Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Thriller Genres

There are numerous thriller sub genres, as each incorporates its different conventions, storylines and elements it creates a unique atmosphere as each different factor adds demonstrates different attitudes to the audience. Some of the most prominent thriller sub genres are:


Conspiracy thriller: is a type where the hero/heroine confronts challenging and numerous group of enemies, or organisations which the main character often is the only one who realises the extent of the enemies power. Conspiracies sometimes based of sects, like freemasonry and illuminati, and/or integrated with political corruption and evil.
Crime thriller: This kind of genre is a hybrid of both crime films and thrillers that may be an attempt at a crime, or the police side trying to stop the crime, which is the main story plot convention for crime thrillers. These films often focus on the criminal(s) but can also be viewed from the perspective of detective or policeman. Central topics of these films include serial killers/murders, robberies, chases, shootouts, heists and double-crosses. Scarface by Al Pacino could most likely be an example.
Legal thriller: A type of film involving lawyers and their employees, that are often faced with a situation of having to present a case at court and defend the protagonist.

Political thriller: In which the hero/heroine must ensure the stability of the government that employs him. The success of Seven Days in May (1962) by Fletcher Knebel,

Psychological thriller: In which (until the often violent resolution) the conflict between the main characters is mental and emotional, rather than physical. Characters, either by accident or their own curiousness, are dragged into a dangerous conflict or situation that they are not prepared to resolve. At times, the characters attempt solving, or are involved in, a mystery. The suspense created by psychological thrillers often comes from two or more characters preying upon one another's minds, either by playing deceptive games with the other or by merely trying to demolish the other's mental state. The Alfred Hitchcock films Suspicion
Or the more recent film silence of the lambs,

Comedy thriller: A genre that combines the contrapuntal elements of comedy and thrillers, a combination of humour and suspense or action. Films such as Silver Streak.

Spy thriller: In which the protagonist is generally a government agent who must take violent action against agents of a rival government or (in recent years) terrorists. It is a significant aspect of British cinema, with leading British directors such as Alfred Hitchcock making notable contributions and many films set in the British Secret Service. The spy film usually fuses the action and science fiction genres, however, some spy films fall safely in the action genre rather than thriller (e.g. James Bond), especially those having frequent shootouts, car chases and such.
Supernatural thriller: In which the film brings in an otherworldly element (such as fantasy and/or the supernatural) mixed with tension, suspense and plot twists. Sometimes the protagonist and/or villain have some psychic ability and superpowers. Examples of this could be films like 6th sense.

Sub Genre Audiences

There is a correlation and connection between different sub genres and different audiences, you are likely to find the same kinds of people who are sharing similar interests to watch the same kind of movies as each other. Each sub genre attracts or repels certain demographics for example, many people are repelled by watching horror as they find it to gruesome, whereas some people get a thrill from it and enjoy it. The type of genre you prefer can usually depend on your age, with children enjoying animated or family friendly movies, teenagers enjoying thrillers and horrors and adults enjoying drama etc. The last demographic separation of film tastes is through gender, boys and girls respond differently to different stimuli, therefore one sex may prefer certain plots and story lines more than the other gender, this can be displayed by the example of girls enjoying romantic films.

There is a narrow area for a thriller to modify its conventions and morph into a different genre before it is a different genre, so what this means for thrillers is that they have to involve suspense and tension, otherwise they would be classed as a different genre which would mean audiences everywhere would never be sure what kind of film their watching. So it is hard to classify these films as they are not an easily categorized. Audiences are not always particularly bothered about genre and dont always look out for certain genres, however knowing the exact genre helps narrow down the films that the audience would be interested in.

-David Ziolkowski

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