Let’s See You Do Better: Update 3

Okay now I’m getting to the fun parts. The best parts of these movies are the deaths. Because they take place in a dream world you really have no limits so you can get as creative as you want. You need them to be creepy and disturbing. Not sure if it’s just me but I like when the deaths link into the persons character. I feel that makes sense as people dream about things that affect them, so it only makes sense that their dream deaths would be linked to them. That’s what I’m attempting to do in this. I’m about to enter the “adding new characters” stage and I know who some of them are already based solely on how I want them to die. That’s probably a backwards way of doing it but it works for me.  Anyway, here’s what the deaths will be like

deaths

A little bit of background on these two characters:

Alex is a wannabe bodybuilder, who in the scene before this we found out has a real complex about his strength, he has the need to always be the toughest guy in the room, that’s why I had his death take place on one of those “test your strength” fairground machines. Originally I was going to have it take place in a gym but realised that had already been done (I think in the fourth one) in a REALLY creepy piece of body horror where a set of weights were pushed down and used to break a characters arms. I wouldn’t be able to top that so I decided to go in a different direction. Plus I figured it wouldn’t be bad enough for him to be outmuscled, the worst thing would be for him to be outmuscled in public so everybody sees. The little girl being the one to do it came about because it’s a good opportunity to use the creepy Freddy girls in this movie. You know, the ones in the blue dress who sing the rhyme? If I dressed the little girl in it similarly it would be a nice way for me to give a shout out to the original series without being distracting. Originally I had the final blow be done by a random bodybuilder, to show him that no matter how hard he works out, there will always be someone better. I then mentioned in passing to someone that I was considering having the small girl do it instead, and that was received much more favourably so I changed it to that. Someone else mentioned having the head hit the bell at the top. Didn’t do that as I wanted the skull to be shattered, but I did like the concept so I modified it slightly and instead had a small segment of the head hit the bell. This had the double advantage of leading to the next scene. The next scene takes place in a class, so I could easily match up the piece of skull hitting the bell, and the bell ringing in the class.

Now, the second one takes place in a swimming pool. I will freely admit this one was inspired heavily by a graphic novel I found called Clean Room by Gail Simone. If you get a chance I highly suggest you read it as it’s incredibly creepy and inspired some imagery which I will use in this. What was most useful to me from it was these two scenes:

I saw that and thought “I could definitely use that”. I named the child Terry in homage to this scene. The challenge with this was making it different enough so that it wasn’t just “me stealing shit from women writers and claiming it as my own”. I wanted to use it as a jumping-off point for something else, and I like to think I did that. It’s why his death ends the way it does; with him being swallowed by the water (and it’s why I had him responsible for his death again in the dream). I might need to change it more but I’m happy with what I did and think I made it different enough from the original to claim it as my own.

So yeah, those are the deaths, let me know what you think of them, whether they worked etc. And then go read Clean Room as it’s f*cking superb.

Let’s See You Do Better: Update 2

Note: if you’re unsure what this is about, visit here

So it’s been a while since I’ve updated this, been busy on other projects. I thought I’d offer a quick update as to how the story is going. I have an idea of where it’s going and should probably do an outline to establish it. I’ve been reading some of the Nightmare On Elm Street comics too, they’re mostly terrible but there are a few really disturbing parts in them. The trouble with doing a script like this is that theoretically anything is possible, and when you’ve got no limits then it can be boring to do standard things. Like I was going to have a scene where someone dies by having their face held against a hotplate until the skin melts. Very gruesome and could be horrific if done right, but it’s also possible, so would be best used for another film (could work in a Halloween film I think). I’m posting my progress now because after this is when the actual horror starts. I’ve put some creepy moments in there but all of it is setting up the rest of the film. So, here’s the opening:

nightmare

I’m quite proud of what I’ve got here, but I know some of it will HAVE to change. I have to set up his PTSD nightmares more (I’ve got a great idea but at the moment it’s a bit too similar to a scene from Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark), so I’m going to need to think of a better way of doing it before putting it on paper. I need to set up the background characters more, specifically the ones in his class. This should be easily done, it’s a classroom so lots of chance for debate which I could use to showcase character traits. Overall I think I’ll have a better idea of how I want the beginning to go when I get to the end as I know what I’ll have to set up. I’m very wary of timing, I’ve seen A LOT of horror films which seem to take two-thirds of the script before the actual story starts. I hate when it happens and I don’t want to do it. At the moment it’s about 20 minutes, which I think gives me a good basis to start, especially since it is still relatively scare-heavy. I think if I keep that level of intensity up I could extend the beginning by about another ten minutes and keep the momentum going.

