An excerpt from Reals’ script review for Cub which will be available 05/09/21:
The Page Count – At 89 pages the script knows how to get in and get out. We are already in the woods by Page 15 and off on our creepy adventure.
This is very important for horror scripts, as it shows that you are aware of the tropes and of how to write a horror script for the market.
Sam’s Family – I liked Frank, Hilde, and Loesje – Sam (our protagonist)’s family. They were written well, got some chuckles from me, and seemed like a real, living-breathing family.
I make a specific note of this, as I have just come from watching two or three horror films featuring fractured families, and so it was nice to see a script with a family that is embracing their chaotic circumstances and facing them together.
Sadly, this scene did not make the final cut of the film.
From a production standpoint, I understand that it was easier and cheaper to not shoot the family scene and just cut straight to Sam trying to catch the scout bus before it left, but from a narrative standpoint this really hurts our understanding of Sam as a fully realized character.
The Arrival At Camp – I liked how the scouts arrive at camp to find it totally abandoned. And then the few locals they meet are, of course, hostile.
Sure, this setup was expected, but it sets a genuinely unnerving scene of a Cub Scout camping trip that should have been canceled.
The Scouts Get Run The F**K Down – There is a jaw-dropping moment in the film when The Poacher straight-up drives a truck over a tent full of scouts.
For those reading the script, this happens on page 73 and is no less shocking.
I wanted to point this out, because this is a good use of playing against your audience’s expectations.
I assumed the children would escape somehow, and was left surprised and disgusted when they did not make it out of the tent in time. That is what you want your horror script to do – shock, disturb, and unsettle your reader!
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