Author Topic: Opening scene to a new Western/Horror idea.  (Read 4336 times)

Offline BaileyNeve

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Opening scene to a new Western/Horror idea.
« on: August 11, 2017, 11:51:11 PM »
Hi y'all! This is my attempt at a horror/western idea that I had. It's still really fresh so any and all criticism is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thanks so much!





A beautiful woman with jet-black hair, and wild blue-green eyes. She sits nestled up to a crumbly rock slide, illuminated by the orange light of a small fire. Her broken shadow dancing on the massive pile of rock. She is DELILAH LANCASTER.

A thick leather strap sits tightly pinned between her teeth. A cold sweat dollops her pale forehead. Her breathes are quick and shallow. Her face reads one expression: agony.

From the CU of her face, we travel down the length of her trembling body. She is clad in a tattered & torn clothing. We stop at her right leg. It's length is plastered with cactus needles, bunching at her thigh and thinning out at her shin.  Dark red blood seeps through her trousers. She pours the last of some whiskey on her leg with a groan.

We watch as she gingerly grasps a single needle with her shaky fingertips, and quickly plucks it from her flesh. Her leg kicks and convulses with pain.
We PAN UP to see her face wrinkled with torment.

We watch her face as she continues to excise the needles off-screen. Foamy saliva escapes from the corner of her mouth. The leather strap muffling her haunting wails of pain. A lone tear runs down her dirty cheek.

A title card:



Delilah powerfully strutting through a field of brush. A single revolver hangs in a leather holster, loosely on her her hip. A sawed-off shotgun hangs from a weathered cowhide strap across her back. A thin sackcloth satchel crosses the shotgun strap. She wears a large brown sombrero to shield her from the constant onslaught of the midday sun. Visibly tired, but undeterred, she pushes her way through the brush and out of frame.

She comes to a small, raised warp in the terrain, and hurries to the top.
Barren but beautiful, a vast desert lies before us. A plain of brush is dotted sporadically with cacti. She takes it all in and sighs a sad sigh.
We, again, observe our surroundings. We do a Sergio-Leone type quick-zoom of the far-distant horizon. A tired man gaits on his horse through the brush, wiping sweat from his brow with the back of his hand. He takes a swig from a canteen.
A slightly panicked expression smears her face.


She turns and runs out of frame.


Delilah walks through the middle of a dried up riverbed. She sweats profusely. She sits, resting her back on the bank. She rifles through her satchel and removes a leather bota bag, takes two sips, and replaces it.

Savoring the last bit of her short break, Delilah scans her surroundings. The change of expression on her face suggests she's found something of interest.

She rises absentmindedly, placing the bag back on her shoulder, her eyes still transfixed.
We follow her as she steps out of the riverbed, headed for a rock face. She steps to it's base, and caresses a odd type of rope. She tugs it roughly as loose pebbles and dirt dust her skin and hair. The rope seems sturdy enough to hold her weight. With one more good yank, the rope stays in place.
She tightens her shoulder strap, as well as the holster around her hip.

She grips the rope with her fists, then swings her legs up and firmly plants them onto the rockface. She begins her ascension.
Her feet lose traction every so often, propelling a cloud of dust from beneath them.
She rests intermittently, holding on for dear life with one arm, while giving the other a breather.

Powering through the last ten feet of the climb quickly she struggles over the lip of the cliff.

Delilah lies on her back panting, her spine askew from the shotgun beneath it.

She gatherers herself, gets to her feet, and dusts off her filthy clothing.

She observes her new surroundings and takes a long, deep breath. She grabs the rope and pulls it over the cliffs edge, resting it next to the rock to which it is fastened. She spots a clearing in a dense thicket and makes for it.


Delilah walks through a heavily shaded thicket of dried brush and brambles. A lightly beaten path guides her along.
She continues down the path, branches snagging and tugging on her clothes. Her face is alert, scanning for dangers. Her feet are silent as she stealths along the sandy floor.

She stops in the center of the trail, her eyes wide. She grasps the barrel of her shotgun, swinging it to aim in front of her.
We stand between her legs in a low angle shot, looking down the length of the trail. A lone human skull sits direct-center of the beaten path.

CU of Delilah:

Though shaded, the suns immense heat beats down through the overgrowth. Rivulets stream down her forehead. Her wild eyes dance in her skull, checking for peculiarities.

Exit CU

Still pointing the business-end of her sawed-off down the trail, she reaches down to touch the skull.
It's brittle surface crumbles at her gentle touch. She stands, and continues on.


It's slightly darker now, and the harrowing heat is starting to lessen.
She remains on the same path as before, still alert, wary of trouble. The trail widens, and Delilah slows her pace.

In front of her lies the mouth of a massive. At the top is an overhang covered in brush. From the overhang, thousands of human and animal bones are tethered, dangling over the edge at various lengths. Unlit torches sit on either side of the cave's opening.
Intimidating but seemingly abandoned.

Delilah takes a few cautious steps, stopping in the center of the clearing. Pointing the shotgun into the mouth of the cave, she tiptoes to the caves left side. She grips the torch removing it from its perch. She inspects it curiously, before replacing it.
As she does so, the distant slap of bare feet can be heard against the trodden sand. Quick as a whip, Delilah turns to face the noise.
Quick zoom on Delilah's beautiful eyes, glancing back and forth, scanning for danger. Quick zoom out.

An arrow whizzes by her right arm, grazing her shoulder, then embedding itself into the sandy rock behind her.
After a quick glance at her shoulder, she runs full pelt adjacent to the trail.

