What is a Thriller?• Thriller is a broad genre of literature, film, and television programming that uses suspense, tension and excitement as the main elements.• Thriller films tend to be adrenaline-rushing, gritty, rousing and fast-paced A thriller is a villain-driven plot, whereby he or she prevents obstacles that the protagonist must overcome.• The horror and action genres often overlap with the thriller genre.
Types Of thrillers• Action thrillers – Violence,guns,villains,mystery.• Crime Thrillers – Committing crime,robbers,murders.• Erotic thriller- Erotica and thriller.• Horror thriller – Conflict,villain,fear,power.• Psychological thriller – Mental and emotional thriller.• Techno thriller- Military thriller, technology.
Characteristics of a thriller• The aim for thrillers is to keep the audience alert and on the edge of their seats. The protagonist in these films is set against a problem – an escape, a mission, or a mystery. No matter what sub-genre a thriller film falls into, it will emphasize the danger that the protagonist faces. The tension with the main problem is built on throughout the film and leads to a highly stressful climax.• In this genre, the objective is to deliver a story with sustained tension, surprise, and a constant sense of impending doom. It keeps the audience cliff-hanging at the "edge of their seats" as the plot builds towards a climax. Thrillers tend to be fast- moving, psychological and threatening, mysterious and at times involve larger-scale villainy such as espionage, terrorism and conspiracy.
Convention of a thriller• There are three main codes and conventions which are shown in the opening of thrillers, to make the audience ask questions and give a mysterious feeling to the audience. These are Editing Sound Camera Movements/shots Mise en scene.
Editing• The use of quick cuts . Thrillers often use quick cuts to create tension and quickens the pace. A good example of this is seen in the thriller Phyco,when the woman is stabbed in the shower.• Fade to black. This is used in thriller films usually when someone is unconscious or dyeing. This is effective in psychological thrillers as it allows the audience to be in the characters position. Fade also adds suspense to a thriller as the audience are unaware of what is about to happen next.• Flashbacks are used for the characters to see a characters past.
Sound• Sound contains very important elements which make up a thriller. For example themes and stings are shown in this era, as the different music themes produce a different mood and feel for thriller films. For example jumpy and quite scary music which are played in each scene, can be named as themes/stings as they produce different moods and settings for thriller films.• Other types of sounds used in thrillers are diegetic/ non- diegetic sounds, synchronous/asynchronous sounds, underscore music and voice overs.
Camera shots/Movements• Camera shots help give a film its thriller genre. Different camera angles create meanings with the use of body language and emotions. Thriller films also use Camera Angles such as facial close ups to. help to show facial expressions.Mid Close ups are used to show body language. This is important as it creates tension and realism.• Some Camera Movements such as freehand camera movements also make the audience feel like they are part of the film.• Another Camera Movement is tracking, this is a fast paced camera movement, This creates tension and a curiosity as the audience are unsure about what could happen next.
Mise en scene• Dark Lighting create a gloomy mood and suspense. Shadows are used to represent the inner darkness within beings.• Props such as Guns,Knives,and sharp objects are used to emphasise the thriller genre. Mirrors are also used as a convention of thrillers as it reflects the characters.• The set design/ location emphasises the mood of the audience. Locations such as a gloomy graveyard or dark woods give a thrilling film as it shows mystery and suspense and creates the right mood for something to happen.