2. WHAT IS A THRILLER?
A thriller follows the classic narrative structure highlighted by Todorov’s
theory – equilibrium – disequilibrium – equilibrium, this is usually a battle
between protagonists and the antagonist. By the end of the film the ‘hero’
will have resolved the enigma (riddle) thus stereotypically solving the case,
catching the bad guy and winning the girl . The story is basically chain of
bad events that build up suspension for the climax of the good and evil
meeting for the final time to finish the film and restore the equilibrium.
Main conventions of a thriller:
• Low key lighting
• Quick cuts
• Fast changes in angles of shots
• Diegetic sounds E.g.: Breathing
• Black and white shots
The ‘good’ character is often a brave male who is the character who is looking
to restore the equilibrium, this character will also meet other lesser
characters that will help them alone the way in their mission to restore this.
The antagonist will have a hidden identity that the audience will uncover as the
film progresses, the agonists is usually someone from the ‘good’ guys past
that is out for revenge because they have affected their life in a bad way in
Cinematography of a Thriller
In the cinematography of a thriller it will consist of a lot of close up and extreme
close ups of the protagonist character, also it can be used to focus on
important props and to aid the narrative, however on the other hand the
antagonists character will have quickly cut shots and will aim to hide their
identity, for example they will be shown in a dark corner where you cannot
see their face to keep it a secret to keep the audience guessing.
4. EDITING OF A THRILLER
In the editing of a thriller the director will try and include lots of jump cuts, with a fast
flowing pace throughout the film. However the reason they do this is so they can have
lots of things happening but everything is still making sense at the same time, another
type of editing that is popular with the thriller genre is cross cutting this type of
editing is used to build suspense which is essential for a thriller.
Sound in a thriller
Music is essential in any film to help move the film along and also to understand the
mood of the character and also the scene, in a thriller it is mainly there to add
suspense and tension, thrillers often start slow paced and them build up to make the
shots more dramatic for the audience.
The location of a thriller is very important for the film because it helps the
audience know what they are watching and establish the theme of the film
The lighting in a thriller is mainly low key, however it often starts with very bright
colours for the audience to feel there is nothing wrong.
Costumes – the antagonist will be in dark clothes if you see them to show who
they are, however sometimes the director will try and use that to his advantage
and trick the audience putting the antagonist in normal clothes. The
protagonist will be mainly ordinary everyday clothes.
6. ACTORS IN THRILLERS DIRECTORS INVOLVED WITH THRILLERS
X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2009
Alien vs. Predator 2004
The dark night 2008
The dark night rises 2012
Django unchained 2012
Kill bill v1-2 2003-4
Pulp fiction 1994