An excerpt from Reals’ script review for Countdown which will be available 10/28/19:
The Length – It is good that this was only a 95 page script. For a horror, typically you should keep things tight and to the point and not drag out reveals or plot points. Especially because a big draw of horror is that it can (when done right) be done quickly and cheaply and a 120+ page script is going to cost more to film.
The Rules – I liked the scene at the beginning where Courtney (who has less than 3 hours to live, according to the app) refuses to get in the car with a drunk driver. As soon as he drives away, her phone beeps and it says “USER AGREEMENT BROKEN”
Nice little additions to your rules and world-building like this make the story more memorable and make your script stand out.
The Ticking Clock – We know that your life is on a timer and there is a literal “Ticking Clock” in this piece as the protagonist races to solve the mystery before it is too late. This is good, as it keeps your plot racing forward and you can use that tension and knowledge of time running out to your advantage to keep readers hooked.
Check out page 6 (listed as 66 on this script – sigh) for a good example of this as the final seconds tick away as Courtney tries to escape.
Quinn’s Introduction – I liked that we introduce Quinn as a competent and caring nurse as she engages with her patients (even pretending to be an army sergeant so that she can take care of her patient – the “soldier” who is asking for an evac)
This is a great “Save the Cat” moment, because it is over in about a page, and I was already on the character’s side. Study this, because some scripts take 90+ pages, but never find their footing or a way to connect the audience with the protagonist.
Derek – He’s an asshole tech-nerd, but he was the much-needed comic relief in this script and it worked for me. It is a shame he is not in the script more. Also, apparently he is played by Tom Segura, who is one of my favorite stand-up comics, so that is another added bonus.
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