Go Fish by Kirsten James | Script Revolution

Go Fish

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10pp

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It's the 1930s, two ten year old boys spend the evening in the family hunting cabin, playing cards and drinking beer. It seems like fun until the reality of the day catches up with them.
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Reviewed on Simply Scripts by Ingrid Short.

This Script Has Been Reviewed By Shootin' The Shorts

GO FISH
Two ten year old boys spend the evening in the family hunting cabin, playing cards and drinking beer.
It seems like fun until the reality of the day catches up with them.

When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once famously stated: ‘The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself’, it applied to a time when the world was on the verge of being fully engulfed in the flames of conflict. It was about reminding people that if they can stay calm and manage their fear, that they will overcome the horrors of war.

But if you were to apply this quote to a horror film or monster movie, it takes on a different meaning; it becomes a fascinating anachronism when embodied by the central protagonists and how they cope with fear itself.

It’s night. It’s the 1930s. Meet Henry and Samuel, two 10-year old boys, camping out in a remote hunting cabin. Both are covered in blood and mud while surrounded by creepy stuffed animal trophies ghoulishly adorning the walls of the cabin. It’s unclear why they are there and why they’re in such a bedraggled state. But one thing is clear… they enjoy playing GO FISH, and love it even more, when the winning player gets a turn at sipping from a large bottle of beer.

Henry throws his cards back on the table and grumps.

HENRY
Five.

Samuel gathers the cards then picks up the bottle.

HENRY
Can I have a little?
 (beat)
Since I ain’t had any yet?

SAMUEL
You won yet?

HENRY
No.

Samuel eyes Henry as he takes a large mouthful.                 

Such is the way with young boys. Sometime all that matters to them is winning the game, and earning the right to brag… or drink the beer! But sometimes the game itself is a distraction.. From what or why isn’t directly addressed at first.

That in many ways is the beauty of Go Fish. You can feel an undercurrent of eeriness in the first few pages. It makes you feel unsettled, as you know there’s more to this picture than meets the eye.

Sure enough, the truth reveals itself with a sudden ferocity that comes and goes with the snap of a finger – or, would that be a claw?!? Suddenly you realize why the boys are bloodied and covered in muck, as they’ve been fighting off things that go bump in the night.

The brilliance of this script is in telling this story from the perspective of the boys. On the surface, they treat the horror no differently than one would cope with a pet gone rabid. They do not fear for the sake of fear itself, but as most inexperienced kids do, they just get on with things. Distract themselves with the fun of games, joshing each other, yappin’ about girls, and of course the glory of beer.

Kirsten James’ Go Fish is a truly unique and innovative story that blends the scariness of monster movies with how children cope with trauma - in a way that will leave you satisfied and really wanting to see more of this world she’s fashioned into narrative.

For filmmakers out there seeking to make a movie that oozes atmospheric potential, and also allows them to creatively explore a new and original take of a familiar genre, then look no further.

GO FISH and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you catch!

Review by Jeremy Storey

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Kirsten James's picture

The Writer: Kirsten James

Kirsten is an aspiring screenwriter in her early 40’s, originally from NZ, living in the USA. She started writing short stories 2 years ago, and after a year learned that she was more geared to writing scripts. Kirsten has a degree in psychology and finds this a great asset to her writing. Go to bio

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