Define genre as a concept
a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by
similarities in form, style, or subject matter.
An overview: A definition of the thriller genre, outline it’s key elements.
Thriller is a broad genre of literature, film, and television programming that
uses suspense, tension and excitement as the main elements
The audience expect action, suspense and anticipation
Thrillers are usually defined by the mood they elicit (hence the name). “Sensational and suspenseful” stories and stories creating
“fearful excitement” are two definitions I found. Because of this, thrillers are crossed with almost every other genre. I’ve tried to only
include mash-ups when their combination falls under my definition of “interesting.”
Action Thriller(die hard)
Take any other thriller subgenre, give it’s defining elements a back seat, and focus on the action, and you have an action-thriller. This is
more common in movies than novels because of the visual appeal of explosions and violence..
This subgenre focuses on crime, and is usually from the criminal’s point of view. Physical action and eluding the police take the place of
gathering evidence and trying to discover the criminal.
Disaster Thriller(the crazies)
In this subgenre a (usually) natural disaster is taking place, and the antagonist is either trying to stop the disaster, the extent of the
disaster, or just save themselves before time runs out and the disaster has run its course.
Mystery Thriller(Sherlock Holmes)
This is a subgenre of both mysteries and thrillers. It differs from a regular mystery by being much more fast-paced, with the protagonist
on the run and the threat of another crime serving as the “ticking clock.”
Psychological Thriller (orphan, psycho)
A personal favourite. In this subgenre a lot of the conflict is mental, rather than physical. The protagonist has become involved in a
dangerous situation which literally threatens their sanity. They must use mental prowess to overcome their opponent, whether the
battle is inside their own head or it a battle of wits.
Religious Thriller( angels and demons)
This subgenre uses the history and myths of religion. Usually a religious artefact or historical secret is discovered, and different people
and groups vie for control.
Spy Thriller(James bond)
It’s hard to call this a genre mash-up when spy novels almost have to be thrillers. At any rate, this subgenre focuses on the high
adventures of field agents. It is usually set against the backdrop of some war.
In this subgenre otherworldly elements are introduced, usually as an antagonistic force, but just as in the romantic thriller, the plot line
and feel or distinctly that of thrillers. Some characters may have psychic abilities and other supernatural novel elements may be
• Narrative conventions
The narrative revolves around the investigation of a mystery and the hero is often the
only person who can find the truth.
• Character representation (hero / Anti-hero)
the character plays an important part in the suspense and feel of the film, the
representation of the bad character normally sets the tone for the entire movie
In thriller films the mise-en-scene is extremely important because without the sound
,lighting and props thrillers are hard to be distinguished between other genres
• Hero - mainly male protagonists who resolves narrative
(jaws-Martin Brody saves all the children from the shark)
• Villain - the main antagonist who disrupts the narrative (nightmare on elm
street- Freddy killed the kids in their sleep)
• Dispatcher - he/she sends the hero on his journey( Somerset (Morgan
freeman)sends the character to find the truth in seven)
• Helper - assists the hero
• False hero - double crosser/dealer
• Heroine - traditionally a female who needs to be rescued
Is the act or making of a film with the combination of camera elements , displaying how a scene is shot.
The three elements that make up cinematography are:
Camera movement - Represents the audience's viewpoint or perspective, during the course of filming.
Movement plays a significant role in the emotional language of film images and the audience's reaction to
the action on the screen as the camera itself may be moved to create an effect.
Camera angles- The camera angle marks the precise place at which a camera is put to take a shot. It may
be shot from various camera angles. This will give / show the audience a different viewpoint.
Camera positions –This is the position of the camera and how a scene is shot by where the camera is
When we watch a film we notice how it is joined together at certain points. Each scene may last a few
seconds or continue for a few minutes. The length of each shot determines the pace of the film and helps
determine the mood. In between these scenes is some use of editing. Editing can be done during filming
or usually done after filming has been shot ‘edit stage’.
Sound is a very important generic convention when making a film, the use or non use of sound is able to
enhance on how the audience interpret certain ideas and distribute emotions. Sound can give a
different meaning to a scene or explain what action can not.
Bibliography of your research sources (at least 3 different sources, not just Wikipedia!)
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