2. WHAT IS A GENRE?
A genre is essentially a category of Film or Television usually decided by the
narrative e.g. If the film was set in the distant future with flying ships, this may be
categorised in the Sci-Fi genre.
The genres that I am going to cover on this presentation will be Drama, Thriller,
Action and Sci-Fi.
I have chosen to analyse these genres because they are the most commonly used
and they typically have the most gripping narratives which makes it easier to pick
out certain conventions from each genre
A crucial area of a thriller film is suspense. Thrillers often do not deal with outright conflict of a
physical nature at first. They tend to build up to moments of conflict with a heavy amount of
suspense. Thrillers usually work best in the format of a novel, as the author has time to build and
establish characters until moments of action. These moments of action will, therefore, be that
much more intense due to the establishment of the characters involved.
When relating this to ‘Gone Girl’, the pace is definitely slow to begin with. Fincher spends a lot of
time on longs shots to spend more time with the characters, and develop them and their
motivations. The suspense builds steadily, until there is a moment of extreme violence at the
end of the film.
An interesting way of differentiating the thriller and horror genres is the following; In horror films,
the fear of the audience is for themselves, and in thriller films, the fear is for the characters.
Examples of thrillers include: ‘No Country for Old Men’ (2007), ‘Shutter Island’ (2010), ‘The Usual
Suspects’ (1995), ‘Black Swan’ (2010)
Drama is one of the broadest genres within media, and has a huge number of sub-genres within
This is because drama is one of the most accessible genres to film in. Films in this genre tend to
be slower-paced and dialogue-heavy, and rely on the emotional and relational development of
realistic characters throughout. This genre is about characters and relationships, and the conflict
that tends to be associated with it.
Some of the sub-genres in drama, such as ‘costume dramas’, are often part of long-standing
television shows. This examples include, ‘East-Enders’, which nearly entirely relies on established
characters and relationships to drive the plot of each individual episode.
When relating this back to ‘Gone Girl’, much of the drama comes from the relationship between
Ben Affleck's character and Rosamund Pike’s. Their conflict is central to the plot, just as the
suspense of Amy’s disappearance is too.
Within this film, the two genres, thriller and drama, are combined. This is because the film’s plot
is both driven by characters and relationship, and also by suspense and external conflict.
A Psychological Thriller is a suspenseful movie or book emphasizing the psychology of its
characters rather than the plot. In a psychological thriller, the characters are exposed to danger
on a mental level rather than a physical one. The audience are more likely to have a connection
with the psychological aspect of the film because they might have experienced what the character
is feeling at some time in their life.
A Psychological thriller is a sub genre of the more broad genre of a thriller. A thriller is a film in
which the audience may feel emotion for the characters rather than for themselves that you may
see in a horror film for example.
In a psychological thriller the audience will witness the situations in the narrative form the
prospective of the protagonist. This creates a different view on the narrative because the
protagonist can manipulate the audience into thinking in the same way as him / her.
This is the genre that we have decided on because we feel as if it offers the most creativity for the
piece therefore we can make something different and original that will not sway into any other
genre of film.