2. The thriller genre creates tension,
uncertainty and suspense within an
audience by using different micro
features in the production of the movie
such as lighting, sound ,camera work
and mise-en scene.
Aim of thriller: Create suspense and
excitement for the audience
Gets the audiences hearts racing, as
they watch with excitement and fear.
3. Violence and blood
Tension and suspense
The location is set, the audience meet main
characters and the genre of the movie is
Sometimes open with a murder
Hidden Identity of antagonist
Long, suspenseful, creepy music
Low key lighting
Binary opposition (Good vs. bad)
4. In the narrative of a thriller film a crime usually takes place
at the start or climax of the plot so the audience are
involved in the story by trying to find the perpetrator and it
keeps the audience captivated, ensuring the film does not
Thrillers usually have a complex narrative structure, with
false destination or clues to keep the audience engaged
with the plot and create enigma, leaving the audience
the crime to solve. Establishing enigmas also make the
audience go into the characters shoes and see different
sides of the movie.
Sometimes the narrative is closely related to the action or
thriller genre and hybrids are created such as action-
It can be similar to horror as the horror genre also builds a
huge amount of tension to shock the audience similar to
the thriller genre which is always looking for a good plot
5. There is always a protagonist, who is the main character of the film and
all events link to them.
Also, there is an antagonist who is the villain of the movie.
Both the antagonist and protagonist normally meet where major
disruption occurs; this is usually the climax of the film.
The hero is the only character aloud to solve the enigma and restore the
There is often the authority figure as well as a hero such as the army or
Protagonist is usually faced with danger which eliminates a small
amount of tension until the story is twisted and the suspense is added
again in a tensed scene.
Antagonist have dark, and sinister motives
The thriller genre also uses characters such as an underdog who is
traditionally a male who is not the stereotypical protagonist, but proves
them self to be a kind nature person who is very useful to the narrative.
Females in thriller genres are portrayed stronger, independent people.
They are also seen colder and less innocent then other genre portrays
The stereotypical victim in thriller films are usually gender specific as they
are normally women, although modern thriller shows males as victims.
The victim is often powerless, and need saving by the protagonist.
However some narrative shows the protagonist as the victim and by the
end of the film they gain power and control to defeat the villain.
6. Thrillers are often urban or suburban areas
Villain usually uses weapons such as guns, knife, and rope.
Many props have sinister or tense connotations
The use of mirrors are very popular in the thriller genre as they show what the
character has done or might do. It also shows how they look at themselves and
the many different faces they have.
Stairs are also very popular in the setting as it shows different levels as there is a
high and low level. This shows the use of power some characters have over
others . Stairs are also used to show characters raising to a challenge or falling
down stairs as they loose power and control.
All of these techniques which the production team use relate to the iconography
of the thriller genre such as confined spaces, isolation, bars on windows to
connote prison and street lamps to create an eerie suspenseful atmosphere.
Lots of low key lighting is used in thrillers as it leaves the audience in the dark as
they do not know what is lurking beneath the darkness.
Spot light is also used to highlight specific areas or characters. For example in low
key lighting a spot light may be used to highlight the villain who is there.
Black and white is also used to show the sinister side of the antagonist and the
cold harshness's which many thrillers films portray. The black and white is also very
easy to watch as an audience member and evokes emotions.
7. The editing team want to create a suspenseful, uneasy atmosphere for
the audience so lots of quick cuts will be used to disorientate the
Lots of change in camera angle and camera shots to create on screen
Fast cuts and jump cuts are often used to disorientate the audience.
Thrillers also often used a film noir style which means they would be
filmed or shown in black and white. Techniques such as the use of
shadows and bars can be found to be used excessively in film noir
thrillers to create the feeling somebody is watching them, this creates a
tense atmosphere as the audience becomes wary and observant. The
effect is heightened because of the film noir as the technique enhance
Cliff hangers create a greater sense of tension an make the audience
crave more from the film.
Computer, generated images are not really a convention or code of
the thriller genre although they are sometimes used.
The pace of editing is very face to create a sense of panic and
8. Sound is used in the thriller genre to create tension as eerie or intense
music is played as diegetic or non diegetic music within different scenes.
Sound bridges are often used to connect the protagonist and
antagonist despite being in different locations.
The music often builds up with the narrative as in the climax of the film
lots of loud instruments are used.
Synchronise sound is also used as when a villain murders the victim a
relevant sound is often playing along side.
High pitched sound is often used as it makes the audience
uncomfortable and shows how something unexpected or unpleasant is
Dialogue in thriller films are also very different from other genres as
monologues and narrators are often used. This creates direct tension as
the audience feel like they get the story from that character.
The music to the film Jaws is a great example how music is used in
thrillers to create tension as this piece of music is iconic around the wolrd
9. There are fast transitions between camera shots and
angles in the thriller genre to create a sense of urgency.
Camera work in used excessively to create tension and
panic within the audience. Fast changing camera angles
helps disorientate and low angle shots are used to create
the impression of power and control.
High angle shots however make the characters look much
smaller and insignificant.
Establishing shots are very popular at the start of a film or
when the location has changed as it sets the scene for the
audience. For example, an establishing shot could be
used after the victim had been kidnapped and placed in
a large container in the middle of no where. This creates
panic within the audience as it leaves them wondering
how and if she will escape.