1920s-1930s: Alfred Hitchcock made his first thriller film in 1926 called ‘The Lodger’ the story line was full of suspense. His
second thriller in 1929 was known as Britain's first sound film it was called ‘Blackmail’. From 1935 most of the Alfred
Hitchcock’s films were thrillers. In 1928 one of the earliest spy films was made called ‘Spies’ this film set the boundaries for the
James Bond films in the future.
1940s: Alfred Hitchcock produced an Oscar winning thriller called ‘Rebecca’(1940). He produced a further 4 films called
Foreign Correspondent (1940), Saboteur (1942), Shadow of the doubt (1943) and Suspicion (1941).
1950s: In 1950 Alfred Hitchcock continued to produce thrillers as he produced Technicolor, Strangers On A Train (1951) Dial
M For Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), To Catch A Thief (1955) and Vertigo (1958). Alfred Hitchcock dominated the
1950s in terms of producing thriller movies but Henry Hathaway, Robert Aldrich, Charles Laughton and Orson Welles all
produced a thriller in the 1950s.
1960s: Alfred Hitchcock continued to produce thriller movies at a high rate during the 1960s as he produced four more movies
that include Topaz (1969), Tom Curtain (1966), Marnie (1964) and Psycho (1960). Michael Powell directed ‘Peeping Tom’
(1960) that was released prior to Alfred’s Psycho.
1970s-1980s: In this period Thrillers had a violent wave as Alfred Hitchcock produced a film in 1972 which was given an R
rating due to its explicit content; this film was called ‘Frenzy’ (1972). It was his first British film in nearly two decades. Steven
Spielberg released a low budget TV Movie ‘Duel’ (1971). The Thriller industry suffered a huge blow as one of the biggest
contributors Sir Alfred Hitchcock had died on the 29th of April 1980. In the 80s Dressed To Kill(1980), Blow Out (1981) and
Body Double (1884).
1990s-Present: The 90s started with a thriller based on a book by Stephen King, the film was directed by Rob Reiners it was
In present years we have been given some of the biggest grossing Thriller films like Saw (2004), Saw II (2005) and Saw IV
The narrative in Thrillers are effective as they use enigma codes and
binary oppositions to build anticipation for the audience as that is a key
concept of a thriller as they use tension and excitement as their main
elements. Suspense is a crucial characteristic for the Thriller Genre as it
helps build up different feelings for the audience as they watch and this
makes the thriller successful as it helps them to use their main elements
Thriller’s narrative is very complex as they like to keep the audience aware
of all the possible scenarios that can happen in the future. The narrative
will be very restricted to the audience as there will be a lot of enigma
codes that only give away a little bit away to the audience. In Thriller’s
there is equilibrium and then the equilibrium is disrupted and then the
equilibrium is restored again.
The Thriller Genre has developed and widened over the years as it has made its way from
Literature, films and it now has become a popular Television series genre. Television series that are
of Thriller are usually from a hybrid genre as they include concepts from more then one Genre such
as Prison Break which is a Serial drama.
0 Breaking Bad
0 Criminal Minds
0 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
0 The X-Files
0 Prison Break
There is several different type of characters in thrillers and one main recurring
characters in thriller is that there is a protagonist that is usually trying to restore the
equilibrium that was disrupted at the beginning of the film that set up the storyline
for the film.
The character is sometimes some one that is in the wrong place at the wrong time as
they live their life. The antagonist disrupts the narratives which is a disequilibrium.
They are usually psychotic and have threatened or acted in a threating way towards
a victim which caused the protagonist to try restoring the peace.
Also there is the protagonist right hand man that helps with the restoring the
equilibrium. However, these are not the main characters in every film but these are
the type of characters boundaries that have been set throughout the development of
I watched the title sequence of Shutter Island to get an understanding of the sound used
in the opening sequences of the films from the thriller genre.
The sound was non-diegetic as it wasn’t natural to the image being shown as it showed
a house the sound was strident as it was loud and harsh. The non-diegetic sound
confuses and creates enigma codes as the images looks harmless and peaceful but the
sound gives them the sense that it is quite sinister. Also, it was a crescendo as the
loudness increased as the camera zoomed in to the gates of the house opening.
A camera shot that is commonly used in a thriller is a POV as this helps the audience
get put into the protagonists/antagonists shoes as they gets shown everything they
see and they sees what the character sees. This helps create emotion for the
audience as it builds a emotion bond between the audience and the character.
Another shot that is used is extreme close ups as this shows the audience the detail
in objects and facial expressions, this is a key element as thrillers rely on emotion as
the narrative is about suspense and anticipation. This helps the narrative as the
audience will be given a better understanding on how the characters feel in certain
Props: In thrillers props are easy ways to contribute to the narrative as they can get
the audience to start asking questions as sometimes characters come across props
that are significant to the storyline but are not explained to the audience.
Costumes and Makeup: The protagonist is usually wearing casual clothes or a suit
depending on their social class in the film as this gives of a happy mood as the
audience can relate to the character. But the antagonist would wear all black in
most thriller films as this connotes darkness and danger as they look daunting. For
example, in Scream the antagonist wears all black with a white mask.
Most Thriller movies are targeted at ages older than 15 depending on how violent and graphic
the scenes are as there are some thrillers that are targeted at a younger audience. The Dark
Knight Rises is a part of the sub-genre thriller and is a certificate for 12A as the violence is not
too much in detail as it doesn’t have scenes of blood and the sexual scenes are shown briefly.
Thrillers are targeted at both male and female as the plot in the films may vary as in Taken the
plot is that the Father is trying to find his kidnapped daughter which might appeal to the female
audience more as it includes themes of love and in The Dark Knight Rises the narrative is about
being a superhero trying to save the city this will appeal to the male audience more as they like
to be seen as alpha-males and like to be in control.
I believe the thriller genre is very popular as it as a lot of sub-genres that link to various different films that
include different concepts from different genres like The Dark Knight Rises is an Action/Crime/Thriller film.