Genre Research – Thriller

To begin to understand what is frequently found in thriller films, have decided to watch as many films in the genre as possible in order to get an understanding of the recurring features, so that I can make my short film as realistic as possible.

The basic plot is as follows:

A man named Trevor Reznik becomes responsible for a work lace accident when he accidentally cuts off a co-workers arm because he was distracted by an unfamiliar colleague named Ivan yet when asked, nobody in the factory knows of this man. We see him spend a lot of evenings at an airport diner speaking to a waitress named Maria who he formers a rather strong bond with, to the point that he is taken on days out with herself and her son. After spotting Ivan several times whilst busying about his life, he decides to track him down by taking his registration number to the DVLA, who tells him that they cannot give out this information unless a crime had been committed. So in severe desperation, Reznick throws himself in front of a car and reports to the police that Ivan’s registration was the car that ran him over. However in doing this he learns that this car belong to him and that it had been reported missing a year ago, which leads him to run away from the police station in a haze of confusion. He shows up at a female friends house where she cleans up his would from the accident and cooks for him, and whilst at her house, he comes across a picture of a man named Reynolds stood with Ivan which of course sent Trevor into a fit of aggression and he accused her and Ivan of conspiring against him. However all through this commotion, she is continually telling Trevor of that photo is of himself stood next Reynolds but he refuses to believe it. He rushes to the airport to see Marie but he notices that she isn’t working, which is strange because she always worked at that specific time. After demanding to see her he is told by an unfamiliar waitress that a lady named Maria never worked their, and he learns that this unrecognised waitress is in fact the woman who had served him every day, not Marie. As the tension of the film progresses we see Trevor murder Ivan in the bathroom, which is contrasted with flashbacks of the photo showing Trevor with Reynolds which presents the fact that Ivan replacing Trevor in the photo was completely delusional. We then cut back to the opening scene where Trevor is shows disposing of a rolled up rug which presumably has Ivan’s body inside, but as the rug unrolls we see that it is completely empty, and we see Ivan, alive and well, approach Trevor. It is then revealed that Trevor ran over and murdered a boy similar to Maria’s son a year ago, because he was not focussing on the road which was witnessed by the boy’s mother who looks identical to Maria. This revelation leads Trevor to hand himself into the police whilst accompanied by Ivan in the car.

I think this film fits the thriller genre because personally I found it really confusing the first time I watched it, due to the fact that the protagonists delusions were so strange, but after watching it for a second time it was clear that this film was incredibly well thought out! I think the main aspect of the film that made it a  thriller was that the true story wasn’t revealed until the end which enhanced the viewers confusion. I plan to include some element of mystery and confusion into my short film, as I will not reveal the reason behind the mans anxiety until the very end, building up the suspense found in other thriller films. The Machinist is classed as a psychological thriller, as it concerns the mental state of the protagonist; just as my short film will thus fitting it into the thriller genre, as it will be focused on the irrational anxiety that the main character feels towards his allotment.


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