Media studies- Assessment 1
What is a thriller ?
When we first think of the word Thriller we instantly
think of a cinema movie and jumpy scenes. This is not
100% accurate but it has an element of truth.
• A thriller is a novel, play, or movie with an exciting
plot, typically involving crime or espionage.
• It is often seen as a person, thing, or experience that
creates a thrill or mystery to be solved.
• Thrillers tend to be psychological, threatening, mysterious
and at times involve larger-scale villainy such
as espionage, terrorism and conspiracy.
Different Types of Thrillers
Thriller is a broad genre of literature, film, and television programming
that uses suspense, tension and excitement as its main
elements. Thrillers heavily stimulate the viewer's moods, giving them a
high level of anticipation, ultra-heightened
expectation, uncertainty, surprise, anxiety and/or terror. Films of this
genre tend to be adrenaline-rushing, gritty, rousing and fast-paced
• Common subgenres are psychological thrillers, crime thrillers, erotic
thrillers and mystery thrillers. Another common subgenre of thriller is
the spy genre which deals with fictional espionage.
• The horror and action genres often overlap with the thriller genre.
he Key THEMES of a Thriller are categorised into five groups, these are:
Crime, Mystery, Psychological, Spy and Paranoia.
Who Done It
The protagonist(s) faces death, either his and/or her or somebody else's.
The main storyline for the protagonist is either a quest or a character that cannot be put down.
The film's narrative construction is dominated by the protagonist's point of view.
The force(s) of the antagonist's must initially be cleverer and/or stronger than the protagonist's.
The main plotline focuses on a mystery that must be solved.
All action and characters must be credibly realistic or natural in their representation on screen.
The two major themes that underpin the thriller genre are the desire for justice and the morality of
One small, but significant, aspect of a thriller is the presence of innocence in what is seen as an
essentially corrupt world.
Either by accident or their own curiousness, each character is dragged into a dangerous conflict or
situation that they are not prepared to resolve.
Characters include criminals, stalkers, assassins, innocent victims (often on the run), menaced
women, characters with deep dark pasts, psychotic individuals, spree
killers, sociopaths, agents, terrorists, police officers and escaped cons, private eyes, people involved
in twisted relationships, world-weary men and women, psycho-fiends, and more...
Codes & Conventions
n most thrillers the director wants to direct the audiences attention to what is being said, therefore there is no
background music. However when there is music it is often in the background, soft and almost eerie. This
builds suspense and makes the audience want to know what is going to happen next.
Mind of The Audience
From for Emotion
Camera is Not a Camera
Dialogue Means Nothing
Point of View Editing
Montage Gives You Control
Keep the Story Simple!
Characters Must Break Cliché
Use Humour to Add Tension
Two Things Happening at Once
Suspense is Information
Surprise and Twist
Pivotal reason for the suspense to occur
In order to gain a further understanding about how to create a thriller film click on the following link:
Prestigious film director, film producer and screenwriter.
30 July 1970 (age 43)
London, England, UK
Studied English Literature at UCL
Married to Emma Thomas with 4 children
Has received 11 career awards since 1998
Nolan’s years of education were very eventful and productive but once leaving UCL
Nolan directed corporate videos and industrial films. He began work on his third
short, Doodlebug (1997), about a man chasing an insect around a flat with a shoe
only to discover when killing it that it is a miniature of himself. This short
introduced ideas which Nolan would later incorporate into his feature films.
Nolan believes whether a small budget or a large budget the way he approaches every
movie is the same. He said “the only sincerity in film making is to make a film
that you would go see yourself”. “The way in which your mind has to be active
putting together shots of the sequence portrays that there is a very strong
relationship between memory and film”, An example of this is the film
‘Momentum’. This quote was said by Nolan as a response to the statement made
that he is very fond of psychological thrillers.
The Success Of ‘The Dark Night Rises’
THE SECOND BEST THRILLER MOVIE OF ALL TIME.
• Despite early concerns that it was “underperforming” after an
opening weekend that didn’t meet unrealistic
expectations, Christopher Nolan’s trilogy-ending Batman epic The
Dark Knight Rises rose above those early doubts and has now entered
the elite club of films with more than $1 billion in worldwide box
office to their name. In addition, the latest Batman movie also passed
the box office tally of its predecessor, The Dark Knight, in both foreign
box office and worldwide receipts.
• Current sitting at more than $1,011,011,000 in total global box office
returns, The Dark Knight Rises is a little more than $8 million ahead
of The Dark Knight‘s total gross. Helping the new film achieve that
success is a whopping $577.7 million in overseas receipts so far, easily
topping the previous movie’s $469.7 million foreign box office. Keep in
mind that The Dark Knight Rises just opened in China last
weekend, so those coffers are going to keep swelling for several more
• The film was a mix between an action and crime thriller.
Things people may want to know:
Top 5 thriller movies
1. The Sixth Sense
2. The Dark Night Rises
5. The Departed
• The differences in filming when it comes to Horror and Thriller
This short clip explains and shows us them...
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