The Lodger - 1927
After a series of murders take place in London, all victimising women, a landlady begins to suspect that her lodger is the killer responsible for the killings. One of Hitchcock's earliest and most famous films, 'The Lodger' is regarded as one of the world's first thriller films, incorporating mysteriousness and terror but, notably, lacking the degree of violence which was first introduced by Hitchcock in 'Psycho' , and remains constant in most thrillers.
Psycho - 1960
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, 'Psycho' was initially received sceptically by audiences and critics, however it eventually received outstanding box office returns and is now regarded as a pioneer in the ...view middle of the document...
The realism of the shark, along with the camera shots used and, pivotally, the iconic ‘Jaws’ theme tune, contributed to the cultivation of a previously unparalleled sense of terror, which was subsequently continued throughout the sequels to the original film. This film, largely adheres to the common conventions of thriller films, however it did challenge the generic idea of the protagonist and antagonist as, in this film, the antagonist is a shark and the protagonist is the community at the centre of the story, rather than an individual. Other than this, ‘Jaws’ boasts many of the remaining conventions of thriller films, including a location which allows for some sort of problem, and an eventual solution to this problem.
Goodfellas - 1990
Set in the gang-run city of New York, 'Goodfellas' is the story of a gangster who, after years as part of the group eventually turns on the mafia. The story also follows the other members' attempts to escalate to the top of the extremely hierarchical mafia.
Reservoir Dogs - 1992
Following the failure of a jewellery heist, the remaining group of criminals begin to cast suspicions over the legitimacy of one of the group, claiming that he is a police informant. Set in the U.S city of Los Angeles, the film is perhaps most famous for its use of contrapuntal music, in a scene where one of the criminals is torturing a policeman who he has captured. The scene is of a man with a knife in his hand, and as he is about to torture the policeman, 'Stuck in the middle with you' by Steeler's Wheel comes on the radio. This is contrapuntal as the positive connotations of the song strongly juxtapose the terror of torture. This was arguably the most famous and effective example of contrapuntal sound, with the first memorable example being the opening of 'The Shining'.
Se7en - 1995
Se7en is the story of two detectives, who hunt a serial killer who selects his victims according to the seven deadly sins. One of the detectives, William Somerset (Morgan Freeman), is a veteran and the other, Mills (Brad Pitt), is a rookie. Moreover, Somerset begins to befriend Mills' wife, (Gwyneth Paltrow), who is heavily pregnant and is...