View Full Version : Hope Chest

01-01-2012, 07:42 PM
Trapped inside her hope chest, an abducted woman begs to be let out.

I'm going for a 100% trapped here. :)

01-02-2012, 08:57 AM

02-08-2012, 10:54 AM
Great title - I love irony. A good story with a few problems.


You ID one of the two men in the house as BOYFRIEND, but how is the audience supposed to figure that out? As shown, he could be her husband, her son or her brother for that matter. You need to somehow show their relationship and not just write it down and forget it like you've solved the problem.

I find it hard to believe that Hope doesn't recognize her husband before he clocks her. Maybe if he got her from behind, but not her running toward him.

It should be breaths, not breathes.

The twist at the end was good and it was nice to see cheating Hope get her just deserts. Wherever this town is, the cops need a lot more training!

Thanks for an entertaining read.

02-08-2012, 05:40 PM
- Is clothes?
- That first big block could be compressed to 3 lines.
- Why not give 'The Man' a name?
- I think this would be a challenge to film, but would look awesome.
- I can imagine the struggle with the cop. Is this the next Buried?
- I'm really not sure a piece of glass could dig through the box that easy, if so then she could just kick out of it.

Ah what a twisted ending. I thought for a second he was going to drive at the cops so they killed her. This could be paced to make a great thriller. Good Job!

02-08-2012, 06:08 PM
I really liked this. I had a lot of problems with it, but it made me feel something towards the end and that's a good thing.

There were a lot of unnecessarily complex sentences. Which led to confusing sentences ,which led to general confusion. Slowed the read a bit.

I can't say I cared to much about the twist or the girl or her relationship with her husband. Not that it was bad, but it was kinda ehhh.

However, I did love the interactions with the cops and everything happening OS. It was really tense not knowing whether it was the man that got shot or the cops. Or not knowing if the cops would be able to help her. A lot of tension and suspense and intrigue. I wasn't waiting while reading this. I wasn't waiting for something to happen. I was searching. I was looking for what would happen next.

It broke my heart in the end that she didn't survive. I was really thinking the cops' arrival was the signal that everything would be okay. This woman would be freed by the cops. But I was wrong. And it hurt me. In a good way. In a very good way. Great job. I know there's the possiblity that she can be saved by the cops. But when it comes to "hope", I steer more to the negative side.

And nice juxtaposition of the opening scene to the tone of the story. That's how it should be done. Don't show a perfect neighborhood or a perfect dad or a perfect son unless you're going to contrast appearances with reality. Or do something else interesting. Good job with the contrast.

I really liked this. I think this will be top 5.

02-08-2012, 06:11 PM
Comments provided as read.
Scores are 1-10
Ten is the best I ever read.
One the worse.

Hope Chest by Mobie540

Overall: 9
Character: 9
Plot: 9
Characters: 8
Dialogue: 9
Theme: _
Structure: 7
Originality: 8
Style/Quality of Writing: 9
Entertainment Value: 7
Cinematic Quality: 7
Synopsis: An Ex boyfriend traps her girlfriend Hope in her hope chest. He murders her lover and a cop.
He is going to bury her alive, but the cops shoot him. Hi truck rolls into a lake with the chest.
The girl may or may not be rescued - hence Hope, hoping, in a hope chest. :)

has the BOYFRIEND in a choke hold.
***Excellent camera visual, pan from bed to this.
Pg 2
***Did the last nail kill all light inside? If so how do we see inside?
The chest slides across a cement floor.
***No the rest doesn't take place inside the chest. Might have used INTERCUT:
***Gonna be a tough one to film. :)
picture framed photo of Hope with a Man
***Must be a lot of light

The rest read great! Loved the ending. Well done!

02-09-2012, 01:39 AM
Hi movie, thanks for the read.

Good idea. I liked how she was trapped.
I loved the anti-hollywood ending.
I like the message of the script.
A good trapped idea. Horrible to have it done.

Not so good:
I'm not a big fan of the Hope Chest and her name being Hope. I had to read a few times at the start to understand which brought me out.
Clumped action. You need to break it up into shots.
The dialogue needs work to not be so on the nose.
I guessed the husband.
How did the police know? They didn't pull him over and find something. Some how they knew.

Overall, a good effort. Needs more work and you'll have a good script. Well done.

02-09-2012, 07:25 AM
There is a lot of passive voice in this piece. Keep it active and present. There's a handful of other things that didn't work for me.


Just write INT. HOPE CHEST

as stated above, you can INTERCUT between the inside of the Hope chest and the action outside.

The character named Hope being trapped in a Hope chest bothered me. I'd give her another name.

So THE MAN is the husband. I'm assuming the Husband killed the boyfriend, but you tell me and don't show me.
The bit of light in the hope chest works until locations (outside) are changed, she rolls around in the hope chest. Why?

- The picture frame and blanket should be established before the Hope Chest is put in the back of a truck.
- The light itself would shift
- Hope can't possibly see through the crack. There's a lack of continuity there. Let me explain. She may be petite, but she's still a person. She would have to press her face against the crack to see anything. The crack itself isn't big. Which side of the chest is the crack on?

- So the husband has a gun. I guess the traffic cop pulled him over for speeding ? That wouldn't be enough for him to being asked to get out of the truck. But my question is this: the husband has a gun. Why not shoot his wife before he nails her in the Hope chest? She wakes up, wounded? If someone heard a shot or two fired, someone (a neighbor) could call 911 and/or give descriptions (offscreen) about the Truck and/or Husband. I'll assume a police video camera mounted on the cruiser picked up footage of Husband killing the police officer. How do they know where he is?

Not a bad attempt, but it feels rushed.

and I guess the truck's windows are rolled down and the opera at full blast?

