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The Thriller Genre

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by

Chris Wotton

on 8 October 2016

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Transcript of The Thriller Genre

MEDIA STUDIES
A LEVEL

The Thriller Genre
Mind-map

Frequent Themes & Conventions used in numerous thriller films.
Narrative
"Having to stay awake, to stay alive" - The Invasion
"When a diamond heist goes wrong, and the four girls have 3 days to fix it" - 4321
"Tasked with investigating which of his trusted former colleagues has chosen to betray him" - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
"James Stewart rescues a suicidal wife, to whom he falls in love with" - Vertigo
"Leo Finds out that the island he is on is no normal island" - Shutter Island
Clothing & Props
Technical Features
Settings, Themes & Characters
The themes that frequently came up in the thriller films I researched were Psychiatrist themes, which was out of the ordinary from every day life, which makes it intriguing for people to watch.
Robbery was also a frequent theme used, this theme is linked with danger which is why I believe it was used as it keeps the audience interested and it produces anticipation of what happened.
A persuasive theme was also used in one of the films, which takes a different approach and it tries to resemble every day life, which is very different to the other films in that I researched.
Settings
Urban Locations seem to be very popular for Thriller films, here are the locations of the films I watched:
- Washington DC
- New York
- London
- San Francisco
- An Unknown island
Types of Clothing that appeared in Thriller Films:
- Smart Casual Wear
- Smart Formal Dress & Suit.
Props
Out of all the films I researched the only prop that was really used was guns.
However knives were also shown, but it comes down to the interpretation of the knife that makes it a weapon rather than a tool.
Clothing
From the film's I researched, this is what I found to be the most commonly shown clothing & Props.

The use of weapons can establish to an audience who is the Antagonist or Protagonist, depending on the narrative.
Props can make it clearer for the audience to decode what character has which role, due to the previous ideas we have of props.
While clothing is also effective at showing the audience the characters and what role they have e.g. black could be associated with evil.

> Low Angle, this represents the character or subject bigger than it may appear in real life.
> Canted angle shot, Portrays the un-usual situation, and it frequently used to represent distress.
> Two shot, used to to establish a relationship or connection between two characters.
> Wide Angle Shot, used to identify where the subject is situated and what is surrounding them/it.
> Mid shots are used in thriller films to show the characters body language whilst communicating the props they are wearing, the background etc.
> Close up shots are used to emphasize the characters key details and expressions; therefore communicating to the audience how they feel through facial expressions.
Camera Angles Used
- Voice-over Commentary
- Soundtrack
- Ambient Sound
- Dialogue
- Sound Effects

Sound Used
- Voice-over Commentary
- Soundtrack
- Ambient Sound
- Dialogue
- Sound Effects

Sound Used
From all the films I have gone over I can see that all the narratives are keeping the audience interested.
Characters
Male characters seem to be more common than female characters. Female characters are present in all the films I researched however they are generally not the main characters, however one film that was different was "4321" which involved 4 girls.
However one film that didn't follow this convention was "Shutter Island" which was set on an Unknown island, rather than an urban well known location.
This follows areas of the Steve Neal Theory, who said that films need to follow conventions, but also how a unique implementation that makes the film stand out.
Full transcript