Friday, 13 January 2012

Thriller Conventions

A crime at the core of the narrative (often murder but not necessary)

A complex narrative structure, with false paths, clues and resolutions

A narrative patter of establishing enigmas which the viewer expects to be resolved.

A protagonist who is systematically dis-empowered and drawn into a complex web of intrigue by the antagonist

Extraordinary events happening in ordinary situations

Themes of identity are common: mistaken identity, doubling/dopplegangers, amnesia

Themes of mirroring

Themes of voyeurism

Protagonist with a 'flaw' which is exploited by the antagonist

Titles often reflect an aspect of the pro/antagonists psychological state

There is often a scene near the end of the film in which the protagonist is in peril

Mise-en-scen which echoes/mirrors the protagonists plight

The protagonist is fallible and has an 'Achilles heel' that is exploited by the antagonist. The title of the thriller may relate to this weakness e.g. Vertigo and Insomnia 

The antagonist ensnares the protagonist in an increasingly complex web until the protagonist feels isolated and helpless

The narrative presents ordinary situations in which ordinary things happen

Themes of seeing, reflection and mirroring.

Manipulation of perspectives, visual McGuffins, and optical illusions are common

The audience of a thriller is placed in the ambiguous position of voyeur. Voyeurism can also be a theme and the objectification of female characters is common especially in earlier thrillers

A series of/one important enigma(s) are'is set up in the opening sequence of the film, is further complicates during the first part of the film and only resolved at the very end

Micro elements combine in a build up of suspense

Alice Arnold

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