**************The REVIEWS are in on SPONTANEOUS HUMAN COMBUSTION***************
“This script was tight, well-structured and surprisingly entertaining for a largely one-location story. The only reason I say "surprisingly" is for exactly that reason. The Writer here has managed to keep things interesting largely through character play, and long scenes of dialogue / conversation kept my interest throughout.
Some research into Buddhism ; Christianity obviously took place for this piece. The location being "Dante's Diner" and it being some kind of allegory for hell was noted, and well handled. Maybe not hell, but purgatory? It certainly felt like a metaphor. And the Tyll character seemed like some kind of Angel of Death. Tyll also reminded me of Silas (sp?) from Angels & Demons. A sort of evil agent of God.
The strongest element from this script was probably the dialogue. The dialogue read naturally and there while there were a handful of extraneous words here are there, generally I thought it was great.
Also strong was the world building. From the bank to the diner, I felt completely absorbed in the moment. While some of the descriptions were fairly sparse, I was able to build the world in my head without much contradiction as it continued forward.
The use of flashbacks was effective, and appropriate for the style of script. Once we get to the diner, it's a good time to get to know more of the backstory. But also, it's nice that we got there so quickly. Once we establish this is where the characters are going to remain, it becomes a nice microcosm. The metaphorical death of trying to leave the diner was also effective. From my perspective, a sort of processing through this layer of hell, or breaking free from the purgatory. Or maybe it was that they were trying to break free before they were truly ready to ascend. The allegory of the alchemy seemed to be the theme here. And from my interpretation, the main characters were 'melted down' and turned into a purer form.
I did enjoy this read, and thought the few locations were particularly well handled... Bank robbery is well written, but I just say this in terms of cutting production costs. The theme engaged me, and got me thinking... ”
“I grabbed this script because of the logline. It definitely has a great hook. The concept based on the logline alone worked for me on several levels. You start with a bank robbery, which is always fun on-screen, then end up in a roadside diner where everyone begins bursting into flames. Nice. Plus, you've got the mysterious evil presence, which I know will require a slow burn to figure out who they are and why this is happening.
Let's start with ACT ONE. For me, this was the best part of the script. You're a skilled writer, and your talent is very apparent from the first page. The bank heist is very cinematic, the characters are well-defined, and the dialogue is on point....
So now we move on to leaving the bank, jumping in the food truck, and joining the funeral procession. Loved all this. It's a cool escape plan that would play very well on-screen.
The cops pursue, find the funeral procession, and sense that something isn't quite right here. And then immediately everyone ends up at Dante's roadside diner. Cool, I'm all in.
Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention the prolong with Tyll and the old man. That was a nice touch and obviously pulls us into the theme of the movie.
The tension of the script builds nicely inside the diner as we meet each character and watch them interact as they burst into flames one by one. The contained nature of the setup would obviously enable you to make this for a budget and would produce a unique cinematic experience.
The first two acts really had me hooked. There was obviously a lot of history between several of the characters, and I desperately wanted to know who or what Tyll was. It seemed pretty apparent he must be the devil or the equivalent, but I was waiting for his motives to be revealed. And I especially wanted to know what was in that safety deposit box.
Again, your writing is really amazing. You paint a very clear picture, creating a rich atmosphere and directing on the page without any camera movements. Well done.
...It was ultimately very skillfully executed and surprising... the final scene was intriguing and satisfying.”
BREFNI O'ROURKE is a New York based screenwriter actively marketing all of his materials for possible sale or option. He is the author of more than 50 original feature-length spec screenplays, primarily within the action, suspense-thriller, and horror genres. The "cinematic Brefniverse" includes:
"The Awning", a supernatural thriller, was a quarterfinalist in the 2023 WeScreenplay Feature contests. It was named a finalist in the 2022 Story Pros International Screenplay Contest and has been awarded a Coverfly badge of - Top 6% of discoverable projects. In March of 2023 it made the Red List as the # 8 ranked thriller screenplay.
"Wake", a psychological thriller, was recognized as a semifinalist in the 2022 Creative World Awards. It was recognized as a quarterfinalist in the Final Draft/Big Break Contest (top 10% of entries) and the American Zoetrope contest. It has been awarded a Coverfly badge of being among the top 22% of discoverable projects.
"Descendancy", an action-thriller, was recognized as a Quarterfinalist in the Script Lab - TSL Free Screenplay Contest 2022 and has been awarded a Coverfly badge of - Top 18% of discoverable projects.
"Moving Day", a supernatural thriller, was recognized as a quarterfinalist in the 2015 Final Draft/Big Break Contest. It has been awarded a Coverfly badge of being among the top 34% of discoverable projects.
"Panopticon", an action-thriller, was selected as a "Notable Project" by Amazon Studios (one of only 50 projects recognized as such).
"God's Work", a supernatural action thriller was optioned by The Ferla Consulting Group.
"Threshold", a horror-thriller (cowritten with Elizabeth Rowin and Greg DeRochie) was optioned by Contribution Films. (http://www.contributionfilms.com/threshold.html).