Help with Detective/Horror combo genre please!

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  • Help with Detective/Horror combo genre please!

    I've laid the groundwork for a piece wherein the antagonist is a man who hides behind a horrific mask as he sets about his business of twisted moralistic death. His crimes are set upon by two Detectives, with a new take on the clich├ęd "HOTSHOT- / "VETERAN- team. So my questions are:


    1) What script/film might be in the Detective/Horror combo genre? Right now all I have is "Se7en.- This is an important point as the murderer is no fantasy "Friday the 13th- Jason creation but exists in the real world. To put it another away, I want no special effects -- this guy creates his own merciless reality.



    2) One of the key elements of a Detective story is the mystery that must be maintained as the Detective works backwards to expose the criminal. But in my case, part of the horror of the story is the glimpses we catch as the killer goes about his evil work. For a loose analogy, think of "Jaws- or "Alien- where there's never a "full reveal- of the creature until the very end. This heightens the ultimate impact when the unadorned visual of the murderer's M.O. is finally seen. So if in my story we in fact - glimpse - the murderer at work...how do we maintain the mystery that must be unraveled in the Detectives' discovery process?



    3) I have a solid story going but to make sure I fill in the basics, I've ordered up (yes...) Truby's "Detectives, Crime Stories and Thrillers Audio Course.- And again, I'm using the "Se7en" template. Any other resource suggestions would be appreciated as the story transcends the genre as of right now but must rest on a solid Detective Story foundation.


    Thank you for any and all input!

  • #2
    Re: Help with Detective/Horror combo genre please!

    Sounds like a good script. I wrote one similar that got positive coverage at the Robert Evans Corp and is in play with a DTDVD prodco. For films, you should check out:

    THE BONE COLLECTOR

    ZODIAC

    SKELETON KEY

    MASTERS OF HORROR: JOHN CARPENTER'S CIGARETTE BURNS (all of the Masters of Horror are on Netflix Instant and many of them are great)

    THE COLLECTOR (not much detective work, but it has a "real" horror villain)

    SAW II

    ANGEL HEART with Mickey Rourke is good.

    If you can get your hands on the script for THE KILLING ON CARNIVAL ROW, I hear it's really good in that genre.

    SMASH TO:

    BLACK

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Help with Detective/Horror combo genre please!

      Dexter the series may be of interest.

      Of course the original Silence of the Lambs

      Non-supernatural horror is tough to find because the reality is, reality trumps any imagination when depravity against another human is concerned.

      oh, another one, can't recall the title, but it was a movie on USA Network about a guy who chained women to cement blocks in a lake.
      Words... they don't arrange themselves.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Help with Detective/Horror combo genre please!

        @MontanaHans -- Yes! "Angel Heart" -- that movie had a disturbing undercurrent that really got to me. And I think you hit the nail on the head with "Zodiac." That's now on my (old skool) Blockbuster DVD rental list! I, a-hem, found the Carnival Row PDF. And even though that is (much) more of a fantasy take than what am after, I will give it a read consdering its "spec" success.
        @Rathmon -- "Silence of the Lambs" -- yes, Hannibal Lector, the example of a murderous villain firmly grounded in reality who does things in plain sight -- exactly what I'm looking for. Although in this case, he was the evil "ally" of Jodie Foster -- a masterful piece of writing...and my character moves more in the shadows...even though when he does, we are there with his P.O.V.

        Thanks, great stuff. keep it coming!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Help with Detective/Horror combo genre please!

          Fallen.
          "Only nothing is impossible."
          - Grant Morrison

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Help with Detective/Horror combo genre please!

            MANHUNTER
            SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

            As for your questions - you are working backwards. Don't do that. Don't create conditions and then try to shoe-horn in a character and story. Start with character and story.

            And in JAWS, we may not see 100% of shark until the Estuary scene about halfway into the film, but before that we learn all about the shark and its motives from Hooper, who explains hunting territories (etc) at length... and even though we may not see the shark's entire body until that halfway point, we see the shark killing in the first scene, and see it's mouth biting the little Kintner boy in a long shot maybe a quarter of the way into the story. The shark is *there* and killing people and there are discussions of his motives for doing this long before that Estuarty scene.

            - Bill
            Free Script Tips:
            http://www.scriptsecrets.net

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            • #7
              Re: Help with Detective/Horror combo genre please!

              @instant_karma -- yeah, I see your point with "Fallen" but in my case there is no supernatural mumbo jumbo -- this killer's M.O. is horrifically stylized and set within the bounds of reality. Either way, I'll put the DVD in the queue, thanks!
              @Bill -- yup, you handily pointed out one of my (past?) weaknesses as in -- fall in love with a really inventive device / situation then fashion a story and character around it. Having made that mistake (many times) in the past, I hope I have it set up where the killer's M.O. organically forms from character as he carries out, in his own mind, the moralistically lethal campaign. Being a fan of Michael Mann, I'll put "Manhunter" in the queue, thanks!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Help with Detective/Horror combo genre please!

                Originally posted by YakMan View Post
                1) What script/film might be in the Detective/Horror combo genre?
                Most of Dario Argento's oeuvre.

                Or any Italian giallo...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Help with Detective/Horror combo genre please!

                  Good call Sherbert!

                  THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE is a personal favorite of mine.

                  SMASH TO:

                  BLACK

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Help with Detective/Horror combo genre please!

                    Dario Argento...sexe, violence et foie de veau!!! Italian Spaghetti horror! Okay, I'll give it a go..."Suspiria"???

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6zJGUUiG0c&NR=1

                    I knew I'd eventually give myself nightmares writing this!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Help with Detective/Horror combo genre please!

                      Originally posted by YakMan View Post
                      Dario Argento...sexe, violence et foie de veau!!! Italian Spaghetti horror! Okay, I'll give it a go..."Suspiria"???

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6zJGUUiG0c&NR=1

                      I knew I'd eventually give myself nightmares writing this!
                      I don't think any of the "Mothers" triology really fits what you're going for here, but SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and SE7EN seem to be the obvious choices.
                      "All of us trying to be the camera behind the camera behind the camera. The last story in line. The Truth" Chuck Palahniuk - Haunted

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                      • #12
                        Re: Help with Detective/Horror combo genre please!

                        Yeah, Suspiria - great as it is - isn't one of his "detective" movies...

                        ...although saying that, the heroine still has a mystery to figure out

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                        • #13
                          Re: Help with Detective/Horror combo genre please!

                          Yeah, Kermet Key, you are right about those choices - and - Sherbet, would "Tenebre" be a better reference for the "giallo" detective sourcing?

                          Thanks, again!!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Help with Detective/Horror combo genre please!

                            Yeah -

                            The Bird with the Crystal Plumage
                            Cat o'nine Tails
                            Four Flies on Grey Velvet
                            Deep Red
                            Tenebre
                            Sleepless
                            The Card Player

                            Any of those - Deep Red is often considored the ultimate giallo...

                            And Mario Bava's Blood on Black Lace which was one of the first.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Help with Detective/Horror combo genre please!

                              A VERY salient comment from IMDb on "Deep Red":
                              "Co-writer Bernardino Zapponi said the inspiration behind the murder scenes came from Argento and himself thinking of painful injuries that the audience could relate to. Basically, not everyone knows the pain of being shot by a gun, but everyone has at some point accidentally struck furniture or been scalded by hot water."

                              That's another tip for me to keep in mind -- and strangely enough, I was already incorporating.

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