Sunday, 30 September 2012

Research - What is a thriller? - Ms Begum

What is a thriller?
The term genre refers to the category a specific film belongs to. It is important to know what the term genre means because it helps us put films into different groups. E.g. scary/gory films being under the horror genre.
Thriller genre definition:
Thriller is a genre that revolves around anticipation and suspense. The aim for Thrillers is to keep the audience alert and on the edge of their seats. Thriller films also cause the viewers to experience thrills throughout the film and increases adrenaline levels.
Examples of thriller films: 
 An example of a successful thriller film is ‘silence of the lambs.’  This thriller film won awards in 5 major categories, it also had been powerfully acted, brilliantly constructed which made it one of the most recognisable thrillers of the 90’s. What makes this film such a success is because the film fulfils the requirements of what a thriller film needs to consist off. There is a lot of suspense that has been illustrated in a successful way towards the audience and this film promises to keep the audience on the edge of their seats not knowing what would happen next.
Sub genres/examples:
There are sub genres of thriller that give the film more detail on how a thriller should be laid out. All these different sub genres for the thriller film have a specific name. Crime thrillers often focus more on the criminals and their activities in leading up to their crimes. Crime thrillers also emphasise action over psychological aspects. An example would be ‘seven’. Another example of sub genres could be disaster thrillers. This genre concentrates on survival in conflict with natural or artificial disasters such as floods, earthquakes and hurricanes. It also plays with the future for mankind and what he has to bring. A well-known example could be ‘2012.’ Psychological thrillers play with the audiences mind and produces suspense in the film because it reflects the main characters conflict with the villain in a psychological way, which results in them being mental and emotionally hindered. An example would be ‘Psycho.’

Common themes: 
Depending on the sub-genre of the film the theme of a thriller film also changes. The common themes of a crime thriller are mainly ransoms, captivities, kidnapping and revenge. The aspect of having revenge as a theme adds a twist to the storyline and gives a specific aim for the protagonist to try and fulfil. moreover, this can lead to the film having violent and action packed scenes. The common themes of a psychological thriller would be perception, mind games and death. Despite the themes changing depending on the sub-genre, all the themes for thrillers aim to give a chilling experience to the audience.
Audience response to thrillers:
Some people love the impact a thriller film has on them such as building tension and keeping them at the edge of their seats. Horror films are classed as being similar in genre to thrillers, however a thriller has more of a meaningful storyline behind the thrills it gives to the audience, and offers a glimpse into reality which a horror film lacks. This is why the majority of the audience prefer a thriller film rather than a horror film.
Overall, the information I have researched and presented about the thriller genre has improved my knowledge about thriller films. Some of these include defining what a thriller film is, and also going into depth of a specific thriller film and displaying the features that make it a successful thriller film. I also understood the different sub-genres thriller film consisted off, and the aspects each sub-genre offers to the viewer. This research has also made me build upon my own ideas for my own thriller film, and what it would need to include. This in depth research into thrillers would also help me in future coursework tasks.


  1. Onat, a good start to the conventions of thrillers. You provide good detail and refer to some good examples.

    To improve;
    -provide sub-headings to make your work clearer
    -use images and clips from thrillers to support your ideas
    -discuss general themes of thriller films such as violence, revenge and betrayal.
    - mention how audiences respond to watching thrillers.
    -conclude your post with saying how you have developed ideas for your own thriller

  2. Good Onat. Changes made well.

    To improve further;
    -bullet point common conventions of thillers such as protagonist, antagonist, low-key lighting etc.