Genre Study:

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Genre Study:

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Genre Study:Thriller

Unit 11 – film studies


What is genre within film and how identifiable is it?

Genre is a French word that means sort or style



helps distinguish films and organise them into a format that is universally understood.


acts as a shortcut to describe films without actually describing the contents of the film.


, characters, setting, objectives, dialogue and wardrobe can be signifiers that reveal its genre.


this people can develop an idea of what to expect based on their previous experiences.


What do thriller movies represent?

Thriller movies

heavily stimulate the viewer, which can make them sensitive, excited, anxious or nervous.



, excitement, surprise and

anxiety are commonly felt during their highly anticipated scenes.


leave you at the edge of your seat; constantly questioning characters motives and the direction of the storyline.

They tend to push boundaries and also offer an intelligent narrative for the audience to interpret.

It requires the audience to pay close attention and rewards them with a climatic ending



Notable Directors:

Alfred Hitchcock

David Fincher


Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock helped define the thriller genre with his films.

He is an acknowledged auteur and has been named “the master of suspense”. He thrived in it, developing a unique directorial style that brought audiences back over and over. He was able to put the audience in the heart of the drama using camera techniques to intensify the reaction.

He is known for many films such as:

Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window and Rebecca.


David Fincher

Without actively following this director you can’t avoid seeing his name attached to highly praised and discussed blockbusters. He’s praised for his visual style and his dark storylines. Similarities have been cast between him and Hitchcock for his innovation and thought applied to the technical aspects to add to the narrative.

He is known for many films such as:

Fight Club, Gone Girl, Seven, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Social Network.


Seminal Films:Early – Rear Window (1964)


Seminal Films:Classic – Misery (1990)


Seminal Films:Post Modern – The Neon Demon (2016)


Synergy:Video Games

Some video games have adapted the technical and visual styling's of thriller movies while making it interactive. These games are storyline heavy with many cut scenes. The game will offer the player various response actions that will impact how the scene is carried out. This can range from how you respond in a conversation to deciding who dies in a given scenario. The Butterfly Effect is applied here; certain decisions impact the overall outcome of the game, which can be witnessed later. This means that players won’t always share the same experience or witness the same storyline, which adds replay value.


Example:Until Dawn

In the game a group of friends attend their yearly getaway in a secluded lodge. A year prior two of their friends went missing and were never found. They have regrouped sticking to tradition, wanting to move past what happened. Tropes start to emerge when character relationships are revealed and the killer appears. In film ‘slashers’ tend to be predicable, which take away from the seriousness of the scene. Placing the player in control and having consequences offers an intensified thrill and feeling of suspense.

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