ACTION ADVENTURE DRAMA SUSPENSE/THRILLER LGBT HORROR
On a family camping trip, along the shores of the bayou, five-year-old Billy is attacked and bitten in half by an alligator. He survives, but is never found. Twenty years later, he has become a creature known as Squish-Squash.
On a family camping trip, a mother watches her five-year-old son catch frogs by the shore. In the blink of an eye, he is grabbed by an alligator and pulled under. The mother searches for her son, but only recovers one sneaker. His foot is still in it.
A boat pulls away from shore carrying the remaining campers, park rangers, and Cody, Billy's brother. From the shore, Squish-Squash/Billy watches the boat leave, and then it turns and walks back to the swamp. Its hands in the mud making the familiar squish-squash sounds.
Based on a True Story
Plot - Premise
Overcoming Monster/Villain,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Tragedy
Plot - Other Elements
Mature Audience Themes
Extreme Violence,Nudity, Language/Profanity,Substance Abuse
Main Character Details
Age: 5 and 25
Key Traits: Aggressive,Complex,Crazy
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Charming,Complex,Engaging,Heartthrob,Seductive,Funny,Outspoken,Blunt,Sexy,Masculine
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Confident,Decisive,Faithful,Heartthrob,Romantic,Masculine,Sexy,Selfless
Additional Character Details
Age: 60 something
Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Complex,Crazy,Empathetic,Blunt,Outspoken
A mother and father take their sons on a camping trip along the shores of the Louisiana bayou, as they do each year. While seven-year-old Cody is with his father, his five-year-old brother, Billy is with their mother, trying to catch frogs. Her attention was turned for a moment when an alligator grabs Billy and pulls him under. He is bitten in half. His family searches, but they never find him. Billy survives his horrendous injuries, and spends the next twenty years becoming what the locals call Squish-Squash. A name given to the creature because of the sound it makes as it runs on its hands along the soft, muddy shore. A group of thrill-seekers camp deep in the swamps and find themselves relentlessly pursued by Squish-Squash. As the pursuit continues, one camper in particular, Cody, comes to the horrifying realization that the creature they are running from could be his brother.
ACTION, DRAMA, LGBT
Cody and Billy are young children taken on a camping trip by their parents. Billy is captured by an alligator and turned into a create known as Squish Squash. Years later, Cody is still reconciling with the loss of his brother and his recent camping with friends brings memories flooding back. However he can't help but think that he is being haunted by his memories because the creature stalking his friends might also remember him. Cody struggles to let go of what his brother has become but ultimately finds peace in the existence of Squish Squash.
Authors Writing Style: FAIR
Franchise Potential: GOOD
Accuracy of Book Profile
The profile generally focuses on the unique element of Billy transforming into Squish Squash when Cody is just as an important if not more coherent representation of the story. Making the summary more cohesive to Cody would better reflect the focus of the story. The development pitch could also mention marketable themes of the story within Cody and Billy's relationship to further improve the pitch to reflect the qualities of the story.
Draw of Story
The concept that there is a feral alligator monster that may or may not remember his brother twenty years later in the bayou is a fun and fresh monster dynamic.
There is a focus on the subplot between David and Cody's romance which distracts from the main conflict and slows down the pacing in the first act. Focusing more quickly and centrally on Squish Squash and Cody's dynamic and the attacks nearby is more enticing with stronger investment.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The hook is that a five year old gets attacked by an alligator and becomes a swamp monster who meets his brother after twenty years of survival.
This could have a huge fanbase if the side characters and subplots are more streamlined to focus on the monster or Cody and the monster's internal conflicts and character arcs.
Due to its monster move genre this is unlikely to gain nominations outside of popularity awards.
Similar Films/TV Series
THE POOL, BEOWULF, TUSK, CABIN IN THE WOODS, SWAMP THING, FRIDAY THE 14TH, CRAWL
What’s New About the Story
The dynamic between Cody and his former brother who is a swamp monster is compelling and focusing more on this development rather than the side character reactions would help streamline the main conflict in their relationship.
Cody is proud, confident and driven. Billy is afraid, adaptable and confused. David is skeptical and mostly supportive.
Uniqueness of Story
This is an awesome concept but gets tied down by the side character reactionary focus rather than the majority of the story being centered around the main conflict of the Squish Squash.
Film: Streaming, Indie, Studio
WORK IN PROGRESS
While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.
Tips for Improvement
By creating more three dimensional side characters connected to the main conflict there will be more emotional investment in each character. Also focusing on the main conflict more than the subplots earlier will adjust the pacing to be on par with the third act's swiftness.