An excerpt from my script review for You Should Have Left which will be available 06/22/20:
3.) Quality of Characters
Two layers of tension.
We have the obvious horror layer from above, that again worked really well because we didn’t know what was happening, but there’s also the underlying relationship between Theo and Susanna.
I’m not going to spoil anything here because I really believe writers should check out this sort of project, but let’s just say Theo has a dark past that everyone seems to know but us.
He’s also married to a successful and attractive actress half his age, and one that seems to be on her phone texting quite a bit.
This situation plays nasty little tricks with his mind, even before they arrive in the Welsh countryside.
All of this makes for a better story because it’s an interweaving layer of friction of both A and B stories (to put it simply).
You can tell Theo is really trying, but an insecure lover is an insecure lover so any instance he catches her texting when he’s not around throws up warning signs.
That makes for serious drama when the house you rented off Airbnb is evil.
Without ruining anything, real world problems do get in the way of their relationship, but also make for a “believable” ending.
If you’re going to sit down to pen a lower budget horror thriller, which we strongly hope you’ll consider, look for ways that you can make the story stronger with these underlying relationships.
Obviously don’t make it a carbon copy of this story, but are there every day issues people deal with that will be all the worse when there’s some horror element to amplify them?
Want EARLY access to our videos, uploads, and movie/script reviews? Members get them FIRST! Follow this link to our Discussion Forum.