Thriller vs Phsychological Thriller



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  • Thriller vs Phsychological Thriller

    What's the difference?

    I've heard a few agents are looking for psych thrillers now (don't get excited), but I'm trying to understand when a plain ole thriller makes the leap to physc thriller.

    And where would Fatal Attraction fit in?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2's an example I like to use. Silence of the Lambs vs. Hannibal.

    In Silence of the Lambs, we had a lot of mental, palpable tension between the characters...we had subtext laying deep underneath the dialogue. We could almost hear their thoughts. What scared us was what went on in our heads because of what we saw, not as much as what we saw.

    In Hannibal, all we had was a bunch of people running around after each other -- gun here, knife there, and the occasional man-eating pig. We saw EVERYTHING. Thus, there was nothing left to the imagination.



    • #3
      THE GAME, MEMENTO, ANGEL HEART, REPULSION are psychological thrillers. I've always considered the genre to be mind-f-ck movies.


      • #4
        Thrillers in general

        - Physical jeopardy
        - Usually some mystery component -- the protag has to figure out what the hell is going on
        - Protagonist is chased (and eventually becomes the chaser)
        - Two examples are 'North by Northwest' and 'Enemy of the State'

        The Psych thriller is a subset, in which manipulation is used as a primary obstacle to the protagonist achieving his/her goal. I.e., the antagonist purposely uses psychology as a means to defeat the protag.

        There's a book called 'Writing the Thriller' (I think that's the title), I believe it has a very small section about the psych thriller (although this book is intended for authors, not screenwriters, the fundamentals hold up for film too).


        • #5
          Thanks everyone!


          • #6
            my favorite is the supernatural thriller...