the thriller genre n.
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The Thriller Genre. Genre. Genre is a French word that means ‘type’ Genre is a theoretical term for the classification of media texts into type groupings

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Presentation Transcript
  • Genre is a French word that means ‘type’
  • Genre is a theoretical term for the classification of media texts into type groupings
  • Film genres are often difficult to define because they cover a wide range of films, and often use conventions borrowed from more than one genre (hybrids / sub-genres).
what is a thriller
What is a thriller?

A thriller is a genre that uses suspense, tension, action and excitement as the big characteristics, they usually include an atmosphere of violence, crime, murder, etc.

A typical thriller genre film is designed to keep the audience on edge with suspense and tension. Thrillers often have plot twists and try to keep people unsure of what is going to happen. They try to make the suspense unbearable and keep it going for a while to keep the viewers on edge.

Thrillers are meant to scare the viewers and invoke on peoples fears to make it as effective as possible, the fears of the unknown, death, etc.

Thrillers can be supernatural, unrealistic (fantasy), some can be very intellectual, which can create a psychological aspect and force the viewers to look at the background of the characters to try and work out the plot of the film.

the history of thrillers
The history of thrillers

Thrillers started of as serial literature series which would be quite short and end in cliff hangers that sees the hero in danger. The most famous of these would be the 1914 series of ‘Perils of Pauline’ they then developed in to thriller ‘talkies’ such as ‘The Thin Man’

typical iconography for thrillers
Typical iconography for thrillers
  • Shadows
  • Street Lamps
  • Confined Spaces
  • Running Water
  • Bars on Windows
  • Death
  • Blood
  • Weapons
  • Violence
  • Fantasy (unrealistic things happening)
  • Intense music and atmosphere
  • suspense
why do we like thrillers
Why do we like thrillers?
  • We enjoy the thrill of watching tense and suspense action, we like how they keep us on the edge of our seat.
  • We also like how we know it is not happening to us and the relief after the tension and suspense is over.
audience expectations
Audience expectations
  • In thrillers now our expectations have changed with what we have already seen because with the next thriller we expect a bit more and for them to be a bit more scary but not as gory as horrors.
  • Because it’s not a horror we don’t expect to see too much violence/blood/gore.
thriller conventions
Thriller Conventions

A typical thriller film would show good and evil fighting against each other which would normally create a feel of suspense and there is normally a ‘price to be paid’ for the conclusion of the story. Usually has a growing sense of threat or danger for the ‘good’ character. They would normally start with a sense of equilibrium then everything would go wrong/strange with the ‘bad character’ intervening and then at the end it can go back to the feel of the equilibrium or it could have a twist to it and not go back to the sense of equilibrium.


In a thriller the typical characters would be:

  • A vulnerable helplessness character in need of help.
  • The hero/protagonist
  • The ‘villainous’ character who causes all of the problems, seems unstoppable to the victims.
mise en scene

(everything that appears on the set before the camera - settings / props / costume & makeup / performance / lighting)

  • Props could be weapons, e.g. Knives
  • Lighting could be quite dark and gloomy, maybe an artificial blue effect to lower the mood and to cause an artificial effect.
  • The sounds can be sounds that cause suspense and tension to keep the audience quite intense.
  • The costumes of the ‘bad’ character could be a completely normal appearance to make it seem like a normal person which could make it more confusing or scary for the viewers, scruffy, or even wearing an actual costume such as a mask to cover his appearance so nobody knows who he is but nothing too extreme as it is a thriller and not a horror.
settings locations
  • Could be a completely normal setting to make it scarier as it would seem realistic to the viewers.
  • Isolated setting such as woods, or abandoned areas.
  • Dark and empty places, scariest at night time.
  • Also day to day places such as your home, school, work place to make it seem realistic and as if you are not safe anywhere.
sound and music
Sound and music
  • You can use sounds such as a heart beat when you are trying to create suspense when it is an intense part of the film to keep the audience ‘on the edge of their seat’ – diagetic sounds
  • Creepy music, pianos for example to also cause suspense and an empty feeling – non-diagetic sounds.
camera work and editing
Camera work and editing
  • With the camera you can create certain affects to match a thriller film, such as slow movement of the camera when creating suspense. High angle shots to make the victim seem vulnerable and helpless.
  • When editing you can create certain affects to match the thriller genre by tinting the colours to have maybe a blue affect to make the situation seem artificial or even a red tint to create a sign of danger.