How to write a psychological horror script

Mike Floorwalker MikeFloorwalker Horror fans have a lot to look forward to over the next couple of years.

How to write a psychological horror script

There is nothing else that gives you the practical experience of how it all comes together than reading a film script that has actually been produced.

And not just the spec screenplay that was originally sold, although those are excellent resource points, but the actual movie script that mirrors the final film.

But what are the best film scripts to read, and why? Alan Ball Alan Ball graduated from Florida State University with a degree in theater arts, went on to write for the theater and then television, penning the hit comedies Grace Under Fire and Cybil.

Although there are elements of comedy in American Beauty, for which he won the Oscar for best screenplay init is overall a drama, and in our opinion a modern masterpiece of screenwriting.

The script opens with Jane staring into the camera — a handheld device operated by an unseen man — nonchalantly discussing killing her father.

We then cut to said father — a loser named Lester Burnham — and follow him as he begins another miserable day at the office, all the while hearing his Voice Over from beyond the grave. In fact, the opening twenty-five pages are a masterclass in how to establish character, stakes and genre as the screenplay pulls you into a web of lies set in a suburban hell.

Gustin Nash from the novel by C. Nash broke onto the scene after writing nine spec screenplays with a comedy he wrote in four weeks called Charlie Bartlett.

Here are the opening few paragraphs: From there on in, the script is a comedy riot of teenage angst and sexual yearning, with a nice side helping of surrealism thrown in for good measure.

Read it and see how consistent the tone is throughout — funny and absurd, yet with an emotional heart and great characters — and see the level your comedy spec needs to aspire to.

For example, see how they partly achieve this by giving Indy a personal motivation to his quest in the shape of Marion. Kasdan achieves this by utilizing seven specific sequences, each one taking Indy alternately closer and further away from his goal — the Ark of the Covenant.

Just studying this scene alone will tell you all you need to know about hiding on-the-nose dialogue. Humor can be a powerful weapon in any genre but reading this script will give you an idea of just how powerful. Like Alan Ball, the Coens like to mess around with sluglines, and in this case by almost dispensing with them entirely.

Again, stick to the conventions on this one, but other than that copy, crib and steal as much as you can from two masters of modern cinema. This specific horror screenplay is great because of the way the Hayes brothers make us feel the tension, the mood, the dread and the pacing throughout.

The Conjuring also makes use of some interesting formatting, using CAPS and bold and underlining in ways that are so subtle, and so manipulative to our reading experience, it is like a visceral punch in the gut.

how to write a psychological horror script

You feel the visuals in this screenplay. You feel the air move as the hands come out beside you and clap from the darkness. This is a masterful script when it comes to delivering a screenplay a director can cinematically see, because it is all there on the page.

Read more about how to leverage suspense in your writing style in this post. It also plays on the deepest fears of each character.

No — they dig in deep, analyze the scene with a fine tooth comb, go over every possible angle. This is what you should be doing with a screenplay. Yes there are many screenwriting books out there on the craft, and screenwriting courses you can take which help to nail down finer tunings, as well as script coverage which adds another layer of knowledge for your screenwriting mastery.Don’t Forget the Horror When Writing Horror.

By: And when you write the scary scenes, milk them for all they’re worth. This is the equivalent of writing the funny, touching scenes between lovers in a romantic comedy or the gross out humor in a teen comedy.

About Script Magazine Script has been the leading source for information on. A screenplay, or script, is a written work by screenwriters for a film, television program or video screenplays can be original works or adaptations from existing pieces of writing.

In them, the movement, actions, expression and dialogues of the characters are also narrated. A screenplay written for television is also known as a teleplay. I really enjoyed the plot of this film, though it did feel a bit rushed. They spent so much screen time on the love story that there wasn't much time to flush out the horror story.

A growing collection of literary agents who seek and represent new/debut and established writers of horror novels. Writer's Resources - Horror Movie Scripts - 10 Steps To Writing A Horror Screenplay. by: Henrik Holmberg. A horror movie has certain rules. If you break too many the audience will be disappointed.

This is a very short, no fluff, blueprint of how to write a horror script. 1. The Hook. Start with a bang. Step right into a suspense scene.

("Scream. The Japanese horror drama Audition features a final act that keeps cutting between dream and reality, to the extent that it becomes impossible to distinguish the two. For me, this totally undercut the reality of the story, which was a nicely established story of suspense, and I ended up feeling discouraged and unsatisfied.

-Script Magazine.

Screenwriting Article – The Keys To Writing A Great Horror Script