I previously made 10 film reviews for a variety of thriller sub genres and hybrids of this genre; all of which I can connote that particular conventions are frequently expressed, along with a variety of themes that differ to one another, depending on the particular category the film falls into.
To start with, I have considered what I find the most significant point/aspect to each of my film reviews, such as:
- Dark Places- In this film, it was difficult to see who the protagonist was, meaning that there needed to be a clear establishment of particular character roles in the film. I think that in our opening title sequence for a thriller, we need to make sure that the audience will be able to know what’s the role of the character, and how might she behave in the film.
- Poker night- the special effects make up created quite a gory and gruesome aspect to the film, I didn’t really expect to see that much blood and gore in a thriller film as I was suprised to see this film wasn’t a horror due to this being a convention of this genre. But also, “Poker night” comforms to circular narrative as the ending starts the film off, and throughout watching the audience are left anxious, asking questions about what’s going to happen.
- Silence of the lambs- feelings of anticipation and suspense are made throughout, for the reason that the antagonist makes the audience feel uneasy but at the same time glued in watching the characters every move. I find this is a very important aspect to include in a film because the audience need to have strong engagement with the media text, otherwise I think that it won’t heighten the audience’s emotions of anticipation to the thriller film; which this is needed because for a film to be categorised as a thriller, it’s all about the feelings of anticipation, suspense, excitement etc that’s created.
- Assassin- the film begins with someone being shot straight away (circular narrative), indicating a gory element to film being established from the very start; this reinforces the idea that thriller films also contain gore, not just a convention of the horror genre, indicating that it’s now often used in the thriller genre as well as.
- One hour photo- the audience’s perception of the character in the film changes throughout watching, for example the audience feel sympathetic towards a character who appears as a lonely man, but then grows in feeling as if he is a creepy man due to the change in his character as he becomes extremly obsessed with a family. I like this idea of having a character who appears to be normal at first but then the audence’s view will change as the character is really the complete opposite to what they had believed. For instance, in our opening title sequence having a child/teenager will go against the audience’s stereotypical belief that children are innocent, as our character will be the antagonist of the film, thus subverting their expectation.
- Psycho- also in this film the audience’s perception of a character changes when the exceptional plot twist revealed at the end, displays Norman dressing up as his psychopathic mother; in which the audience are left in suspense throughout watching to finally being resolved when the truth is proclaimed.
- Careful what you wish for- the plot twist in this film is of two characters who work together aginst the protagonist, only revealed near the end of the film, where the audience are left shocked as they could never had figured this out. I like this idea of making the audience think one thing, then switching their view to something else, a technique called manipulation where I have noticed that many thrillers include in the film.
- The visit- the point of view shots used throughout makes the audience feel physically engaged and connected to the film as the audience are made to feel as if they are in the position of the two victims battling against the two antagonists. This is a good way of capturing the audience’s attention as you can then draw them into certain aspects of the film, as well as heightening their feelings of anticipation to see what’s going to happen.
- Regression- the gory aspect in the cenrtal part to the story of charcaters acting in a satanic cult, adds to the idea that not just horror films contain this element of gore, but thrillers do as well as.
- The girl on the train- the way in which the ongoing battle to find out why a particular character went missing or is dead, is central to the story and thus makes it easier to classify this film as a psychological thriller for the reason that the auidnece are left in suspense throughout, to see the outcome as the story intrigues the audience so much to the extent of them beliveing that the protagonist is actually the antagonist. This is not until near the end, where the auidence learn that all that’s been shown is not actually true, therefore intensifying their anticpiation to see what is.
Overall conventions of the thriller genre that I have found out through watching several thriller films include gory aspects, mise-en-scene playing a significant part, plot twists which reveal overwhelming resolutions the audience wouldn’t have expected, feelings of anticipation and uneasiness, shadows commonly used, and the antagonist of the film has a hidden identity.
Elements I did except to see more common in thriller films would be low-key lighting, as this creates an element of suspense as the audience are intrigued to see the outcome, due to it being difficult to see through the darkness with less light.
But also, most of the films weren’t shown in a film noir style that would have intensified and heightened the contrast between black and white, thus creating shadows. The only film noir I watched was Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. This means that I had expected to see darkness which is metaphoric for good vs evil, when is wasn’t the case for most of the thriller films that I had watched.