ACTION ADVENTURE YOUNG ADULT SUSPENSE/THRILLER HORROR
Mark C. Spera
A 3 1/2 hour, 3 mile long traffic jam turned casual gathering of perfectly odd strangers transforms into a life or death race against time when a family’s disgruntled teenage daughter is snatched by a vicious urban legend monster with a discerning taste for abusive and misogynistic men.
A traffic accident strands hundreds of motorists on a highway in the Appalachian mountains. As time wears on people exit their vehicles to stretch and converse. One family's teenage daughter sneaks off to the woods for a toke with a new acquaintance and gets snatched by the urban legend Dwayyo.
The Dwayyo eventually meets its demise at the hands of an old enemy, but in turn saves Melanie when the it attacks and kills one motorist who's revealed to be a sadistic kidnapper of women. Everyone is safe and the beast is dead, until - howling - you didn't think there was only one - did you?
Based on a True Story
Plot - Premise
Plot - Other Elements
Mature Audience Themes
Main Character Details
Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Masculine,Blunt,Empathetic
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Funny,Lone Wolf,Criminal
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Charming,Confident,Decisive,Honorable,Leader,Masculine
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Complex,Empathetic,Naive
Snarl is an intense horror thriller (with laugh out loud moments), that weaves a unique take on the standard creature feature trope. Inspired by actual events, a 3 mile long, 3 1/2 hour traffic jam, and based on the real-life urban legend 'Dwayyo', the circumstances of the 'snarl up' are something we all can relate to. At its core however, the success of the script can be attributed to a very common theme that is carried throughout. That theme is: family. The story includes all types of families. - The Millers: a family on summer vacation trying to bond before the kids get too old. - Lionel and Marge: an older couple with the RV who has already experienced what having a family is like. - Matt and Kim: a young couple who are about to start a family. - Grover: The Dwayyo's old nemesis and someone who has lost family to the beast. Put all of these perspectives together and you have layered interactions between the characters involved in the circumstances they find themselves in. All of their perspectives on what family means to them directly impacts how they react to one another. They make the choices they make and contribute themselves because there is a common understanding that no matter what stage of family you are in, there is very little you wouldn't do to make sure your family is safe and alive. This effectively adds the heart that most horror scripts lack.
A family gets stuck on a highway waiting for a car crash to clear. The teenage daughter gets abducted by a monster. The monster, the Dwayyo, is a wolf man who lives in the Appalachian mountains, captures women and kills men. The teenage girl thinks she is rescued only to find out she's really in danger from her rescuer.
Authors Writing Style: EXCELLENT
Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT
Accuracy of Book Profile
Yes the book profile does reflect the script to a tee. It does list Franklin as the protagonist, when he doesn't seem like the main character, as this is more of an ensemble horror script. Either distinguishing him more as a main character with a clear inner conflict transformation or adjusting his category would better match his description between the script and the profile.
Draw of Story
The monster is introduced in cold open before being subtly explained through exposition in a seemingly unrelated situation. The transition is elegant. The hook is clear in the danger the dwayyo presents from the first scene.
No the entire script is electric with momentum and tension. The one logic hole seems to be that Grover states women aren't killed only men but he wants revenge for his little girl. It is unclear what happened between the monster and Grover losing his little girl if the monster only keeps females as treasures and does not cause them harm.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The hook is that there are hundreds of stranded motorist on the Appalachian highway as sitting prey for a folklore monster. There is the clear monster, assumed monsters and true human monsters within the tale.
This could have a huge fanbase with charismatic characters, family values, a fresh monster and an unexpected twist.
Due to the genre it is unlikely the story as a horror or thriller would get nominations for serious acting awards, but it could win a lot of popular awards.
Similar Films/TV Series
TRAIN TO BUSAN, A QUIET PLACE, WRONG TURN, HARD CANDY
What’s New About the Story
The originality of the story stems from the unique monster and Appalachian setting. By giving the characters more apparent inner conflict, the emotional attachment outside the main family bond could increase exponentially to its maximum potential.
David has perfected the embarrassing dad vibes with a secret heart of gold and bravery beyond what would be expected. Grover is resourceful and wise. Melanie is naive and unassuming.
Uniqueness of Story
Yes this is a rare gem of suspense, likeable characters with high emotional stakes and a clever monster commentary with a unique aesthetic and solid concept.
Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio
The pacing is excellent, the action lines elegant and the characters are all easily recognizable with distinct speech patterns. Like Train to Busan, the ensemble cast is introduced with small moments that quickly define characters, create emotional investment and establish character dynamics to create clear stakes later on. The monster is very marketable and there is not a lot to critique outside of possibly showing the transformation of inner conflicts to some of the more major characters.