Thursday, 16 December 2010

Memento - Psychological Thriller

Romantic Thriller Clip- Alfred Hitchcock

Taken Trailer

Thriller Sub Genere Research

Thriller is a genre of  film that uses suspense, tension, and excitement as the main elements. There are many Thriller sub-genres such as crime, mystery,  political , supernatural etc. However psychological thrillers are interesting me most at the moment. The best psychological thrillers are packed with suspense and have elements of mystery, drama and deception. I find them interesting as they tend to focus more on the plot, the twists in the plot can take you from complete comprehension to complete confusion, keeping you gripped to the screen. 

Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock, who is considered the master of suspense, made several amazing psychological thrillers. Below are some examples of his work that first interested me in the sub-genres:

Psycho (1960)

Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho is the 'mother' of all suspense film, and has influenced many other thrillers. 

Vertigo (1958)

Strangers on a Train (1951)

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

Dial M for Murder (1954)

Thriller Sub Genres Research

 Sub genres are identifiable sub-classes of the larger category of main film genre, with their own distinctive subject matter, style, formulas, and iconography.There are many types of thriller genres such as romance and detective and mystery. However this particular clip from "what lies beneath" inspired me as it's clear that its a phsycological thriller. I feel the film highlights ghostly imagery and spiritual events that automatically automatically makes the audience know its a gory film .

What Is Suspense

A dictionary definition of suspense would indicate that it is a feeling of apprehension about what is yet to happen. To be in a state of suspense is to be uncertain about the future, and have an emotional stake in what will unwind. Screenplay writers and fiction writers commonly use suspense as a plot device, creating a series of cliffhangers that keep people reading the book or watching the film.

Thriller Sub Genres Research

Sub genres is simply a genre within a genre. sub genre movie is a movie which includes the theme of more than one genre. As part of my coursework I am studying Thriller sub genres. examples of these are; Romantic Thriller
Action Thriller
 Psychological Thriller
Horror Thriller
All those highlighted in bold are the sub genre of the main genre Thriller.
The sub genre I have decided to go into more depth is Psychological Thriller and the movie clip I have chosen to represent this is the 1980 Thriller movie, the shining.


A little boy, riding on a tricycle along a never ending corridor at full speed. Something is bound to happen. A first watch of this movie, i would think that it was anything but a thriller, perhaps the eary diegetic sound of the music gives it away. The long corridor that seems never ending creates an uneasy feeling. We know something is going to happen but when and how. Who is going to jump out of nowhere. No dialogue yet much suspense is created just through the setting and surrounding and music.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

1. uncertainty: the state or condition of being unsure or in doubt about something
2. enjoyable tension: a feeling of tense excitement about how something such as a mystery novel or film will end
3. anxiety: a state of anxiety or intense worry about something

SUSPENSE is an anxious feeling, one feels when certain actions or outcomes are unexpected; often occuring in dramatic work. for example, television shows, and most commonlh films. Suspense is purposly created to build up tension of a big event or dramatic scene. Film director Alfred Hitchcock is well known for using this technique of creating suspense by making the audience believe a bad event is going to happen, however they are powerless in stopping it from happening.

This makes the audience feel a sense of curiousity on whats going to happen next which usually leads to a cliff hanger. Suspense is created in many different ways, for example ending the scene dramatically leading you to know more as to what happens after that occuring event; a simple 'last speech' or 'important prop' all add to the suspense.

suspense - shani

Suspense is an excited anticipation of an approaching climax  that occurs when someone or something is making the audience feel uncomfortable in an certain situation. This usually happens when an audiences  is in a situation where there is a lead up to a big event or dramatic moment where the audience is in and awkward position. Therefore  suspense is a combination of anticipation and uncertainty dealing with the obscurity of the future.