Thriller Film Genre
A genre that is characterized and described by the emotions they evoke,
giving the audience intense feelings of anticipation exhilaration and
anxiety. Thrillers are often hybrids - there are lots of varieties of
The Protagonist is often a brave male who seeks to restore balance
The antagonist will have a hidden identity that the audience will uncover
as the film progresses. Often the antagonist goes out for revenge from a
Action Thriller - Action thrillers usually feature a race against the clock
and frequent violence. Underworld Awakening
Psychological Thriller – The conflict is mental, rather than physical. The
protagonist has become involved in a dangerous situation which 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. The Machinist
Supernatural Thriller - Paranormal elements are introduced, usually as an
antagonistic force. Some characters may have psychic abilities and other
supernatural novel elements may be present. The Conjuring
Mystery Thriller - It differs from a regular mystery by being much more fast-
paced, with the protagonist on the run and the threat of another crime. The Girl
With The Dragon Tattoo
Spy Thriller - Focuses on the high adventures of field agents, usually set against
the backdrop of some war. The Bourne Identity
Disaster Thriller - A natural disaster is taking place, and the antagonist is either
trying to stop the disaster, or just save themselves before time runs out. World
Legal Thriller - Takes place in and around the courtroom. Protagonist is a
lawyer who has found their case threatening death for either them or their client.
The Pelican Brief
Crime Thriller - 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. The Silence Of The Lambs
Religious Thriller – Usually a religious or historical artefact is discovered and
different parties vie for control. In some cases a religious prophecy or event
begins and the protagonist must try to defeat the antagonist or save the world.
Mise En Scene
Mise En Scene in a Thriller Film:
Low Key Lighting
Dramatic changes in the angle of shots
Diegetic sound of heavy breathing
Black and White shots
Montage of shots
Protagonist is in the mercy of the Antagonist
Sound in a Thriller Film
The sound in a thriller film has to be reflective of the characters emotions and the
The music can be used to signify an important part of the film.
Slow paced music helps to create tension and build suspense.
This effect also makes the scene more intense for the audience.
Editing in a Thriller Film
Jump cuts are frequently used in thriller films due to how much information there
is that the audience needs to know, so the film makes sense.
Smooth editing makes the film flow better so the audience understands what is
Close ups are used frequently to create more tension.
Hybrid- A mixture or a fusion
In terms of films – 3 or more genres or mixtures of subgenre