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Best Screenplays From 8 Genre

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Originally published Aug 17, 22, updated Mar 27, 24

Be it a blockbuster movie, an indie gem, a play on The Fringe, or the West End - scripts are where it (usually) begins. Scriptwriters not only get to watch loads of TV and call it ‘work’ – they get to create new worlds, re-invent old ones, and give life to new voices.

In this article
  1. Why did we pick these films
    1. Best horror scripts
    2. Best comedy scripts
    3. Best Christmas play scripts
    4. Best promotional video scripts
    5. Best short drama scripts
    6. Best action scripts
    7. Best thriller scripts
    8. Best animation scripts
  2. Make your own short movie now

Part 1. Why did we pick these films?

When you look at the top-grossing movies at the box office, it's no surprise that they primarily consist of superhero movies made by big studios with big budgets. Black Widow is the top-grossing film of 2022 so far, with Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings a close second. In third place is F9: The Fast Saga, the ninth installment in the overwhelmingly popular Fast and Furious franchise.

reason of picking films

Sure, we'd all love to write one of those big blockbusters, but it's going to take a lot of blood, sweat, and writing to earn Marvel's trust. That's why I want to draw attention to the movie that is in fourth place: A Quiet Place Part II. The sequel to 2018's A Quiet Place has grossed over $160 million this year and still has three months to go. Why is this significant? I will explain.

As aspiring screenwriters, it is important for us to focus on markets where we can break through. Some genres don't necessarily require a huge budget or an A-list star to be successful, and that's good news. Making a movie is the beginning of the journey to getting hired to write a superhero movie.

Part 2. Scripts examples from 8 genre

Best horror scripts

1.     Annabelle


Writer: Gary Dauberman

Of course, horror scripts aren't all about gore and shocks. You have to know how to write even the quieter moments, like this great scene from the first Conjuring spin-off: Annabelle.  

The screenplay was written by Gary Dauberman and signaled his arrival as a sought-after Hollywood writer after several well-received B-movies. He favors the minimalist writing style of Walter Hill (The Getaway, Alien), with sentences either broken up within a paragraph or hugging the left margin, almost like bullet points.

Download the script here:

2.     Halloween


Writer: John Carpenter and Debra Hill

This script was written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill in just ten days (or three weeks, depending on which version you hear). Either way, it's a very short amount of time to create one of the greatest horror scripts of all time.

Part of its enduring appeal is the simplicity of its concept: A kid who murdered his babysitter escapes from a mental institution to pursue the babysitter and her friends, all while being pursued by his psychiatrist. This logline virtually writes the script itself, so in that sense it's no wonder Carpenter and Hill were able to knock it out so quickly.

Download the script here:

Best comedy scripts

1.     21 Jump Street

21 jump street

Writer: Michael Bacall, Stephen J. Cannell

The script of 21 Jump Street gives a new twist to the Buddy action movie genre by giving comedy equal weight to action. It takes the premise of the original TV show but flips the tone from straightforward action to offbeat comedy. Always think, “How can I subvert genres? How can I mix genres and create something new?

Overall, the script works because buddy movies are an important part of cinematic history — even if it's also a particularly American phenomenon. As film historian David Thompson notes, "You just wouldn't see three Englishmen behaving the way American men behave, who are really happiest when they're with other men."

Download the script here:

2.     The Edge of Seventeen

the edge of seventeen

Writer: Kelly Fremon Craig

How this amazing comedy drama script came about is a good example of a writer who punches above his weight. If you have a great comedy script and a favorite producer or director, there's nothing stopping you from sending it to them and seeing what happens.

That's exactly what new screenwriter Kelly Fremon Craig did when she sent a copy of the script to James L. Brooks, and he eventually became her mentor. As she says, “It was a crazy longshot I took at the beginning! And I never thought it would work. But I sent him the script and he ended up taking on the project.”

Download the script here:

Best Christmas play scripts

1.     A Christmas Carol – Large CastEvery man has the power to do good.

a christmas carol is large cast

Writer: Charles Dickens

When Scrooge's nephew Fred returns the letters Scrooge once wrote to his sister Fan, the past is unlocked, and Scrooge learns how his fear of poverty and pursuit of wealth cost him his chance at love and true happiness. (Note that a small cast version is available and listed below. The script is similar to the large cast version, but the production style is different.)

Download the script here:

2.     Angel's Poinsettia

angel's poinsettia

Writer: Sally Painter

Angel, a child fairy, learns a valuable lesson about caring for the sick when she runs away from home. Angel ventures into the human world, only her magic goes awry and she finds herself an unloved poinsettia plant. A homeless woman rescues Angel from a trash can and takes care of her back. Angel returns home with a greater appreciation for caring and caring for others. This skit takes approximately five minutes to complete.

Download the script here:

Best promotional video scripts

best promotional video scripts

1.     Announcement

A simple template best suited for short, straightforward promotional videos. It can jump right out of the digital noise and really grab attention.

The structure of the notification may vary depending on your purpose, but in general it is as follows:

• A short introduction

• Main Report

• Details

• Call to action

If you use voice-over, avoid turning the video into a lecture. Be brief and ask relevant questions (eg “Have you ever…?” or “Wouldn't you like to…?”) to make it sound more natural.

