A thriller is usually a ‘Villain-driven
plot’, whereby he or she presents
obstacles that the protagonist must
overcome. A person, thing or
experience that thrills.
My personal experience
In this slide I will be describing and analysing the theme ‘Thriller’ and showing everything I
know about this topic.
Firstly I will explain what I know from my point of view…
What I first think about when the topic thriller comes up?
- Firstly, I think of Michael Jackson Thriller music video and the song. Secondly I
think of certain thrilling movies, which include creating tensions whilst watching a
movie and also gore and death.
Because Michael Jackson is a very well known musician and his work is known very
well around the world, I also believe that he was an example of my first experience
of encountering a type of thriller genre with the music video of thriller.
This is because Michael Jackson directors used the common characteristics of a
thriller and from this music video I began familiarizing myself with what
characteristics belong in a thriller.
What is a Thriller?!
Many people believe that a thriller is a genre which is present in films, cinemas, real life
experiences or in theater. These are probably the main area where Thriller is present and this
is where it does its job in entertaining people, especially in films.
A thriller provides a sudden rush of emotions, excitement and exhilaration which has an
effect on keeping the audience on “The edge of their seat”. As the plot builds up climax it
almost always leaves a scene on a cliff-hanging scenario, leaving the audience in awe.
Using Cliff-hangers and misleading the audience towards false conclusion and using Plot twist
are you used in thrillers extensively.
• 1 Psychological Thrillers:
Characters are no longer reliant on physical strength to overcome
their brutish enemies (which is often the case in typical actionthrillers), but rather are reliant on their mental resources, whether it
be by battling wits with a formidable opponent or by battling for
equilibrium in the character's own mind. The suspense created by
psychological thrillers often comes from two or more characters
preying upon one another's minds, either by playing deceptive
games with the other or by merely trying to demolish the other's
Focus on the unstable emotional states of characters, with a combination of mystery
2. Crime Thrillers
This can either be a realistic portrayal of real life criminal activity or, far fetched
of evil doings of imaginary arch villains. The films focus on the lives of criminals,
which are glorified to the audience for entertainment purposes, how could
ironically be disturbing because of the realistic link there is to reality.
Films dealing with crime and its detection are often based on plays rather than
• 3. Mystery Thrillers
Plot often centers around the confidence of the detective to unravel a mystery of
a criminal situations by piecing together clues and circumstances, seeking
evidence, interrogating witnesses and tracking down a criminal
Suspense is very important here and it could b highlighted by emphasizing
‘Camera Angles’, ‘Sound Tracks’, ‘Heavy Shadows’ and ‘Plot Twists’.
4. Action thrillers
• Fast paced
• Chasing scenes, a lot of explosions and action
• A lot of violent scenes which mostly includes
• Villains are made extremely obvious
• An example is “The Dark knight”
5. Horror thriller
Element of fear
Villain has power
A lot of build up in tension and suspense
Disturbing mentally, physically, and emotionally
Victim is almost most likely to be a female (damsel in distress)
Conflict between main characters
Often takes place in exotic locations
Villains are almost always strong characters status wise, high position in
society, or are ‘larger than life’, out of this world and unordinary (Aliens)
• An example is a recent film called “carry”.
6. Erotic thriller
- Erotic thriller is a combination of both
thriller and erotic. It progressed and
became popular in the 1980s, and these
types of films have been very famous in
- These kinds of films are mostly full of
revenge, murder, mystery and a form of
disturbed love and deception.
- An example of an erotic thriller is “Basic
7. Torturing thrillers
Tends to take ages for characters to die
A sense of agony and pain throughout
Lack of hope, no way out situations
Gruesome, bloodcurdling scenes
Twisted villains, taking pleasure from their
torture, sadistic characteristics
• An example is the movie “Saw”
• Generally a government agent who seeks to
make things right again
• A strong, typically male character as the hero
• Advanced gadgets and weapons used
• An example is “James bond 007”
- Techno-thrillers are generally
from science fiction, thrillers, spy,
action and war.
There is an inclusion of a
disproportionate amount of
technical details on its subject
- Typical use of military
- Unrealistic, and very imaginative
- An example is “Jurassic Park”
Innocent victims (often on the run)
Characters with deep dark pasts
Cops and escaped cons
People involved in twisted relationships
World-weary men and women
David Fincher is an American film director and was nominated ‘ Academy award for best director’. He has
directed ten movies with the genre being ‘Thrillers’. David flincher has a variety of thrilling movies like “The girl
with the dragon tattoo” and “Zodiac” being crime thrillers, whereas “Seven” being a psychological thriller. He
has directed very successful movies in the film making industry, however there is a great contrast as he also
directed music videos such as “express yourself” and “Vogue” by Madonna. He is a very diverse director as he
has been director in many more other genres.
With these three posters for the films the similarities are that there is a constant use of a medium close up of
the characters face, a dark almost black background and red text or image. This consistent house-style with the
features of the poster is obviously successful as there is a consistent template which visually definitely is
affective. The shadowed faces creates a sense of mysteriousness and intensity
-This is zodiac
-Girl with the dragon tattoo