Examples of Thriller Films:
The Great Escape - A large group of POW’s plan an escape from a German camp in World War II.
The Silence of the Lambs - An FBI agent develops a relationship with the notorious serial killer, Dr. Hannibal Lector, in order to gain Lector’s assistance in the hunt for another serial killer.
North By Northwest - Mistaken for a government agent by foreign spies, an advertising agent travels cross-country trying to survive.
|North by Northwest (1959)|
Crime Thriller film is a sub-genre that incorporates the suspenseful aspects of a thriller with a crime film plot. This sub-genre's plot usually centers on a serial killer, murderer, robbery, or manhunt. As opposed to traditional crime films, the storyline focuses both around the criminal and the protagonist. Crime Thrillers use both action and psychological aspects to build tension and suspense.
Examples: The Usual Suspects, The Fugitive, Jagged Edge.
|The Usual Suspects (1995)|
Film Noir is not simply a sub-genre, but rather a term for a distinct, stylistic type of crime-drama or thriller that was popular throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Film-Noir is characterized by a black-and-white style with stark lighting effects. The main character is usually a cynical hero. Film-Noir relies on a narrative voice and various flashbacks to explain the intricate plot.
Examples: Sunset Boulevard, The Maltese Falcon, Sweet Smell of Success.
|The Sweet Smell of Success (1957)|
In addition to the traits of a regular Thriller, a Psychological Thriller incorporates elements of drama and mystery film. The suspense in this sub-genre comes from the mind, rather than from a psychical threat. The protagonists in Psychological Thrillers must rely on their mental resources to solve the situation. Because of their nature, many Psychological Thrillers cross over into the Horror genre.
Examples: Memento, Rear Window, Taxi Driver.
Religious Thriller film incorporates religious themes, including religious questions, ceremonies, and objects. Though some films can revolve around a specific church, many Religious Thrillers include supernatural experiences not pertaining to a certain religion. Exorcisms, demon possession, and church cover-ups are typical themes of Religious Thrillers.
Examples: The Devil’s Advocate, The Ninth Gate, The Da Vinci Code.
|The Devil's Advocate (1997)|