2.     Explainer

A short video (usually animated) that explains ideas, products, or services in a memorable way. There are three popular explainer video script formulas:

This template begins with a scene where a character is struggling with the same problem your audience is facing. Once you've established a connection, you present the solution, show how it works and the results it delivers, and wrap it up with a call to action.

Best short drama scripts


Author: Jean Blasiar

Type: One act, short acts, ten-minute plays

Genre: Comedy-drama, dramatic comedy

Cast: 2M

Ages of the actors: Approximately 30-40 years of age

Suitable for: All ages

a gift

In this ten-minute play for two actors, two young men meet on a train. One is a serious young man on his way to propose to his girlfriend, the other is a cynical loner who advises the former to escape the wedding while he can. The council backfires and an earnest young man sets out on a journey, leaving the recluse in this comedy-drama with a wonderful twist to his story.

Download the script here:

2.     A Walk in the Park – Short play for Seniors

Author: Stanley Dyrector

Type: Five-minute plays, short plays, dramatic sketches

Genre: Romantic drama

Cast: 1M, 1F

Ages of the actors: Both over seventy. The female can be older

Length: Five minutes

Set: A Park. Daytime in the present. It is a bucolic atmosphere in the middle of a city.

Level of difficulty: 6/10 – conversational, easy lines to remember and that also flow easily

a walk in the park

When Jack meets Esther in the park one day, he swears she looks familiar. Although Esther initially denies that she even knows him, she invites him to sit down and they start talking. Jack tells her a story about a girl he knew a long time ago, a girl he called "Essie", who helped him get over another girl who broke his heart a long time ago. A short five-minute game for seniors - one man and one woman.

Download the script here:

Best action scripts

1.     2 Guns

2 guns

Writers: Blake Masters (screenplay by) Steven Grant

This screenplay explores the relationship between two criminals – Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg – as they clash with U.S. border patrol in this fast-paced adventure.

Download the script:

2.     Casino Royale

casino royale

Writers: Robert Wade and Paul Haggis

Secret Agent James Bond sets out on a mission as 007 in a screenplay that can show writers how to keep audiences guessing.

Download the script:

Best thriller scripts

1.     PRIMER


Writer: Shane Carruth

Probably the least known of the thriller scripts on this list, this low-budget sci-fi thriller from 2004 has a plot so convoluted that most people need a schematic to unravel it, but that's what makes it so impressive.

After work on their matter-reduction device leads them to the accidental discovery of time travel, friends Aaron and Abe experiment with the results in a crazy crossing of time loops.

The peculiar nature of time travel is what makes this scenario interesting. The device must be turned on at the location you want to return to, so when you enter it hours later, you will be returned to that moment.

Download the script here:



Writer: M. Night Shyamalan

Night Shyamalan (not necessarily a name you'd expect on a list of 'thriller screenplays you should read') has been praised as much for THE SIXTH SENSE as he is criticized for everything that isn't THE SIXTH SENSE, but UNBREAKABLE is a film that ironically, it breaks the mold.

The film stands out in the now crowded genre by avoiding any cataclysmic showdown and instead focusing on a man unsure of who and what he is. Although David exhibits some potentially "super" powers, the story is vague enough that whether he's truly superhuman won't be entirely clear until later, and it's because of this that he's in a constant crisis of faith.

Download the script here:

Best animation scripts

1.     Cinderella(1950)

cinderella 1950

Writers: William Peet, Ted Sears, Homer Brightman, Kenneth Anderson, Erdman Penner, Winston Hibler, Harry Reeves, Joe Rinaldi

The money Cinderella made from its release, subsequent record sales, publishing, and merchandise profits provided Walt Disney with the opportunity to finance a myriad of projects including starting his own distribution company, entering television production, and creating Disneyland. In 1950, the production cost of Cinderella exceeded an incredible $3 million.

Download the script here:

2.     The Lion King(1994)

Writers: Brenda Chapman, Barry Johnson, Andy Gaskill, Kevin Harkey, Tom Sito, Rick Maki, Burny Mattinson, Lorna Cook, Gary Trousdale, Jorgen Klubien, Larry Leker, Ed Gombert, Mark Kausler, Thom Enriquez, Jim Capobianco, Chris Sanders, Joe Ranft, Francis Glebas

the lion king 1994

Like any child of the 90s, I admit to having a soft spot for The Lion King. The film was clearly heavily influenced by biblical stories, the Epic of Sundiatus and Shakespeare's Hamlet. It tells the story of Simba, the destined king of Pride Rock, who runs away guilt-ridden after "blaming" his father's death. The film is the highest-grossing hand-drawn film in history and won two Academy Awards for musical score.

Download the script here:

Part 3. Make your own short movie now

Have you ever stored various videos and photos on a memory card or on the computer? Why not create a movie to show them off? Once finish making a great movie, you can share it with others in a variety of ways including on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Your followers will be amazed at the extraordinarily delightful works. In fact, making a movie using your own photos, videos and audio is easy.

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The 4K editing support feature enables users to edit and export videos at a resolution of up to 4K. The GIF support feature allows importing, editing, and exporting of GIF files. The noise removal feature facilitates removal of unwanted background noise readily.

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Creating video content that can potentially go viral is no longer a complicated process that takes an enormous amount of time and effort. Each of the scripts we featured in this article offers more than enough brilliant scripts that are going to impress your target audience. Make your own short movies and script plays using Wondershare Filmora and checks out additional features explained in the article.

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Mar 27, 24
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