Investigation of Thriller Films

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Investigation of Thriller Films by Mind Map: Investigation of Thriller Films

1. Narrative Conventions

1.1. Thriller films are split into a number of sub-genres. These sub-genres are usually the elements that determine the narrative conventions.

1.2. Comedy Thrillers- These films combine elements of both genres to create something both humorous and Thrilling. For example: Kindergarten Cop

1.3. Action Thriller- This combines fast action with Thriller scenes, to create an exhilarating atmosphere. The Bourne Films are an example of this

1.4. Crime Thriller- This is a combination of crime drama and thriller suspense. These films often focus just on the criminal and have the police (the protagonists) as the secondary character. An example of a crime thriller is: no country for old men.

1.5. Mystery Thriller- A relationship of both mystery and thriller suspense. They have often have great story plots that intrigue the audience. Most mystery thrillers make the audience and think and question in order to follow the story line. For example: Seven

1.6. Psychological Thriller- These films are usually based on the mental state of characters. Stereo typically the protagonist is involved with something that affects their sanity. For example: Black Swasn

2. Character Conventions

2.1. Nearly all Thriller films have a protagonist and antagonist.

2.2. The Protagonist usually has a problem or is sent on a mission, or has to solve a mystery. This is usually the main character.

2.3. The Antagonist is the enemy of the protagonist, and is responsible for any danger surrounding the protagonist.

3. Setting & Sound

3.1. The majority of thrillers are set in a city area, and some are set in areas like the woods. Films set in the city areas have a variety of choice when it comes to background sound i.e. people shouting, cars, violence etc. Whereas if its set in the woods there is less background sound and have more natural sound i.e wind, sticks breaking etc. Both Sound and Setting are very vital elements as they create the overall atmosphere, which plays with the emotion of the audience.

4. Current Directors

4.1. Obviously there loads and loads of Thriller directors. However , A few of the main directors include: Wes Craven who directed Scream, Sam Raimi who directed Spider-man 3 and Tobe Hooper who directed the Texas-Chainsaw Massacre

4.2. These 'large scale' directors play a large part in the Thriller genre. As they have a reputation, therefore when one of their new films comes out people watch it as they know it will be good because of the excellent director. Therefore the big directors are vital to ensure Thrillers achieve their gross goal.

5. Types of Characters

5.1. Just like other types of films, Thriller films have stereotypical character types, that continuously appear in Thrillers

5.2. A Convict- is a character that has been found guilty of a criminal offence. They usually appear in crime and mystery Thrillers, for example: Hartigan from Sin City.

5.3. Psychotic Character- These characters suffer from psychosis, which have extreme affects on the mind. Therefore they are usually a danger to the public in the film because they unaware of what they are doing. For example: The Joker in the Batman series.

5.4. A Stalker- This is someone that has an obsession with a certain individual, and follows them without their permission. Stalkers follow some of the same trends as psychotic characters. They tend to appear in crime and mystery Thrillers.

5.5. Innocent characters- A common trend of Thriller films is innocent civilians being brought into crime and mystery.

5.6. Law Enforcement- Due to most Thriller films including crime, law enforcement usually plays a big part in the film. For example: Jack Traven from the film Speed, had to deactivate a bomb.

6. Low-Key Lighting

6.1. Low-key lighting is especially important in Thriller Films. As low-key lighting emphasises a tense, scary atmosphere, Therefore this is a great way for the director to tell the audience tension is building and something bad will happen.

7. Mirrors

7.1. Mirrors are a widely used element in Thriller films to portray the reflection of the protagonist. This reflection in the mirror is often the darker side of the character which is hidden from the other characters in the film

8. Iconatography

8.1. Shadows & Silhouettes- Both these elements create mystery and a dark atmosphere for the audience. They are mostly used to hide an identity and leave the audience with a sense of enigma. Silhouettes give a clearer look of the outline of the hidden object or person, whereas shadows distorts things and confuse.

8.2. Weapons- These are used to assert authority in films and create instant tension

8.3. Drugs- Drugs play a big role in a lot of Thriller films, and in some instances they are the main focus of the film. They are usually associated with the antagonists.

8.4. Cars- They are in pretty much every film and can sometimes be the focus. They can often be related to a character and be specialised in several ways. For example: James Bond films always have a unique car.

9. Types of Camera Angles & Shots

9.1. Extreme long shot- This is used usually at the start of a thriller so the audience can establish the scene or landscape of where the film will take place

9.2. Long shot- This is similar to above but is used the audience have a more specific idea on location

9.3. Medium shot- This shows the character with the lower part of their body cut off. This can display some background setting and focus on the characters facial expressions and emotion.

9.4. Close up- This emphasises the emotional state of a character by filming just their face. This means the viewer is drawn into a subjects personal space and shares their feelings.

9.5. Over the should shot- This is used for 1 on 1 conversation

9.6. High angle shot- The camera is placed at a higher level above a character looking downwards towards the character, This shot can show the character to look small and weak

9.7. Low angle shot- The camera is placed below the character looking upward to the character. This camera shot can make the character look strong and powerful.

10. What is a Thriller?

10.1. A Thriller Film is a genre that revolves around anticipation and suspense. The aim for Thrillers is to keep the audience alert and on the edge of their seats. No matter what sub-genre a Thriller film falls into, it will emphasize the danger that the protagonist faces. The tension with the main problem is built on throughout the film and leads to a highly stressful climax.