General Narrative FeaturesOften within a thriller, the general narrative features allow the audience to follow one certain character throughout and the concept of the storyline is usually seen through the eyes of them. The audience can relate to the protagonist, as they too have little knowledge on the events unfolding within the film and as these particular events begin to unfold, they also do with the audience as well. However, an enigma narrative may be used in order to present the audience with many different fragments in which there are to piece together to follow the protagonist as they uncover further steps within the narrative.
Enigma NarrativeAn enigma narrative involves fragments of the narrative are eventually presented to the audience, they are then left, usually, to piece together the actions of the protagonist, connecting as the protagonist also uncovers further steps within the narrative.
OpeningsThe role of the main character, often the villain, is established within the opening of a thriller. Different roles may be uncovered, for instance a murderer was established in the opening scene of Lucky Number Slevin or within the thriller Leon, a criminal.Often, the opening helps institute any key facets within the main characters own personal traits, which only later on in the thriller become important. There are many personal traits which are frequently used to convey the conventions of a thriller within a film, take for example the use of child like features contained in a character in the thriller Leon, or psychological issues expressed in Seven. Drug abusers is another trait which can once again be found in Leon and LA Confidential expresses a dire attitude towards woman, leading to domestic abuse.These facets may seem irrelevant to the audience during the opening, however later on they become seemingly important to building the audiences own understanding of a character.
Trigger Events within an OpeningAn opening of a thriller focuses on one key event which then triggers a series of events which are later shown, an air of intrigue or mystery is usually sensed surrounding this particular event. The audience are often left in the dark as to knowing any details of the said event, for instance, they may know someone has been murdered, however they don’t yet know who was the murderer, why they murdered someone or how they may of done it.Never within a opening of a film is the opening the main event of the entire thriller, often it is seen as a build up to the rest of the film and a warm up to the events to yet occur, this is seen in films such as Hunted and Lucky Number Slevin. In some ways it acts as a inducement to entice the audience to follow the film throughout.
Importance of Enigma CodesOne of the most commonly used narrative structures in the thriller genre is an enigma code, it acts as a intriguing way of enticing the audience to follow the narrative, as slowly as they progress through the film they are left to feel as if they are discovering things as the thriller progresses, as well as also building a sense of suspense and drama for the duration of the rest of the film.
Technical Features of a Thriller (openings)Long or wide shots help to depict a normal situation or location in a opening of a thriller, seemingly unusual events within a normal environment are shown to the audience to help develop a sense of mystery almost as soon as the thriller begins, this can be seen throughout the thriller Leon, as the main character is established within a some what ‘normalised’ setting of a hotel suite. An opening of a thriller doesn’t just have to include a mysterious situation or location, as a character can be placed within the ‘real world’, take the thriller Seven for example, the main characters, in this case detectives, can be seen at a crime scene.
LightingThe entire lighting is highly dependant on the nature of the film, as thrillers often tend to follow a set structure of conventions. The point of view of the protagonist, usually the villain, follows a dark, confined and close lighting which track the sight of the individual, if not follow their actions, seen in Blair Witch.To launch a series events within a thriller opening, a main use of lighting highlights the actions of the protagonist. Therefore the key component is to establish a chain of or key events without revealing too many details to the audience, this is used often in this particular type of genre as something always needs to be hidden to the audience.
ShotsOften within a thriller, the shots depend highly on the narrative or nature of the plot line of the film, an example of this being long, establishing shots of a particular location, it may seem a harmless location as it may be a house for example however the use of the camera shots on this location for instance an extremely slow tracking shot instantly informs the audience that something bad is going to happen in what seems to be a an ordinary situation, this builds the audiences pre-supposition of the thriller genre.Key facial features, in particular the eyes of a character, are seen to the audience through either a close up or medium close up shots. If the character notices the trigger, and slowly reacts to the events occurring, this is the reason as to why the eyes are crucial in emphasising the expression of the character as they may be left with very little or no clue as to what is happening or what is about to happen.
EditingEditing is a combination or separation of either very long or very short edits.Directors tend to hold long edits as this creates a sense of tension, therefore panning and tracking shots are used on the locations and this helps builds the audiences knowledge that something is going to happen however they are unsure what it is.The audience are often left confused by short, violent cuts as key details are always hidden which would reveal the entire plot to the narrative however glimpses of events which may spark the story are left untold, for instance the audience may be left unsure as to who it was holding the knife.