Let’s See You Do Better (Update #1)

So, last month I posted this. So since writing the opening scene, what have I done? To be honest, nowhere near as much as I feel I should have done. Still kind of finding the rhythm of what this story is. The main thing is I still need to plan out who the main characters are. I’ve got ideas for set pieces and general plot etc, but the characters will be what makes it work. So far I’ve got some ideas. One is Bruce and Carol. Carol is a middle-aged single mother who starred in some low budget horror movies in her youth. Bruce is her teenage son. This is what that leads to:

Nightmare Carol

I’m going to set up the abuse throughout the film. Decided on this because it’s not really something that’s seen that much in horror films, not in that way anyway. When we do see a parent sexually abusing a child it’s a father abusing his daughter, I wanted to showcase the horror of when the genders are flipped. I’m considering making Bruce one of the main characters, have him kind of bring Freddy back by striking a deal; he’ll scare his friends by telling them the stories of Freddy, leaving them more open to Freddy’s influence and danger. In return, Freddy will stop Bruce’s recurring nightmares. Essentially like a mafia protection racket. That scene, in particular, will be used to kick off the third act. Bruce being in a coma will also allow me to have an absolute mindfuck of a final act.

Now onto the second scene that I’ve done. This will be about halfway through. My plan is to set up two stories; a group of children being abducted and killed by Freddy when he was alive in the past (so essentially a slasher movie mixed with IT), and the same kids when they’re older being haunted by Freddy in their dreams. The two stories will run alongside each other, leading to this:

The Death Of Freddy

So yeah, I lie. It’s not actually them, it’s someone elses memory. I’m not going to lie, this is mainly because I was fed up with the number of horror films that have flashbacks of the main characters near death, I hate them as you know the characters are not going to die so the scenes have no tension. I’m going to set up the truth subtly, so characters we establish as having no siblings in the present, will have a brother/sister in the past, and characters who are allergic to certain things will be seen eating them in the past. The main focus of this section though; the death of human Freddy. My plan for this was to have it go from “yeah, get that bastard” to “this is kind of uncomfortable”. I think I can go slightly further with what happens to him, but not certain.

See-Saw: Day One (Saw)

It’s that time of year again. The time of year where I actually get compliments on my face, mainly because people think it’s a Halloween mask. Like a creepy art student when they see a woman in a coffee shop, the day draws ever closer, creeping slowly until we’re glad it’s over. So we’re going to live-blog another horror series. Was considering doing The Omen, or maybe Halloween, but I came to a decision. After chuckling at Chucky, guffawing at Ghostface, and flipping off Freddy, it’s time to jerk off Jigsaw. It’s the Saw series. We start with the first one, because…..because it’s the first one. This really shouldn’t be this complicated.

Director: James Wan (Insidious, The Conjuring, Furious 7, Aquaman)

