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Friday, 7 January 2011

Thriller Sub-genres

The thriller genre is a diverse one, consisting of many sub-genres; however, they all set out to provide excitement, tension and suspense. The main sub-genres are psychological, crime and mystery thrillers, the latter of which branching off the crime genre. Many thrillers crossover with other genres, and thus there is an abundance in sub-genres for thrillers. Here are some other examples:

    Varied examples of different thrillers
    • Acquired identity
    • Action thriller
    • Alien threat
    • Good vs. Evil
    • Innocent on the run
    • Murderous passions
    • Political thriller
    • Supernatural thriller
    • Technology out of control
    • The beast as threat

      The type of thrillers that inspire me the most are psychological thrillers, as some of my favourite films fall under this genre. What appeals the most to me about these films is probably the recurring themes that run through them, e.g. the concepts of reality, the mind, perceptions, etc. and how these are coupled with thrilling plots. I suppose I also find appeal in the fact that a lot of psychological thrillers border on horror, which is a genre I also enjoy.

      My favourite psychological thrillers include: the 2001 'cult classic' Donnie Darko, which has been a firm favourite of mine for a few years now; The Butterfly Effect starring Ashton Kutcher, which spawned two god-awful sequels; Gin Gwai (The Eye), a hit Asian horror crossover, which you may know from the 2008 remake starring Jessica Alba; and live-action Japanese film Death Note, which can also be classed as a crossover of genres including psychological thriller, supernatural, and mystery.

      A couple of recent psychological thrillers I've seen are The Box (directed by Richard Kelly, best known for Donnie Darko) and Oscar-tipped Black Swan, both of which I found slightly disappointing, although I thought they had very promising premises. Other thrillers I've enjoyed include Panic Room which is one that I've liked for a long while, and more recently, the gripping Buried, set entirely in a wooden coffin.

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