What is a Thriller? A film is represented as a thriller when the storyline gives the audience thrills, and keeps them on the ’edge of their seats’ as the plot builds up towards the climax. The tension is usually built up by a character being placed in a life frightening situation, a mystery, or a trap which seems impossible to escape. A Thriller is used in film and television to create suspense, excitement and tension. The most common use of this subgenre to thriller are mystery, crime and psychological thrillers, however there are also many other subgenres. Thriller is also very closely matched with the horror genre, To which both use suspense and atmosphere to cause feelings of terror in their audiences.
What is the typical stereotypesused in a thriller? Thriller is a genre of fiction in which tough, resourceful, but essentially ordinary heroes are pitted against villains determined to destroy them, their country, or the stability of the free world. Part of the allure of thrillers comes from not only what their stories are about, but also how they are told. High stakes, non- stop action, plot twists that both surprise and excite, settings that are both vibrant and exotic, and an intense pace that never lets up until the adrenalin packed climax. There is also use of life threatened during a thriller film, as the main character is usually accidentally or mistakenly involved in an extremely dangerous situation. The common plots in crime thrillers are ransoms, revenge and kidnappings, which are expanded on for the effect on the audience.
1960-80’s One of the most well known and popular thriller films is ‘Psycho’ which was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and was produced during 1960. This film is a psychological thriller based on the American 1960‘s time period. The film was modified from the1959 novel which was written by Robert Bloch also called ‘psycho‘. Both the film and novel are based on the cases on convicted serial killer Ed Gein, this therefore allowed the directors of the film to secondary the film with other genres such as horror, drama and mystery, as well as the thriller. One of the most well known and popular thriller films is ‘Psycho’ which was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and was produced during 1960. This film is a psychological thriller based on the American 1960‘s time period. The film was adapted from the1959 novel which was written by Robert Bloch also called ‘psycho‘. Both the film and novel are based on the cases on convicted serial killer Ed Gein, this therefore allowed the directors of the film to associate the film with other genres such as horror, drama and mystery, as well as the thriller.
1990’s-2000’s The decade started with Rob Reiners Misery (1990), based on the book by Stephen King, with Kathy Bates as an disturbed fan named Annie who terrorizes, in her care, an incapacitated author named Paul (James Caan); in one horrifying scene, she hobbles his ankles so that he cant escape, a battered wife who left her sadistic husband to find a better life was vengefully pursued in Sleeping with the Enemy (1991), Curtis Hansons The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992), with Rebecca De Mornay as a nanny intent on seeking revenge against her dead obstetrician husbands patient (Annabella Sciorra), Unlawful Entry (1992) with Ray Liotta as cop being obsessed with a woman he saved, Barbet Schroeders suspenseful Single White Female (1992), with Bridget Fonda and her obsessed roommate- from-hell Jennifer Jason Leigh, Harold Beckers Malice (1993) with Alec Baldwin and Nicole Kidman Anthony Minghellas psychological thriller The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) with Matt Damon being obsessed with, and then assuming the identity of, Jude Law.However, despite how common the obsession theme was in this decade, there was another popular theme of the thriller genre – detectives/FBI agents hunting down a serial killer. Until today, thrillers do borrow themes and elements from those in the past decades. However, to cut the repetitiveness, there are a number of recent thrillers that maintain the aspects of the horror genre; having more gore/sadistic violence, brutality, terror and body counts. The recent thrillers which took this approach include Eden Lake (2008), The Last House on the Left (2009), P2 (2007), Captivity (2007) Funny Games (2008) Even action scenes have gotten more elaborate in thriller films within the past 10 years, especially in spy thrillers. Thrillers such as Joy Ride (2001), Unknown (2011), Hostage (2005), Cellular (2006), A History of Violence (2005) and Firewall (2006) were borderline-action.
Conclusion of the Thriller Genre Overall, the genre of thriller is used in various ways to create an atmosphere which excites, thrills and attracts the audience to carry on watching a film. This is done in several ways, such as through the use of lighting, mise-en-scene and also with the added use of non diegetic and diegetic music. The thriller genre was a popular genre during the past fifty years and is still increasingly popular within the industry today
How this research hasbenefited my work This research has improved my work by informing me what the typical conventions of the Thriller genre is and it has also given me ideas towards being creative with different ways of the characters interacting with each other, how the littlest hints of objects, quotes and weapons can give the audience of what could happen in the story or even the whole plot if you put to much in the opening. It also shows that a thriller has so many possibilitys to put many different ideas in my film opening. The lighting, mise-en scene, props, special effects etc.