Don’t Paint With Fire: A Slasher Screenplay

This week I finished the first draft of a 1981-inspired slasher called DON’T PAINT WITH FIRE. It’s a story of the horrific havoc that explodes after a group of rowdy artists, while at an art residency in the rural US, prank an unsuspecting artist and how one girl in particular, Magnolia, becomes the final target in a bloody game of cat and mouse. Like a classic Final Girl, Magnolia must conquer her fears and the horror of witnessing her artist friends dying around her before it’s too late–before she becomes the next gruesome victim.

My research for this film was a heavy dose of slasher movies, including Intruder, The Burning, Just Before Dawn, Madison County, Detention and more. I also read Dean Koontz’s The Funhouse and Richard Laymon’s Island. I wanted to write a movie that would pay honest homage to the slasher tradition and, at the same time, elevate the tradition, to create a memorable and satisfying killer with a compelling reason to kill. Also, I wanted the artist-characters to be unique in their own ways, and especially Magnolia, a strong female lead who struggles against herself and the unfolding situation. This is not a parody or a satire of the genre. It was written with a real love of slasher movies.

I’ll be revising this script from today and hope to list it on InkTip quite soon. It will also be going to the hands of a few great directors that I know, but if you are an industry professional or someone potentially looking to shoot a slasher movie and would like a copy, please get in touch.

I’m planning on writing three more scripts this summer and have already begun outlining the next one, a human monster thriller. The other two will probably also be slashers. Slasher movies are in my blood and they flow through my fingers with care, with that exciting butterflies-in-the-stomach sensation that one gets when a story takes off on its own, when characters take over. And I feel that there is so much to contribute to the genre, so many ways to explore this most excellent scaffold.

Here’s to productivity. Here’s to the beauty of the slasher.

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