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Logline: On Halloween night, an outcasted teenage girl seeks revenge on an alien Werewolf wreaking havoc on a small town that prohibits the holiday.

Dark Matter Review

 

Overall Impression:

Werewolves from Outer Space is a cheeky reimagining of the 50’s era B-Movie.  Teen drama abounds as we follow Millie and Curtis, a strong female lead and her doting nerd, as they battle aliens in wolf clothing.  While Werewolves picks most of the low-hanging fruit, character motivation, a few horror script logic gaps and an ultimately unfulfilling monster hold it back from reaching its full potential.  All that said, we’d happily pay $10 to sit home and watch it with a bucket of popcorn on a windy October night.

What We Found Most Effective:

 

Werewolves scores high marks for its lighthearted, popcorn-flick approach.  Jokes and scares are plentiful, and the script and its characters never take themselves too seriously.

What We Found Least Effective

The script doesn’t deliver on its promise for werewolves.  Our expectation going in – admittedly, based purely on the title – was for a monster script.  Yes, the script has monsters, but they’re not particularly scary, nor do they utilize any of the cultural investments made in werewolves to-date (e.g., no talk of silver bullets or full moons, only a passing reference to transfer by bite).  On the one hand, we get that the script intentionally tossed the existing mythos (the werewolves are from space and are really aliens in disguise, not werewolves), on the other hand, all that cultural/folk mythology is a big part of what we love about monster movies and the script left us pining for just one little nugget of traditional werewolf goodness.

Suggestions For Improvement:

Big Picture Suggestions

 

  • Millie’s motivation is spotty.  She didn’t really do anything wrong in the opening scene with Bobby, yet she acts like she’s guilty throughout.  We think it would add a ton to the script if Millie’s motivation were more meaningful and had higher stakes.  What if she really were responsible?  What if she had pushed Bobby to go and investigate the meteor and goaded him into it? What if all of her friends knew she pushed him into it? On a related issue, we had a difficult time pinpointing the “big event” (i.e., the catalyst that drives Millie on her mission and starts Act II).  Ask yourself the what/where/when of the big event – you should be able to easily articulate it.  We saw two possibilities: 1) on pg. 37 Millie, expresses that she wants to go kill the wolf… to feel better.  By itself, this wasn’t enough for us; 2) on pg. 50, Millie expresses that she wants a clear conscience. Again, it’s not really enough to support the turn of the script from Act I to Act II.  We generally recommend trying to move from Act I to Act II on or before page 15.  It isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it’s a good general target for pacing the script (too much later, and the audience is left drifting without a clear goal for the main character).

 

  • Werewolves from Outer Space is a perfectly sound monster script, but it lacks a “secret sauce” to set it apart from the crowd. We can think of a handful of logical potential differentiators, each of which has at least some basis in the script: coolest monster, funniest, goriest, best teen romance, most lascivious.  As it is, Werewolves is a little bland at times.  We’d love to see a deeper dive into one or two of the elemental forces at play in the script to help it stand out.

 

  • Are the main characters memorable? Do Millie and Curtis each have an emotional through line?

 

  • Monster flicks often hide the monster until late in the movie… the earlier the reveal, the more time the audience has to get used to it and not fear it… the later the reveal, the more time the audience has to build apprehension.  Consider whether the werewolves are revealed too early.

Odds & Ends

 

  • Pg. 1-4. We like the pace of the opening.  Nice short scenes.  Nice short dialogue.  Mischievous tone.

 

  • Pg. 9. You never describe what the werewolf looks like in any detail.  Given that this is a monster movie, we think it’s important.

 

  • Pg. 13. “Woodsy murder of Biff Tannen” lol!

  • Pg. 14. We like the idea, but the Darla intro is a little corny.

  • Pg. 15. This is the first werewolf in the daylight scene.  We usually think of werewolves as transforming only for the full moon.  Are they really werewolves?  It’s okay to have different rules, of course, but we do think consistent rules are important, both because they’re fun (e.g., are we going to have to use a silver bullet to kill the werewolf, do you have to be bitten to be turned or is a scratch enough, etc.), and because the rules and their consistent application tend to lend depth and believability to the mythology you’re developing.

 

  • Pg. 17. Officer Glover’s dialogue is too on the nose.  We understand the dynamic you’re going for, but consider simply showing Officer Glover acting annoyed/dejected. We think that would be enough to communicate his feelings to the audience while avoiding inorganic dialogue (not that people never mutter to themselves, just that this muttering feels contrived).

  • Pg. 17-21. You’re doing a nice job of building suspense around the Halloween party.  We’re squirming in our seat in anticipation of the mayhem the werewolf will wreak.

  • Pg. 21. Love the Dr. Burton “Oh my god.” Classic.

  • Pg. 28. Up to this point, the script had a small town feel to us.  If we’re right and this is a small town, then it doesn’t seem likely that there wouldn’t be a swarm of reporters already. This is explained away on pg. 30 with “you can all go back to the city”, but that means this murder became regional/national news pretty quickly.

 

  • Pg. 30. Typo. “…his interest peaked” should be “…his interest piqued”

  • Pg. 35. Regarding Curtis’s dialogue beginning, “Yeah, survivors are lame…” The script, through Curtis, is flirting with a Scream-esque “we know this is a horror movie and the characters are going to analyze how this should work” 4th wall break.  We’re okay with that, but Curtis doesn’t quite go the whole way there.  Consider whether the script would be more fun if Curtis did?

  • Pg. 37. The cops asked Millie, back on pg. 8, what the creature looked like, but none of her friends did.  It seems relevant in this scene, where Curtis decides to go hunt the creature with Millie.  Wouldn’t he ask her?  Wouldn’t she tell him?  We keep waiting for someone (presumably either Curtis or Dr. Burton) to provide some knowledge on werewolf hunting.

 

  • Pg. 51. Typo. “Dr. Burton trots down an aisle of glass ages…”

  • Pg. 58-63. There are a couple of highpoints in the fight scene (the Sheriff’s heroic arrival and prompt death, Millie’s line of “Yes! Fuck you!”), but it’s a little lackluster at times. In our view, if a fight scene is going to last 4-5 pages, it’s got to really pop.

  • Pg. 64-65. The logic behind Officer Johns closing the crime scene is pretty weak, even for a horror script.

  • Pg. 70. Typo. “He jots into a notepad, the types into the computer.”

  • Pg. 72. Cute scene between Millie and Curtis, very delicate touch.

 

  • Pg. 83. Excellent death scene for Marty!

  • Pg. 85. This is the scene we’ve been waiting for the whole script – the werewolves attacking the high school party.  Nice payoff!

  • Pg. 89. Nice line from Krissy – “Oh, this is depressing.”

  • Pg. 90. Typo. “Patches is the first get up.”

  • Pg. 94. Millie’s motivation here is hard to believe. We tend to agree with Curtis’s perspective that Millie was just a bystander.  That said – we think it’s important that she have some believable motivation to finish this job and kill the last wolf.  It doesn’t necessarily require a big fix, we suggest working in a few additional details that make Millie more responsible, possibly even culpable, for Bobby’s death.

  • Pg. 95. Nice job working the movie title into dialogue – we love it!

  • Pg. 97. Intriguing twist, we definitely did not see this coming.

 

  • Pg. 100. Solid ending.

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