Thriller movies are a box office draw cards which are consistency enjoyed by film audiences around the world. Thrillers are defined by the intense emotion they evoke in their audiences. They are, by definition, thrilling. They are often described by terms such as “edge of your sear”, “white knuckle” and “cliffhanger.”The key elements of a thriller movie are high stakes (often life or death), mystery and intrigue. The hero is forced to make a plan to take down the devious villain, false leads (mcguffin), plot twists and betrayal by the hero’s allies.
Thrillers are build on creating multiple story layers, dark moods, tension and suspense by harnessing the power of anticipation.
There are so many categories of thriller films. Here are the main ones.
1) Psychological Suspense
These films are built on the anticipation of bad things happening. They have deeply complex, obsessive characters (especially of the antagonists) and slow burning plots. Examples include Seven, Silence of the Lambs, and American Psycho.
2) Crime Thrillers
These types of thriller films are centered around a serious crime such as a murder, kidnapping, chase or theft. Examples include: Prisoners and Fargo.
3) Contained Thrillers
These movies are typically low-budget films characterized by taking place in a single (or very few) locations. Examples include Panic Room, Saw and The Cabin In The Woods.
4) Action Thrillers
These are some of the most profitable types of movies. They are full of thrills and spills. Die Hard and Predators are good examples. I also include spy thrillers like The Bourne franchise into this category.
5) Conspiracy Thrillers
I include political thrillers in this category where there a huge government conspiracy or coverup that will destroy the nation if it was ever revealed. The Interpreter, Snowden and Argo are solid examples of this.
Religious thrillers like The Da Vinci Code and legal thrillers like The Jury and The Accused also fall into this category.
6) Revenge Thrillers
Sometimes these films are classified as action due to their reliance on elaborate stunts. Solid examples include Taken and the Kill Bill series.
7) Sci-fi Thrillers
These films include a technologic, futuristic component to them. Examples include The Matrix, Minority Report and Source Code.
8) Erotic Thrillers
These are often blended with crime thrillers and involve a love triangle, tryst, forbidden romances and lots of stylish sex (not porn). I think we can all agree that Basic Instinct wins the prize for the best example in this class.
9) Medical Thrillers
There is a disease which can wipe out the entire human race. There is no vaccine or cure and scientists are pitted against insurmountable odds to save humanity. Examples of these movies include The Andromeda Strain, I am Legend and Outbreak.
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