Budget: $1.2million

Box Office: $103million

  • I actually like the credits to this. The font etc they use brings to mind a dodgy 80’s VHS video nasty.
  • Very blue tint over everything. Hah! It’s a blue movie.
  • A guy (Adam) wakes up in a bathtub chained to a pipe and accidentally pulls the plug out, sending a key down the drain. This is actually VERY IMPORTANT, so the film decides to show how important it is by barely focusing on it at all so if you sneeze you miss it. You can’t even tell what it is until much later on.
  • Wait, how long was he underwater for? How did he not drown or something? He must have been in there a while otherwise the other guy would have been more aware of him. And why was he in the water anyway? He could have got hypothermia and died, which would ruin Jigsaws plan.
  • I like that Cary Elwes is in this (as Doctor Gordon). He really doesn’t get as much work as he should. He’s also chained to a tub in this. This entire plan rests on the two of them not being able to pick locks.
  • “what’s your name?” “My name is very fucking confused”. Look, I do love the script to this, but the dialogue is sometimes awful. Yet it thinks it’s very funny, weirdly enough most of the supposedly funny lines go to the actor who also wrote the script.
  • “that’s what they do, they take out your kidney and sell it on eBay”. You can’t sell kidneys on eBay. You have to use Amazon or craigslist.
  • “are you a surgeon or what?” It later turns out that Adam has been following Dr Gordon, so he knows he is a surgeon.
  • There’s a lot of luck in this plan. Mainly, luck that the tape in Adam’s pocket wouldn’t break when he fell onto the floor earlier. How long has Dr Gordon been awake to not notice the tape in his pocket, but also know that screaming has no purpose (and yet also somehow didn’t wake Adam up)?
  • So Jigsaw punishes people for their sins. Adams sin is that he takes photos. Bit weird.
  • The doctors’ tape says that he can only escape if he kills Adam. This would have been a lot easier if, you know, he wasn’t chained to the wall.
  • Tape players in movies are fantastic, always being rewound to the right moment.
  • Adam sticks his hand down a dirty, shitty toilet so he can help…..the person who has just been told to kill him.
  • Considering how much shit is in that toilet, the smell must be overpowering.
  • How has he never heard of the Jigsaw killer? If there was a serial killer operating near me, I would know (and be really annoyed at the competition).
  • Hey, it’s Danny Glover!
  • “he’s not really a murderer”, Nah, he is. Just because he’s leaving them to die but not actually striking the final blow himself doesn’t make it not murder. Otherwise burying someone alive wouldn’t count as murder.
  • So they think the doctor is a killer because they found his pen nearby. How did they recognise it as his? Does a doctor with no criminal record have his prints on file?
  • They’ve established it’s not him, his alibi is someone he nearly fucked. They still make him sit in on a survivor interview, because…..erm, so he can tell the story at this point in the film?
  • Flashback within a flashback. That’s too many flashbacks. This is the first really iconic one, the reverse bear trap. It’s put on someone’s face and when the time runs out it opens, ripping their jaw open. Sexy. To unlock it he has to get the key out of someone’s stomach who is supposedly dead. He’s not, however, he just can’t move. Not sure why the detail about him supposedly being dead is in it. He’s her former drug dealer so it would have made more sense if she had to do it whilst knowing he was alive. Would have been more thematically pleasing and a harder choice for her. She’s actually pleased this happened as it helped her get off drugs. Not entirely sure how, as surely trauma would make someone MORE likely to do drugs. And now we’re back in the bathroom.
  • “you have something I don’t, information” That’s not exactly his fault. If you’re not aware of a serial killer in your own town, that’s on you.
  • “this is the most fun I’ve had without lubricant”. Okay then.
  • Dr Gordon continues work instead of checking his daughter’s room to let her know there are no monsters there. This is supposed to show him as a work-obsessed monster. But he just finishes the paragraph and then goes to check the room. And stays with her, singing songs to her until she’s okay. He did exactly what he should do. He’s doing a job which he can’t really abandon, it’s an important job which he needs.
  • This film is essentially a live-action version of Condemned. That game was freaky. And had more pigeon-collecting than most games.
  • About 50% of Danny Glover’s dialogue is the word “asshole”
  • Actually, love the way detective Sing dies in this. Tripwire setting of shotguns. It’s simple but effective, is the mark of someone who is just starting to set up traps. Although this kind of goes against Jigsaw’s modus operandi to kill people who deserve it, he’s killing a lot of cops.
  • They’ve found a box containing a phone and cigarettes. The phone isn’t useful though as it was only meant to receive calls, not make them. Which is kind of bullshit tbh, because all phones can dial the emergency services in case of….you know…emergency.
  • And now another flashback. This film deserves credit for the main action taking place in one room, but it doesn’t half take liberties with flashbacks.
  • It turns out the doctor was kidnapped by a person wearing a pig mask who sneaked up on him. Why did they wear the pig mask if they were sneaking up on him? All it would have taken is someone seeing them and shouting out “oi, piggy”.
  • “my last girlfriend, a feminist vegan punk broke up with me because she thought I was too angry”. Love that line.
  • The make-up on this is on point. Doctor Gordon looks emotionally distraught and near death.
  • The lights go off so the camera can’t see them, and they start to whisper to discuss their plan. Why did they turn off the lights when it was them speaking that would have given the game away? He could have just sneakily written something on the back of one of the many pictures and threw it over.
  • I can’t tell whether Adams “death” is bad acting or great bad acting. I’m leaning towards the latter.
  • “this thing electrocuted me” how? It doesn’t seem to be part of a circuit.
  • “The guy who paid me to stalk you, he’s a tall black guy with a scar around his neck”. And you didn’t connect this to the story the guy told earlier about the black guy who got his throat cut who was following him earlier?
  • “I don’t care if you covered yourself in peanut butter and had a 15 hooker gang-bang”. Are we sure I didn’t write this?
  • The way they set up Zepp as a red herring villain is kind of genius, to be honest.
  • Adam is just around the corner taking pictures, like a few feet away. How did Dr Gordon not notice him from that distance? He would have seen him, at the very least heard him.
  • All this computer and equipment is set up in the home of the kidnapping victim. That’s not normally how it’s done, is it?
  • And now we have the scene; the one that defines this film; Doctor Gordon sawing his leg off. I do like how brutal this bit is, but after seeing it done differently in another film, it could be done a lot better.
  • This is where it goes from being good to great; the ending. It turns out Zepp was just another player in the game, the actual Jigsaw rises up, turns out he was the body in the middle of the room. A great twist, like, nobody saw it coming. Mainly because it’s a bit strange. I mean, nobody noticed him breathing for about 6 hours? He didn’t move, defecate, or even cough in that entire time? An ageing cancer patient managed to stay perfectly still on a cold floor for that length of time? But forgetting that this is a magnificent piece of storytelling.
  • “The key is in the bathtub”. Two points: 1) the film gave no indication that was important. 2) Let’s say it didn’t go down the plughole when he emptied it. That means he’d be able to unlock his chain and escape almost instantly.
  • I do like this film more than the others, mainly because it forgoes the torture-porn the series became known for tight plotting and character work. It’s not perfect, there are a few moments which are inconsistent with character motivations etc. And the timing is a bit off at times with nothing happening for hours in-universe.

So, day one down. And that’s the best one out of the way. I can’t remember exactly when they started going downhill, but I know it happened and I’ve got that to look forward to.