“…awesome, intense, unusual and original … sickly satisfying … [keeps] the audience at the edge of their seats … the only way to do horror movies”
The BlueCat competition is a terrific contest, and the dual coverage makes it well worth the submission price. They’ve got a great philosophy of dedication to improving the writer’s craft, and I consider them to be one of the top 5 competitions worth submitting to. This note from founder Gordy Hoffman says it all:
What can you take from feedback from two people? Will it actually provoke more questions than answers? Perhaps. It’s profoundly revealing to me the very serious principle of subjectivity, the idea that everyone is simply a person providing a reaction. Take what you can, look again in a week, and take some more. Keep pressing yourself to learn how to listen to your audience. It’s the most overlooked skill of the screenwriter, and highly invaluable. – Gordy Hoffman
So what did BlueCat have to say? Here are a few selective excerpts*.
Each character is well-developed and fits nicely into the story. They each have their voice, and Nick’s anger makes him a great target. The dog farting on his chest after he is irritated to have to sleep with them is a great set-up. These moments of humor make the script flow nicely and create a good balance with the thrilling moments to contribute to its entertainment value.
This second half of this script is incredibly strong. Once the faeries arrive, the action is non-stop. Every time our characters look like they have escaped, they are placed in another dangerous situation. The danger keeps increasing, keeping the audience at the edge of their seats. The faeries’ eerie sonar contributes to setting an intense tone in the most thrilling scenes.
The action scenes are well-written and visual, taking the reader into the scene. This is especially true of the scene where faeries attack Nick. This scene comes at the perfect time, at the midpoint of the story, putting our characters into even more danger by adding a fire into the mix. Also, the sudden appearance of the faeries had a reasonable explanation that was a foreshadowed, yet unexpected twist.
The dialogue does a great job of building suspense and atmosphere. Courtney’s exchange with Mack “So just how far can God reach?” “As the crow flies, thirty miles.” “That’s not so bad.” “Not if yer a crow.” does a great job of suggesting the isolation that will make things dangerous for our hapless heroes. Likewise, Graham’s explanation of how the shotgun works: “Like a mouse. Just point and click.” is both awesome and endearing. It was genuinely upsetting to lose him, but it was also a surprising relief to see that Courtney wouldn’t be punished FRIDAY THE 13TH style for having sex (even if it was with the wrong person.)
It was fun to see how genre savvy the group is. It’s the only way to do horror movies nowadays. Of course, though, Nick is the first to die because he’s the least genre savvy. Also he’s just a terrible person. His demise wasn’t much of a surprise, but it was still sickly satisfying.
This screenplay is still available for option or purchase, of course… if you know anyone looking for an awesome, intense, original and sickly satisfying horror creature feature screenplay, I’m your huckleberry…
*It wasn’t all rosy, of course. There was also some constructive criticism. But this post is all about the positives… I’ll be sharing more on the critiques all of the readers have given us in another post very soon.