An excerpt from my script review for His House which will be available 11/16/20:
2.) Plot Stability
Minor spoiler, and what I liked about this story…
The “bad guy” is supernatural.
We get that out of the way pretty early, so we’re not waiting for a rational explanation at the end, or a Scooby Doo guy in a mask.
This evil spirit plays on the regret of the married couple tasked with living in it as refugees.
The complicated loss of their daughter.
And the trickery builds, another important aspect of a good horror.
We start out with shadows and mysterious silhouettes then move on to full on living nightmares.
Oh, and there’s this freaky orange scene early on.
Keep in mind the house isn’t in great shape, with holes and the floors/walls and such.
Zainab comes home from the grocery and one of the bags falls from the counter.
An orange rolls from the kitchen all the way into the living room and hits Zainab’s foot on the other side.
Was it the momentum from a sloped floor, or the evil stuck in the house messing with her?
This is a great tension builder and important to take note of because this scene is one of those generic locations we talked about that post-Covid production is going to need.
You’ve taken an everyday object and location and used it to your benefit to create something spooky and mysterious within your story.
Emulate techniques like this.
But back to living nightmares…
Is Bol just going crazy, or is this house really evil?
Us wondering is good, especially since Zainab seems to have a friendlier relationship with the spirit.
Second “easy” scene…Bol with the light switch.
Safe to say this evil doesn’t care for the light, always hiding out in the shadows.
Bol finally fixes the wiring (they were using candles previously) and gets the lights to turn on in the house…but when those lights go out…
Pitch black and frightening screams.
This can only be strung out for so long, but forcing Bol to leave the safety of the switch to solve another problem is agonizing for us too, because we know we’ll be tortured with him.
My biggest criticism of the script would have been to just keep it in the house, instead of the house “creating” the flashbacks to tell us how they got here.
It’s almost as if the writer ran out of ideas and had no alternative other than to show us the hardships the couple endured.
And it was hard for them…I just argue it jerks us out of the evil house, and with a title like His House the focus should have been on this married couple struggling with the evil inside it that’s putting them at odds with one another for their past.
But maybe that was part of the story the writer wanted told, being that a side plot was of the struggles these refugees suffered through only to deal with English citizens that weren’t exactly fond of them.
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