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Escalation. It's probably not enough to have a great concept, a goal for the main character, or even a powerful theme. A story still has to go somewhere. That is, it must escalate from the circumstances set out at the beginning towards the final destination at the end. For example: something that starts small gets bigger; something that is moderately threatening becomes deadly. It's the difference between a film that makes you say "nothing happened" and one that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
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