Coursework research

Option B:

A promotion package for a new film, to include a trailer, together with two of the following three options:
– a website homepage for the film;
– a film magazine front cover, featuring the film;
– a poster for the film

Examples of successful psychological thrillers:

Black Swan (2010)
Black Swan stands out from other psychological thrillers because of its female protagonist, which differs from the usual male lead.

The Machinist (2004)

Shutter Island (2010)
This movie delves deep into the protagonist’s paranoia and the climax leaves the audience flabbergasted and impressed.

Memento (2000)
The climax packs a punch that the audience would just not be expecting.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Inception (2010)
The success of this film can be linked to the famous main character, Leonardo DiCaprio.

Seven/Se7en (1995)

Insomnia (2002)

The Butterfly Effect (2004)
This film was successful because of the unpredictability of the results of the main character’s actions, thereby creating mystery which kept the audience on the edge of their seats.

Donnie Darko (2001)

Similarities between all/most of these psychological thrillers:

– Christopher Nolan is involved in a few of them

– there is a ‘misunderstood’ character

– unreliable/suspicious narrator

– plot twists

– characters battling their own mind

– mission to distinguish reality vs imaginary

– schizophrenia being the main psychological problem

What makes a good/successful/interesting psychological thriller?

– make the antagonist have both likeable and unlikeable aspects, to have vulnerable characteristics despite being dangerous. Also, this manipulates the audience to amend his/her empathy for this character; this creates a real but damaged/flawed character

– having an original concept

– being more creative eg schizophrenic people should have interesting/creative hallucinations, visions, etc

– the psychological problem being realistic so it is believable and the audience can relate/imagine it better

– the character(s) shouldn’t win using physical talents or efforts, but rather using their mind, wits or smarts

Elements of the Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Suspense and/or Crime Fiction Genres

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