With so many great scripts in contention, judging this new prize has been a tough process for us – but today, on the spookiest day of the year, we can finally announce the WriteMovies Horror Award 2019 winner!
But what was it that won us over in the end? What was it that impressed us, and what decided it? Here are the thoughts of our Director, Ian Kennedy, for all you horror writers out there…
Horror is hard to get right, but the rewards – both in terms of audience engagement and profitability – may be the greatest out there. But it’s a tough balancing act. Usually, a great concept is key to hooking us. But then, like with any other kind of script, it’s all about how you tell it.
Horror isn’t about gore, it’s about our fears. It’s not about action, it’s about dread. It’s not about entertainment, it’s about punishment. It’s not about what you say or show, it’s about what you leave unsaid and unseen. Here’s a wake-up call: we don’t empathize because someone’s a victim. We empathize because we care what happens to them. If we don’t care, we don’t feel fear or shock or anything. We just disconnect.
So manage our moods well. Involve us or intrigue us before you show us suffering. Make us care, before you introduce evil. And above all, give us an antagonist who has reasons that are creepily believable and maybe even right.
Build us up to the worst, don’t hit us with it: shock tactics only work when we’re immersed in a different ongoing story to the shock you’re about to surprise us with, or when something happens that goes way beyond our expectations to a totally worse level – but in a way we can still agree with.
So here it is. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the winner of the WriteMovies Horror Award 2019!
By David Axe
A big congratulations to David, who has won guaranteed pitching to industry, two sets of Development Notes, and continued script development from us! Well done also to all of our Honorable Mentions, who you can find listed below.
L. Andrew Cooper
|M – DEMON KILLER,
Mark William Hammond
|TOYS IN THE ATTIC,
William Sikorski Jr. & William Sikorski III
|SUNSHINE STATE: DUENDE,