oh, the Lesbian friend also sets up a guy (her “boyfriend” just for this plan), to be one of the home invaders.. Oh, and in his past (she must have done her research). he was the victim of a mass shooting… which comes in perfectly handy when he refuses to do the invasion, but learns the FATHER is one of the heads of Beretta… and profits off gun sales) …Um, Sure!
    D. Then after the invaders almost KILL the family and the DAUGHTER WHO PUT THE ENTIRE PLAN IN PLACE, the loner brother starts to pick them off, except… he’s not really a mass killer wannabe, nope, we learn that he was FAKING the MASS MURDER plan… WHY? Got me… So there would be guns in the house??? No idea)
    E. And of course it was the molested sister who made her brother fake all this so her elaborate plan could take affect JUST to HOPE that the leader of the home invaders didn’t kill the family AND would eventually tell the parents that the FAMILY FRIEND set the whole thing up to get him to the house????? WHAT????
    F. And FINALLY, once the parents call the family friend for a confrontation and he arrives… OF COURSE the kids knock the parents out and the daughter gets to have her revenge AS PLANNED on the family friend by skinning him and making him into a butterfly (when he molested her a 6, there were butterflies in her room)
    G. W-T-F??????????????????

    Why not just invite the family friend over to your 20 acre home and TORTURE and KILL him???? I guess because we’ve seen that before?

    Farfetched would be the understatement of the millennium!!

    What I learned… Yes, be inventive, but if your story is SO over-the-top that it makes you repeatedly say WTF, then…… APPARENTLY you’re ONTO SOMETHING, because this SOLD and also got an IMPRESSIVE!!!! ;-)

    Facepalm!!!!

  • Lucid Walk

    If anyone has a copy, please send it to sde91@hotmail.com
    Much appreciated

  • Kevin

    Can someone please send me the script at kgykryan(at)hotmail.com ? Thanks!