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screenplay My Bad Horror Movie Screenplay

So I was digging through some old files, and I found this screenplay I wrote who knows how long ago and read it. It was one of my first and is really bad, but I still liked the concept and thought it would be cool to try and actually make it since I never ended up using it in the first place. What are some ways I could revise & improve it? Any tips or advice would be awesome!
 

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Well I'm gonna be HONEST. I couldn't even finish the first page because it's a difficult read for me. Way overwritten. Passive voice. On the nose dialogue.

For some reason, I thought this was a feature spec and not a short... Which is the only reason I decided to read it since I have a little free time.

I'm guessing that it's probably just a little shorter than the actual page count since it's so overwritten... Having said that? I'd concentrate on the dialogue for sure. Right now? Your characters say EXACTLY what's on their minds when really? We don't do that. We're always masking the truth of what we say out loud. There are always double or more meanings being said. It's called SUBTEXT. Read up on subtext (if you haven't already) and see how you can change your dialogue so that it's SNAPPY and FLOWS and has more than one meaning.

In the beginning? You have the 3 high schoolers sitting and chatting... Why not have Tommy enter from being outside? All wet from the rain which would be a nice visual and at the same time, he talks about how bad it is out there.

Maybe something like...

INT. JAKE'S HOUSE - NIGHT

TWO HIGH SCHOOLERS sit on a couch -- JAKE and LIZZIE.
Jake stares out the window as TOMMY bursts inside soaking
wet.

TOMMY
We're gonna need a bigger boat.

LIZZIE
Huh?

TOMMY
It's a river out there.

JAKE
Board game time!

TOMMY
Monopoly! I call the top hat.

Not saying to use any of this... Just trying to give you a feel for how you could go about revising it. Make it fun. And I'm dating myself with Monopoly. It's about the only board game I play... LOL.

Tighten up your action/description... Get rid of the passive voice.

When I have time, I'll come back and tell you what I think of the actual story.

Good luck!

*NOTE: My preference would have normally been to have gone darker but since I'm not sure yet how dark this is? I kept it light.
 
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Okay... I finished reading the entire short... Whew.

All the same notes as above apply. Revise the dialogue. Tighten up your action/description. Try to make MORE SENSE out of what you do have... For instance, you wrote:

JAKE
Help me close the curtains, we
need to make sure it can't get in
or see us.

That dialogue just doesn't make a lot of sense to me personally... Does any of it really need to be said at all? I mean given the situation kids are already in, isn't this a rather obvious conclusion everyone should make?

I didn't find this to be much of a horror... It kind of starts out that way given the horror tropes we normally see but it's more comedic and since the Monster is not a Monster and turns out to be another friend... Jerry? Why not go for more COMEDY throughout?

I'd personally LOVE it if they beat the shit out of Jerry and think they KILLED him... LOL. Then they have to figure out what to do with the body. Then later? Jerry comes to... Right before they're about to dispose of him for good. But again... I'm a fan of darker stories. LOL.
 
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Thanks for all the advice! When I first wrote it back then, I didn't really know what I wanted to do with it. I wanted it to be scary, but I didn't know how to do that and since I didn't have a full story thought out, I put in the more comedic part about them finding out that it was actually just their friend after someone suggested to do so. Usually, I tend to write a bit "overdescriptively" (is that even a word?), and since I was pretty new to screenwriting at the time I didn't think much of it. I'll definitely take all this into consideration, and I'll be working on it!
 
INT. JAKE'S HOUSE
What is the time of the day?
...quietly chatting...
Then we won't be able to hear any dialogue. I found such stuff in the stories and novels, not in screenplays.

As they step outside, a tall, shadowy figure can be seen in the distance.
This could be a different scene -

EXT. JAKE'S HOUSE - NIGHT

And then back to the previous scene a few lines later.

The dialogues aren't particularly tight.. Especially for a horror/comedy, they should be short and crisp. You do not need to follow all the grammar and every detail. Something like:

JAKE
Tommy, get that.
(pointing to the chair in the corner)
Tommy pulls the heavy chair and bars the door.

Back to basics—show, don't tell.
 
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