Skillfully traversing the terrain, Delilah doesn't so much as glance back. She is occasionally, narrowly missed by a stray arrow. The ominous loud footsteps follow her, as she continues to sprint.
An unearthly wailing screech reverberates through the brush. Delilah finally breaks, and without breaking stride, looks over her shoulder.
We see two large, shadowy figures bolting in our direction, closing in on Delilah.

Still running full steam, Delilah takes at aim at one of the figures with her shotty. She fires, sending bad news to who/what ever is on the other side.
The same wailing screech is heard, accompanied by the dull THUMP of a body hitting the ground. Delilah continues on like the prettiest locomotive you ever saw.

Suddenly, a huge naked, hulking figure blindsides Delilah, knocking her clean off her feet and into the rock-face. She squeals as she makes rough contact with the cliff. She lands hard onto a steep-slope as she begins to slide down it.
She desperately tries to dig her fingers into the loose sand, but to no avail. She continues to slide, until there's nothing left to slide on. She falls fifteen-feet, landing brutally on her stomach. Her leg snags on a beast of a cactus.


Delilah shows for the first time, that she is human. She wails in pain, grasping for breath, body jarred awkwardly. Her firearm lies close by.
Delilah struggles to fill her lungs, but calms herself down quickly.

She regains herself with deep, grated breaths.

CU of Delilah's face:

Delilah grits her teeth, flares her nostrils, and furrows her eyebrows. We hear a nausea-inducing sound of flesh separating from the cactus. She lets out a haunting scream as she does so, off-screen. Once separated, she rolls onto her back, and catches her breathe once more.
Aside from Delilah's pained painting, it is eerily quiet. After a short while, she collects herself, then reaches for her shotgun. Once in hand, she sits upright, wincing as she scoots on her ass toward the cliff.

She rests her back on the cliff, slouched. Her bota bag has managed to stay across her body. She takes off the top, tilts her head, and empties the reservoir into her throat. She wipes the last bits of water from her lips. She sets the bag down, with a heavy sigh.
She takes hold of her shotgun, snaps back the barrel, rummages through her satchel, and replaces the empty chamber with a shell. She snaps the barrel back into place.

Looking up from tending to her gun, she stiffens. Standing tall is an extensively-tattooed, native american-esque, man. He stands at well over six feet tall, heavily built. Fragments of bone have been stitched into his skin, accessorizing the tattoo's. His hair is a long, black, tangled mess, coming to his shoulders. His face has been cut, stitched, and implanted with bone fragments.

Delilah slightly quivers, while slowly raising her gun.
It raises his tomahawk, and screeches, sending a shiver down our spine.

It bolts in Delilah's direction. It's tree-trunk like legs carry him incredibly fast.

Before it gets anywhere near Delilah, she squeezes the trigger twice, emptying both chambers into his chest. Without a sound, it falls face-first into the dirt before it's corpse slides to Delilah's left. It's horrifying face can be seen close up. Void of life and full of cruelty, it lay lifeless, jaw-gaped. Delilah looks at it in disgust as a spaghetti western theme begins to play.



As the credits end, the spaghetti western theme swells to a sorrowful crescendo, then:



  • Guest
Re: Opening scene to a new Western/Horror idea.
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 11:57:00 AM »
As an idea for a screenplay, it's not easy to offer constructive advice.

Your opening paragraphs read like instructions to the cameraman and crew rather than a movie script. It's not the script-writer's job to choose the camera angles. You're also not meant to specify the exact physical attributes of your leading lady. Casting will do that for you. Your job is to write a script - i.e. dialogue - through which the story unfolds and your characters interact. So far we have one character and she speaks one word of dialogue so you see my problem.

On a separate note, it's intensely annoying when you keep telling us what ]b]'We'[/b] do at every point during the narrative, since you can't possibly know whether I'm watching the movie or searching for my popcorn.

If you intend writing a screenplay/film script, I suggest you read some sample scripts first (there are hundreds available for free on the internet) before trying to write one. You could have the most original idea ever, but if you can't handle memorable dialogue or have it bring your characters to life, it will remain an idea.


Offline Hunter

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Opening scene to a new Western/Horror idea.
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2017, 12:00:37 AM »
Don't write camera angles unless you are directing it yourself.
Your action lines are too long. Shorten them. Don't have paragraphs
that are more than 4 lines at least. Have them at 3 lines or less. Readers
will be turned of by huge action line paragraphs. I've learned a lot on a group
Page an Facebook. They will definitely help you out a ton as they have helped
Me. Keep writing and good luck! Remember, white spaces on your pages are
Your friend😉

Offline bachelor567

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: Opening scene to a new Western/Horror idea.
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2018, 10:59:29 AM »
i agree with what has been allready pointed out and just add technical stuff:

i estimated 12 minutes of screen time.

the bad:

-the amount of detailing a character, lighting camera action
and bending every crew to your "rules" is overwhelming .

- the big chunks in the action section discourage me from reading it.

-if it made it to the screen we'd be watching
a girl, injured and roam, climb, enter a mysterious cave where she finds
human remains, attacked by a giant creature

- i'm not sure i got it right. i'm confused and i won't read it again i'm sorry.
-locations- i easily forgot these. maybe because of the mental effort i needed to read these action lines.

key moment lost in action sections-
find it if you able to and make sure we see it too.

-no clear motivation. the girl is a ghost  i don't know who she is, what she's doing and why.
if it's there i'm sorry for missing it. find it in this huge action mess and make sure i won't miss it again.

-backtrack, why? backtracking in 12 minutes screen time?
god no. just move along it's nothing special.

like i said before i won't read it again unless Spacing and Style applied.
i'm sorry if i was too brutal, it's your own fault. take what matters and grow better.