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Genre Analysis Carlo Stanghellin and Conventions

Genre Analysis and Conventions of Thriller Genre

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Genre AnalysisCarlo Stanghelliniand Conventions

The thriller is a kind of fiction that uses the suspense, the tension and the excitement as principal elements of the plot. It is very diffused in literature, cinema and television.A thriller, to define him such, must provoke to the audience strong emotions, particularly suspence and tension.Thriller is a massive genre so it has a lot of subgenres, such as:Psychological ThrillerNoir ThrillerAction ThrillerErotic ThrillerTechno-ThrillerLegal ThrillerDefinition

Stephen KingIan FlemingKen FollettTom ClancyDirectorsAuthorsandAlfred HitchcockRoman PolanskiDavid FincherDario ArgentoDavid LynchChristopher Nolan

ThemesThe primary elements of the thriller are:

The protagonist faces the danger of the death, his/her or of somebody else;The strength of the antagonist initially has to be great of that of the protagonist;The principal plot assembles himself on a mystery that must have resolved;The two principal themes of the thriller are the desire of justice and the morality of the characters.

Common TitlesThe colours used in psychological thrillers are predominantly red, black and white:Red and black= danger, violence, blood, evil and mystery. They are linked to horror genre. Dark background= creating unsettling atmosphere, building tension.


The most popular costumes worn are smart dress and typically not dirty;

If a actor/actress is playing a certain character there costume has to show what character they are playing;

The antagonist (the villain) would normally wear smart clothing;

Depending on the tone of the film, the costumes can change.

It is common in psychological thrillers to use eerie and tense music to build up tension to the audience. Sound

PropsKnives are commonly used to indicate danger. They are often linked to blood, violence, pain and brutality.The most famous example of the use of knives is in Alfred Hitchcocks Psycho.Mirrors are often used in psychological thrillers to suggest the character in front of the mirror has a dark side.KnivesMirrors

Shadows and low-lightning are used in psychological thrillers to give a sense of mystery and danger in the scene.The shadows are used to let the spectators understand that there is a mysterious man in the scene, the villain in most of the cases.

Shadows & Lightning