An excerpt from Reals script review for The Curse of La Llorona (2019) which will be available 04/29/19:
The Concept – This is a creepy idea – a ghostly figure steals children – and there is a lot of potential horror that can be mined from this concept alone. Apparently, this was made for 9 million, but I think you could do an effective chiller with this concept (or even a short/proof-of-concept) for a low (or no) budget feature.
And, if I were writing it, I likely would have put more focus on a human antagonist (like a child-murderer or deranged teacher/relative, etc.) rather than a supernatural one, thus saving on an effects budget.
The Setting -The storms and the constant rain and wind really added a lot of atmosphere and helped the bleak tone of the script.
Some Effective Creepy Moments – For example, on page 9 when Anna finds the two young boys, locked in a dirty room and bleeding from their fingertips due to the scratching at the door to get out.
I also thought that the tub scene (from pages 51 – 56 ) was pretty disturbing.
*Some of this moment can be seen in the TRAILER and above image.
What I liked about these moments was that it was not just the shown horror, but the implied horror:
A mother abusing her children and locking them away for days/weeks
A mother looking away for just a moment which could have led to her child drowning in the tub.
Things like this are disturbing and will stay with an audience longer than a jumpscare.
Little Dialogue – I really liked the absence of dialogue in many areas – letting the visuals do the talking and showing and not telling.
For example, there are many pages with no dialogue or very minimal dialogue – such as page 22, page 35, or pages 41 – 43.
The Human Element – What I mean by this is that in many of these stories, it certainly is a ghost or it is a killer with nothing for us to question or consider. Now, this is not always a problem, but the more you can add to your story and leave the audience thinking, the stronger your script will be.
In this script, for example, we have Patricia – the woman who had her kids locked in a room and then is released from police custody after her children are killed because they have no proof that she did it. This happens right around the midpoint and is a strong addition because it provides the possibility that Patricia is the one tormenting Anna and her family and there is no “real” La Llorona.
Limiting the Location – The entire third act of this script takes place in a single home. This is a good little bit for you to look at (pages 69 onward) as they manage to make it a limited-location supernatural horror and add home invasion horror elements to it.
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