How to write a psychological horror script

His first year at high school, settling into a new town, his first mad love affair - it's all behind him. He's about to turn fourteen and things are looking up. His little brother's hrmones have kicked in and that's not a pretty sight.

How to write a psychological horror script

As Wells Root reminds us in one of the original and best books on screenwriting, Writing the Script ; Holt, Rinehart and Winstoneven Romeo and Juliet is a suspense story: And in resolving each crisis, he created another!

Which brings me to what I consider to be the first and most important thing to have in a great Thriller screenplay: It has to keep moving and keep revealing new, crucial information and take surprising turns and keep moving some more and never stop until the shocking, yet inevitable end.

Okay, it can stop for a little breather every now and then. This technique is aptly named…Tension and Relief! We need to stop and take stock of the situation a few times over the course of the story.

But then we need to be grabbed, yanked and pulled back into the race. Raymond Chandler understood the need for break-neck pacing and hard-hitting plot points.

Writing serials in detective magazines, there was no time for chit-chat, bub. To this end, he typed on small pieces of paper, forcing himself to reveal a new piece of information on every page. You want to put your Protagonist up a tree and keep throwing stones.

Think of little Clarice Starling in Lambs. Diminutive in size, her male peers tower over her at every turn. But with every setback she keeps fighting. She never gives up. And she cracks the case and takes out the serial killer. Like a strong Protagonist of a Thriller should do, Clarice Starling drives the story with her active decisions.

But this does not mean they can only be reactive; they must be active. Of course, there has to be something unique and dangerous that they are pursuing.

Who is Keyser Soze? Who is the one-armed man? Who made the snuff film?

Eli - Jan. 4

You must keep the Reader turning pages, dying to find out the secret behind the big mystery. Like in The Village when Joaquin Phoenix, our Protagonist, gets stabbed and thus taken out of the action. This hearkens back to perhaps the most famous Hard Right Turn in cinema — Janet Leigh, also heretofore the Protagonist of the story, being stabbed to death in the shower in Psycho.

The first guy getting sucked into the sky in The Forgotten? Neo getting jacked in to the Matrix for the first time via a port in the back of his skull?

how to write a psychological horror script

Talk about jaws dropping. But then it became a movie. A big-budget movie starring Jim Carrey released by Paramount Pictures during a particularly gutless period of studio filmmaking in the 90s. So the horrible decision was made to rewrite the script so that it was apparent right away to the audience that Truman was living in a hour TV show.

This made the film essentially into a Drama, not really a Thriller. Or at least not as much of a Thriller as the writer intended it to be! Still a decent film and a brilliant idea. But no longer a Thriller with an awe-inspiring Hard Right Turn. It really robbed a lot of the momentum and impact from the story.

But the lesson for the screenwriter is to look to the spec script, not the film, for the true, most pure and high-suspense, high-stakes structure of this story. So go for it. So study up on Thrillers; make sure to watch and analyze a bunch.


It helps to stay true to your genre, which means first you need to understand the genre. And a Thriller is its own animal with its own conventions that I believe should be respected and adhered to and the writer needs to have the guts to go to the extremes with their story decisions and suspense-building techniques.

Master Antagonist — a fascinating, brilliant, powerful villain.A growing collection of literary agents who seek and represent new/debut and established writers of horror novels.

Horror as a genre has remained to this day primarily trapped in the shadow of the Western world, at least in the public consciousness. The fact is, however, an appreciation and thrill for the sensation of a chill down the spine is a universal desire, almost a drive, and areas all over the world have.

BibMe Free Bibliography & Citation Maker - MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard. Jun 05,  · To write psychological horror, consider these things: Tip 1 - have a scene demonstrating the psychotic nature of the psychos and/or an .

There are some truly terrific examples of how to write a scene in this script and one of our favorites is the “cute meet” between Lester and his daughter Jane’s best friend, Angela: 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 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.

Diferences: Psychological Horror and Horror