An excerpt from Reals’ script review for the unproduced Friday the 13th 3D script by Nick Antosca which will be available 12/16/19:
What Worked (The Nice List)
The Writing Style – Nick Antosca has a great style and it is one that I think a lot of writers (in every genre) can learn from. While it is a bit playful and sometimes he does address the reader, it is not usually done to a point where it becomes distracting or where the script relies on it too much (like some Shane Black scripts seem to… according to Hank – seriously, though, I agree with this assessment and advise new writers not to do too much, if any, 4th wall breaks in a script)
For example, on page 2, we get this line:
Sloane finds Vanessa’s very existence a little annoying.
I liked this line because it was short, (not) sweet, and to the point. In 8 words we already have conflict and we know exactly how these two characters will interact and why.
Another example of this is the brutality of the kills and the way some things are described.
Such as, on Page 8, when young Andy has fallen into the lake and is drowning:
And we see that the lake is not that deep here. This kid is gonna drown in seven feet of water.
That’s a brutal and heart-wrenching detail that helps elevate the scene and makes the writing stand out.
The Misdirects – I like the way that Mr. Antosca uses our expectations against us. As Jordan Peele says, “If you can predict where an audience thinks it’s going to go, you can use it against them, and they’ll love you for it.” (I think I have used this quote before, but it is just so good I have to mention it.)
An example of this is when, early on in the script, we see young Andy nearly drown when the camp counselors are distracted. Since this is Jason’s accepted origin, we are expecting Andy to drown, then maybe a name switch/Jason reveal, and the plot to go from there, but they manage to save him, which was surprising to me, but works for the story Antosca wanted to tell.
Another example is when the teens run into the burly groundskeeper, Frank. They are smoking joints and try to hide them, but Frank catches them and tells the kids to hand the joint over. Then, instead of tossing it, he takes a big drag off of it.
Little things like this will make your script stand out and stay in the mind of a reader.
The Setting – I liked that this is set in Camp Crystal Lake years after the murder-spree from the first film. It’s an interesting approach to set the film in a world that is aware of the mythology of your killer.
I also liked that the story takes place on the last day of camp and the day that all of the children leave, meaning that the camp is abandoned, except for the counselors who have to do a final cleanup.
Giving your characters a plausible reason to be isolated and alone with the killer is important and is such a staple of the horror genre that finding a unique way to get your characters “off-the-grid” can make your story standout.
Want EARLY access to our videos, uploads, and movie/script reviews? Members get them FIRST! Follow this link to our Discussion Forum.
And be sure to check out our Notes Service, where I give my detailed thoughts and suggestions on your script.