Bill Clar
02-10-2012, 10:54 AM
"drive way" is one word.

When we meet Hope, you say she has a Colgate smile. When I think Colgate smile, I think white teeth. Does that mean she's smiling in her sleep with her teeth showing? It won't look natural on screen unless she's just waking up.

"On the floor is clothes from a fun night," this is inside information that only the characters know. If you want the audience to think it was a fun night, mention that undergarments are scattered across the floor.

"A gurgle and struggle take place in the room." This is heard, not seen. You have introduced the characters yet so I have to assume they're off screen. The gurgle is good. Now tell us what sounds of struggle we hear.

The fight between the man and boyfriend ends before we can comprehend what's occurring. Why not show the man entering the room and the initial confrontation? If you want to keep the pace tight, show the boyfriend sleeping comfortable next to Hope. Suddenly large hands grab him around the neck and pull him out of bed. Now, cut to the fight at the doorway.

Hope runs right at the Man? That's not a plausible reaction.


"pushed into the truck bed". We don't know it's a truck bed. We're in the chest with Hope and all we have to go on are the sounds she hears.

Several grammar errors.

You can use capitals to indicate sounds. It improves your white space and makes reading easier. For example, "Two gun shots. Then a thud. The sound of someone regaining
his feet." can be written as "TWO GUNSHOTS. THUD. A BODY RISES TO ITS FEET."

Great suspense with the police. What you can't see can actually be more frightening than what you do see.

I'm unsure of how to format what Hope sees through the peephole. It's a separate scene and new camera location so it may need its own slugline.

"Hope knows him, the realization hits her like a freight train." How will the audience know that Hope knows? What characteristics will Hope display? Eyes wide? Hand over mouth? Trembling?

I like your ending but its incomplete. Either show us Hope's triumph or demise. Don't leave it undecided.

All of my nitpicking stems from formatting issues and those are easily rectified.

Overall, you have a good, suspenseful story. Just focus on describing what we see or hear and not what the characters are thinking. Show us, don't tell us.

02-10-2012, 06:45 PM
Everyone thanks for the feedback and I like a lot of the suggestions and will implement them. Yes I really see some logic errors and will address those in future versions. I wrote it as a mostly auditory journey and wrote it as if I was going to make it, so rather than describe the noises, I just put what was going on.

One question for all of you, do you think it's more interesting to stay inside the chest or would be more interesting to cut in and out?

I need to get on the ball and start reading the others.

02-10-2012, 08:32 PM
I think being in the chest the whole time can be super freaky. And we'll be along for her ride.

02-11-2012, 09:27 AM
One question for all of you, do you think it's more interesting to stay inside the chest or would be more interesting to cut in and out?

Personally I'm not sure how, beside title, we would know the chest is a "hope chest" without the external visuals. I guess the bad guy could make a joke.
Yes, it would be more powerful all inside. By the way, saw another reviewer question the durability of the chest if she could so easily cut a hole in it. I agree.
Maybe she could pop a wood knot out - no tools needed? Enjoyed it - good luck with it.

02-11-2012, 07:20 PM
I guess I have mixed feelings about this one. I was bewildered at first and wasn't sure about what was going on so IMO p1 set up could be clarified. The small eye hole device was a stretch for me but I'm glad i suspended my disbelief because it was off to the races after that. From 3.5 onward, the tension build was outstanding. But alas, the ending disappointed. I was expecting something…well…unexpected and nothing was delivered. I had invested all this emotional energy in to Hope and she died on me without teaching me something or leaving some sort of legacy that I could take with me and say" She made a difference, I'll always remember her". Overall, there were some special moments here and I enjoyed the ride. Thanks.

Rustom Irani
02-20-2012, 01:09 PM
Your hope chest your rules. Give the darn thing a large keyhole covered by the fabric lining inside the chest and have her rip it to peep out to see all the action. In a one-on-one between shard of glass from a photo-frame and thick wooden wall of the chest, chest wins by TKO.

I'm guessing it's a wooden chest filled with plenty of air, so technically it'll float in the lake at the end, wouldn't it?

The only other niggle I have is her not being able to recognize her own husband?! I guessed it, coz' even random psychos need some motivation from their sordid pasts, and since you don't tell us much about him saving it for a twist, it doesn't seem plausible that she'd fail to realize it, even after being punched facing him.

Why make it a twist?

I think a lot more dramatic tension and fun can be had if she sees him kill her boyfriend and then begs for forgiveness but he's in no mood. There's your high stakes right there. It'll even solve your chest vs. out-of-chest scene issue, if she tries various tricks by talking with him and you cut back and forth.

She almost convinces him, but the cop shows up and she's no longer sorry but wants to get him killed. The more you make her reverse emotions the more we'll root for her to die or escape. It'll certainly be a lot more fun.

You have room to trim up some of the descriptions and pace this much smoother, especially with the cops arriving so randomly at the end. Even one line of OS dialog from the dying cop, "Need back-up, need back-up!" and then gunshots should do it.

This was a solid effort and stayed nicely to the theme, so great job there.

Eric Boellner
02-27-2012, 06:02 PM
The general idea is interesting enough, though it would really work better as a longer work than a short. Perhaps it's simply because you had so much to tell in so little space, but a lot of the description was confusing, particularly the struggle between the Man and the Boyfriend. You read the first action block of that scene and it's a woman sleeping in bed, and then the next two blocks are people fighting but it launches into that without any introduction or heads up that there are even other characters in this room. We're just suddenly watching this fight that we must presume is taking place in that room, if only because there hasn't been a new header.

There are some typos, some rough lines, some of the dialogue is on-the-nose, but the overall script reads fairly easily after the first page or so. You actually did a very good job of describing a lot of the sights and sounds from inside the chest, something that's really not easy to describe clearly and concisely.