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The codes and conventions of the thriller genre.

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Kayleigh Dennis

on 26 November 2012

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Transcript of The codes and conventions of the thriller genre.

The codes and conventions of the Thriller genre. The use of mirrors Mirrors are one of the conventions shown in thriller films through the use of reflection of someone's soul and their inner self. It can also create the feeling of claustrophobia within the audience. Mirrors can also be used as they can be useful to represent the darkness and evil in some characters. A good example of a thriller film that uses mirrors is the film 'Mirrors'. This could result in some people in the audience feeling uneasy. Flashbacks Flashbacks are used in thriller films to create a feeling of space and time disorientation. Therefore, creating a feeling
of confusion within the audience. It is also a convention of the thriller genre because it can display what has happened in the past which therefore gives the audience an insight into other characters pasts. Flashbacks are often used
in an important, or particularly
thrilling, scene in a thriller film. Tension and release Thrillers depend on the
tension and release convention
to create impact at points in the film. This keeps the audience gripped
and focused on the film. A good example of the tension and release convention being used is shown in the movie 'panic room'. Low key lighting Dim lighting in certain scenes in the film. This could also be linked closely
with the shadows convention. shadows are often used
to represent the inner darkness
or evil within people or beings in
thriller films. Shadows can also
be used in thriller films
to increase the tension
and eeriness that is
created already. Obtrusive editing Quick shots are often used by the thriller genre to increase the feelings of suspense and tension within the audience. The use of this convention usually increases, or is suddenly used, in an important or more 'thrilling' scene of the film. This therefore sometimes creates a
disorientation of time and space, by using montage editing. Montage editing This is a technique used in film editing in which a series of short shots are edited to condense time, space and information. This is a technique where two or more layers
of film are playing simultaneously alongside one another and are often used in a particularly important or 'thrilling' scene in the thriller film. This is to give the audience a strong feeling
of uneasiness and puts the audience on the edge of their seats awaiting what is to happen. A good example of this would be the film
'Se7en'. Impending/foreboding
music Thriller films as a rule usually have
non diegetic music playing in the background
creating a sound bridge to create and determine the certain desired atmosphere. Orchestral music is also often used
within films of the thriller genre. This all adds a lot of tension to the film
causing the audience to have a feeling that something bad is going to happen soon in the film. The sound in thriller films also seems to
start off at a slow pace and then the tempo gradually builds and speeds up to make the shot more dramatic to the audience. Also, another thing is that in thrillers,
separate sounds seem to be emphasized on a lot, usually in the part of the climax, for instance, water droplets hitting the ground. An example of this is in the film
'Panic Room'. Antagonist will be revealed at a
crucial moment in the film. The main villain in the thriller film
is usually kept a mystery until the very ending of the film... ..or, until a crucial moment in the film.
This keeps the audience hooked onto the film, as it creates a mystery as to who the main villain could possibly be. A good example of this being using in
a film of the thriller genre is the film 'Panic Room'. Mise en scene. Mise en scene is a French term meaning 'what is put into a scene or frame' and also what is seen. The particular elements of 'Mise en scene' are pointers of what the genre would be and as an audience what we would expect to see in that particular genre, in this case, the thriller genre. Lighting and colour. With the use of lighting, the audience can presume what the genre the film is on how the lighting is displayed. Therefore, in thriller films, low key lighting is used a lot as it creates a mysterious atmosphere that gives off suspense. Colour is also an extremely key convention of mise en scene in the thriller genre as we associate different emotions, and thoughts, with different colours. Therefore, applying this to thriller conventions, colours used in thrillers would generally be dark grey's, black, and red, as the dark grey's and black connote death and red connotes blood, both typically found in thriller films. Costumes and hair/makeup. The use of costume and makeup make actors appear lifelike to the character they are playing. Costume is a style of dress, including garments, accessories and hairstyle. The extras in a thriller film would appear to not be wearing as much make up to make them look less glamorous, giving the thriller film a more realistic, everyday 'vibe' to it, as this makes the audience relate to the film more and puts them in that particular situation. Setting and props. The setting can relate to location, where the scene is being taken place or where a scene is set. This can be an outside location or inside. With a thriller film, where the film is set would be very dependent on the type of thriller sub genre the film is. An example of this is the film 'Panic Room' which is a crime thriller, and it is mostly set in a house. This is an everyday setting. and so the audience get a better understanding of the film. Props are objects used by the actors performing in the film. Depending on what props are being used, it can help determine the identity of character and also genre in a film. Therefore, thriller films usually incorporate weapons of different sorts. Also, the thriller genre sometimes has a type of 'character item' in the film. For instance, in panic room, the girl has diabetes and so the Mum needs to leave safety to get the insulin, which puts them both at risk. Character The characters in thriller films can vary. There is usually a killer or 'antagonist' in a sense within psychological thrillers, whereas in crime there could either be a detective or police, the protagonists in this case, attempting to uncover the crime that has been committed by said antagonist. Either that, or they are there to try and stop the antagonist from committing those crimes. A good example of an antagonist in a film of the thriller genre is the burglars in panic room. Camera Simple tracking movements are used to follow the characters in the film. Close ups are often used to show the emotions of the characters fears. High angle shots are used to be able to see a wider view of the location the film is set in and to also see action in a particular scene as more action goes on in the quicker paced thriller films. Dutch angles will often be used on villains (antagonists) in thrillers when they are in shot, as this gives a creates a feeling of evilness and uneasiness within the audience. Another way the camera is used in thrillers is so that the antagonist will have their identity hidden throughout the film, until they are finally shown, through the use of camera shots hiding his/her face. Another thing to note is that tracking and pan shots are more often than not used in the beginning of thriller films, particularly on a group of people we should be interested in as the audience. Narrative Thriller films always tend to have mystery's within them. There will also probably be an enigma present which run throughout the thriller film and it will then be answered right at the end of the film. It is usually uncovered by either the antagonist or protagonist in the film. However, some thriller films also have rape or murder story lines throughout, although nearly all thrillers are about uncovering crimes or mysteries.
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