Taken me a while to get around to getting back to this. I was halfway through reading this script and I got a little disheartened.
Not because it was so awful – but because it was just ok. The 3rd script of 6 and none of them were really that great. Which is a bit odd given that these are the finalists in a competition of thousands of scripts. I’d also read some stuff online slagging off PGL – that it’s just an excuse for a reality show and that the winners are more or less set up to fail. I guess that took the shine off it a little. Someone also suggested that because in the early rounds competitors have to review each other’s scripts that there’s an inherent reason why the mediocre rises to the top – people don’t vote for stuff that’s better than their own work.
So having put the script down halfway through it was hard to pick it up again.
But then I checked the website and the 6 are reduced to the final 3 this Tuesday.
And so –
A Bedtime Story is a story of love, witchcraft, wicker men and other monsters. A couple are just getting ready to go out, the baby-sitter has just arrived to take care of their two kids. The house is attacked by monsters – wicker men and some kind of giant bug. The kids manage to trap the bug under the bed but the parents are killed. During this action the young girl is reading from a storybook written by her aunt who we find out later is a witch. The storybook magical changes to describe the action going on in the house.
We forward to years later – the girl Samantha has become obsessed with the events of that night and the book. It predicts that if she doesn’t find her true love before her 25th birthday bad things will happen. She tracks down the baby-sitter from that night – cos she believes he’s the one. Slight problem – he’s now a priest. Meanwhile the monsters start to attack again – but now we have a new kind of monster – ‘buckle eyes’ – a human with a leather face mask and buckles where the eyes should be. So we have the wicker men, buckle eyes, Sam’s now a witch and some mysterious force behind it all.
So as I hinted at the top – this was another ok but not great script. Again I felt the tone was muddled. I couldn’t help feeling the writer wanted to write a romantic comedy and fit the horror aspects in because the competition required it. In the end we’re left with something that’s not that funny, not really romantic and not that scary – though it probably succeeds most in the later category. It’s got the most complicated mythology of any of the scripts so far and so there’s quite a lot of exposition – which is not helped by the fact that I found the dialogue flat and uninspiring – in particular what should have been witty sexy banter between Sam and the priest wasn’t.
I do think that the writer had a strong visual imagination and some of the monster sequences were well described. Also it’s the one so far that I can most easily imagine being made on the PGL budget.
The next script is call “Does Anyone Here Remember When Hans Gubenstein Invented Time Travel?”