characters in thriller movies

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Characters in thriller movies

Characters in thriller moviesJoe Sheldon

Thriller moviesA thriller can be split into three subgenres; a psychological, action and criminal thriller. In my movie idea, the subgenre is psychological and criminal, however overlap is often found in characters that are typical of thrillers, even though their role may differ.An example of a famous psychological thriller is The Sixth Sense (Dir. Shyamalan, 1999). Furthermore, The Bourne Identity (Dir. Liman, 2002) and Reservoir Dogs (Dir. Tarantino, 1992) are famous action and crime thrillers respectively.

The innocent victimEach thriller requires a victim to show the power of the antagonist. Usually these victims are in groups, although it can be found that a singular victim is used to show the villain deteriorating the victim's physical or mental state.One such innocent victim is Jodie Fosters character Clarice Starling in Silence Of The Lambs (Dir. Demme, 1991). The film is primarily known as a horror but has many psychological thriller aspects. She is shown interrogating serial killer and cannibal Hannibal Lecter to gain information about another killer on the loose, Buffalo Bill. In various scenes, she is shown suffering as a result of talking to him and is clearly uncomfortable during scenes with him.Other kinds of innocent victim include a typical chatterbox character, usually a young woman, and a young couple.

Criminals and convictsThe first major threat in thriller movies are criminals. These can be criminals that corrupt the main character during their time in prison or escaped convicts that are a threat to society. In Silence Of The Lambs, Anthony Hopkins plays Hannibal Lecter, a serial killer who is in prison and being asked to provide information on a fellow killer. During scenes in which he is being interrogated, he feels a dangerous character, with long takes of his crazed face often being the main focus. He is the threat in the film, who constantly feels to be perpetuating danger.These characters already connote danger after being in prison for doing something wrong, which aids them in appearing as lethal to the character


Stalkers and creepy attitudesIn a psychological thriller, a stalker can be the main villain and threat to the innocent victim. Their obsessive behavior appears as frightening in the movie and will show an audience who the antagonist is from the start without the need for mass exposition.Sometimes the stalker does not need to have a physical presence to be scary. A sense of unease can be created through mentioning of their actions or attitudes. The Blair Witch Project (Dir. Snchez, 1999) is often regarded as one of the great psychological films, and it shows no manifestation of the threat to the characters throughout the movie.A general tone of malice can be created around a character through multiple film-making methods. Long takes that continue after the other character has started talking, obsessive behavior and acting unnatural can all create this sense.

The lawThe law, in the form of the police or a generally powerful character, is present in thriller films- but fulfills different roles in action and psychological thrillers.In an action thriller, the law can often be an antagonistic presence. They oppose the criminal who is the main character of the thriller film, often fighting for a cause the audience can support. This is seen much in the Fast and Furious action thriller series.However, in psychological thrillers the law can often be an end goal or protector of the main characters. The aim is often to call the police or be protected by them throughout. The Silence Of The Lambs shows Clarice as being under constant protection from the law.


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