What is a 'Thriller' ?


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What is a 'Thriller' ?

  1. 1. What is a „Thriller‟ ? By Rae Francis – Reid
  2. 2. What is a „Thriller‟? • A thriller is a genre of movie of which revolves around suspense and anticipation – “What is going to happen next?” , “What is behind that door?” “Who is that ?” • The main aim of Thrillers is to keep the audience on the edge of their seats . • The main character is faced with a situational problem of which actor/ actress has to uncover a mystery, a way of getting out of the problem or even a mission. • The tension that is built up from the beginning of the first scene continuing through out the movie, mainly leads to a highly successful climax of which the mystery, escape or mission is uncovered. • Examples of Thrillers: “The Conjuring” (2013), “The Purge” (2013), “Insidious” (2010), “Pulp Fiction” (1994)”
  3. 3. What are the different types of „Thriller‟s‟ ? • There are many different sub-genres of Thrillers: • Action Thrillers • Crime Thrillers • Film Noir • Psychological Thriller: • Science Fiction Thriller • Religious Thriller:
  4. 4. Action Thrillers: • This sub-genre uses physical movement to create an atmosphere and suspense that is within the film. As in a the traditional action film the sub-genre would mainly have an ongoing sequence of physical stunt, fights, chases and battles. The scenes will mainly add a sense of danger that the character is in. • An example of this sub-genre is: “Die Hard” (1988), “Kill Bill Vol. 1” (2003), “The Bourne Identity” (2002)
  5. 5. Crime Thrillers: • Thriller and Crime is combined. The sub-genre mainly features a serial killer, murderer, robbery or manhunt as centre of attention. The storyline focuses on the Criminal and main character. The sub-genre is associated around psychological and action of which combined in order to create tension and suspense. • An example of this sub-genre is: “The Usual Suspects”(1995), “The Fugitive”(1994), “Jagged Edge” (1985).
  6. 6. Film Noir: • This is not exactly a sub-genre of Thriller movies. It was a distinct type of drama or Thriller of which was popular during the 1940‟s & 50‟s. The main theme is black and white with a simple but effective lighting. In a Noir Film the main character is normally a hero, a narrative voice and flashbacks to explain the complex plot. • An example of this sub-genre is: “Sunset Boulevard” (1950), “The Maltese Falcon” (1941), “Sweet Smell of Success” (1957)
  7. 7. Psychological Thriller: • Drama and Mystery film. Rather visualising the Thriller. This sub-genre comes from the mind. The main character relies on their knowledge to solve the given situation. Due to this, this often has a crossover with Horror films. • An example of this sub genre is: “Memento” (2000), “Rear Window” (1954), “Taxi Driver” (1976)
  8. 8. Science Fiction Thriller: • This includes Science-based themes. In a traditional science fiction film – villains and heroes are included, advanced technology and unexplored locations in order to create anticipation and suspense. The lot is mainly involved around aliens invasions. • An example of this sub-genre is: “Alien vs. Predators: Requiem” (2007), “Inception” (2010), “District 9” (2009”
  9. 9. Religious Thriller: • Has elements of Religious themes throughout it. This includes having religious questions, ceremonies and objects. The sub-genre includes of supernatural events. Demon possession and church cover ups are the typical themes. • An example of this sub-genre is: “The Devil‟s Advocate” (1997), “The Ninth Gate” (1999), “The Da Vinci Code” (2006)
  10. 10. What are the main themes dealt with Thriller‟s ? • Narrative Themes: this has got a complex theme as it questions the audience into what is going to happen next. They also add false clues into making the audience think that, that certain object has gone away but it really hasn‟t as it was important. • Mise en Scene: setting, location, set design, props, lighting, facial expressions, lighting and colour, make up the Mise en Scene. • Assassination: as someone is likely to pay another person anonymously for them to get killed. • Suspense: this is a technique that knowledge and what comes next between the audience and the characters.
  11. 11. Key characters found in a „Thriller‟. • Psychopaths • Killers • Innocent Victims • Convicts • Escaped Convicts • Criminals • Stalkers • Assassins • Terrorists • Police/ Cops • People involved in twisted relationships
  12. 12. Codes and Conventions of „Thrillers‟. • Mirrors • Shadows • Low lighting • Editing • Quick cuts • Changes in the camera angle • Tension music to add suspense • Black and White • Stairs • Flashbacks • Time and space of editing • In Psychological Thrillers: mind games,
  13. 13. … Mirrors • This reflects what the character is feeling from the outside in. • It also can portray a dark mystery of which is being represented in some characters.
  14. 14. … Shadows • Shadows and low lighting to represent an airy feel of which characters are being represented from a different angle, this being the darkness or s split personality. • It can add tension to the film suggesting there is more something greater than itself that is going to happen • Black and White adds a airy effect and can also make the film dark and curious
  15. 15. … Editing – Quick Cuts • This is used in order to create tension and suspense. • It is mainly used during in an important part of the scene which can create a lot of disorientation of time and the space due to the audience figuring out what is happening in the particular scene.
  16. 16. …Flashbacks • This contributes to a sense of disorientation as the audience becomes confused. • The audience becomes aware of what has happened to the characters past and presuming why the character is acting in that way as it gives the audience a insight into what has happened.
  17. 17. Alfred Hitchcock. • August 13 1899 – April 29 1980. • He was an English Filmmaker whom specialised in Thriller movies. • Alfred used many different camera techniques in order to get an effective mimic of the character. This could be in order to portray the feelings of the character, for example empathy or fear. • His movies mainly incorporated fugitives on the run from the law. – this is normally alongside a female partner. • Hitchcock‟s ending to his films are unexpected which have endings such as violence, murders or crimes. • Knighted: “Sir Alfred Hitchcock”. • Known as the “Master of Suspense”. • One of the most famous directors of 20 th Century. • Directed over 50 feature length films over 60 years.
  18. 18. … • Alfred Hitchcock had become a cultural icon as he appeared in his own films and film trailers. • He preferred telling the story visually rather than verbally. • He paid close attention to detail while writing his storyboards. • Examples of Alfred Hitchcock‟s Films:      The lady Vanishes The 39 Steps Rear Window Notorious Strangers on a plane
  19. 19. Examples. • Rear Window  In this scene of Rear Window which is a Psychological Thriller, there is a lot of suspense. This is due to where the camera is situated in that given moment. The facial expressions that the characters portray are a sense that something not so good is about to happen. As the main character senses disorientation as he tries to find the phone. This shows that there is something out of the ordinary that is about to happen. The Mise en Scene has been set up for the audience as there are shadows in the background and the dark lighting adding an eerie effect. • Inception  In this scene there is a clear indication that something is not right. This is right from the moment of the main character‟s facial expression as he stares around the empty room. The camera angles give the audience a view of what the main character is experiencing during the scene. The setting of the scene especially the moment of which the curtain is blowing in the wind. Figuring out the pieces to the puzzle everything adds up. Giving the character a sense of relief yet there is confusing written all over his face. The flashbacks of what had previously happened shows a bigger picture and how everything is now making sense.