Writing the Horror Film…

About three years ago, a producer approached me to write a horror film for his production company.

“Horror?” Was my response. He knew me as a sci-fi writer. “Well, let me tell you, I just did a horror film and it already made it’s money back in pre-sales overseas,” he replied, confident I would get on board.

I told him I don’t write slasher films or screaming teens running through the woods kinda films. He laughed at my ignorance. “That’s so 80s. Why don’t you check out some of the more recent films in the genre.”

So I did, and I still was not impressed. But I did note, they were smarter films than the stuff of my youth. So I considered, talked to Judy about it and we agreed we’d give it a try.

What’s so interesting about writing a horror film is the structure. Now all scripts are structured, infamously known as the “3 acts” which most films do follow. But horror is unique in that the structure is weaved together with violence and fear levels. There’s certain beats that must be matched with the level of fear. You can see it any horror film. What amused me the most were the bad films: All of a sudden, the lead characters make just stupid decisions or start screaming uncontrollably because that’s the level of fear and violence they had to achieve.

We kept that in mind when we wrote Blood Pledge. Every action had to be justified and follow logically from the story. It’s challenging for sure. As the writer, your choices are narrow because you must maintain the fear and then elevate it.

Hopefully, we achieved that.