Research- Thriller Conventions

Thriller conventions

  •  Low key lighting
  • Suspense
  • Attack
  • Murder
  • Dark
  • Jumpy
  • Monotone drone
  • Good vs evil
  • Zinger- sudden sounds
  • Red herrings
  • Isolation
  • Dramatic irony

Many thrillers nowadays are hybrids meaning a film that has elements or conventions from more than one type or genre of film.Usually the narrative in thriller films are about crime for example theft or a murder. Film Noir is a particular kind of thriller film and so it has common generic thriller conventions as well as its own unique conventions.The protagonist is more often than not in danger in one or more scenes it is resolved. A build up in suspense throughout the film is common and is usually action packed. Some themes of identity are common for example mistaken identity or amnesia. Enigma is a huge part of the films and is used to make the setting mysterious and keep the audience on edge.The antagonist is usually placed in a dark situation where escape seems impossible.Tense music is used to make the audience feel on edge.

The heroes in most thrillers are frequently tough men commonly involved in danger for example a law enforcement officers, spies, soldiers, seamen, or pilots, but may also be ordinary people drawn into danger by accident. Most heroes have traditionally been played by a male role, women characters are becoming  more common. Danger mystery and violence are standard plot elements and most recently horror. The main element of thrill could be anything such as a supernatural, aliens, serial killers or even chemicals. Some overlapping genres include: adventure, spy, legal, war, fiction, and so on.

Some new thriller films i have seen recently include;

  • Next three days – Russel Crowe
  • Contraband – Mark Wahlburg
  • Unstoppable – Denzel Washington
  • Source code – Jake Gyllenhall
  • Unknown – Liam Neeson
  • Abduction – Taylor Lautner
  • Chronicle – Alex Russel
  • Gone – Amanda Seyfried
  • Man on a ledge – Sam Worthington
  • Safe house – Ryan Reynolds

These films are very typical from the thriller genre. They all include action packed plots and a protagonist that has to defeat something/one in its path. In every film the main character gets involved in a dark path and is uses the theme good vs evil to get out of the situation and ‘save the day’. Most of the films are quite dark and mainly use a male protagonist as the main character. This empowers the men and make them look like the hero. Many thriller films are hybrids mixed with action or romance. I researched this myself as its something relevant to the film we are making.

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One response to “Research- Thriller Conventions

  • Adrian Morris

    I think you need to be clearer in your first line about what a hybrid is. A genre hybrid is a film that has elements or conventions from more than one type or genre of film. Make it clear as well that Film Noir is a particular kind of thriller film and so it has common generic thriller conventions as well as its own unique conventions.

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