Sunday, 30 January 2011

Watching Documentary

When watching the 'Watching Documentary' I realised more so the true importance of effect of the beginning part of the film, the key quote I thought was  'Films need to be seduce their audience into long term commitment. While there are many types of seduction. the temptation to go for the instant arousal is almost irresistible.' which was said by Thomas Sutcliffe. I think this summarises what everyone else was saying. He suggests that you need to keep the audience interested so they sit and watch the rest of the film, so you must 'seduce' them into it - tempting them as to what's to come. and with going with 'instant arousal'  means you catch them straight away, whether it be with shock, fear or something else. 

I think another important factor is to not give to much away, but also to give enough away to make them feel like they know what's going on. I think this was important to pick up on as, as an audience member I can relate to the feeling of not knowing enough that you switch of as you think you are not going to get the film. However, you do not want them to give too much away as then you feel bored by watching it. 

One thing in the documentary which I thought was quite shocking was learning that Orsen Welles' Touch of Evil, as he first directed to create suspense, and have more of an effect. But during cuts, universal pictures decided to change the music, and re-do the titles, to their taste, and Welles said that it spoilt the effect he was trying to create. Despite Welles writing a long letter advising them not to they went ahead with it. 
The other strong point  was that the beginning of the film is the most important part, as if you miss the start the film could be totally different and the effect of it could be lost, a prime example of this is 'Phsyco' . 

In the documnety Tanley Kauffmann said that the classic opening shot was to have an establishing shot, usually of New York, then of a building then to go up the building, then in through a window then you see the character. This is proven effective in many films, however I think it would be a bit boring for the thriller I am going to do, and therefore will not be using it. 

Structure Of Openings With Examples


I watched 'Marothan Man' in lesson and was asked to analyse where important information like the directors names, sponsored companies names and actors and actresses names came in.

My opinion on the opening of the film is that, to me it was very boring. It didn't grab me and if a opening of a film does not grab me then I loose interest in it.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Response to the "Watching" documentary

In this lesson, we watched a documentary called "Watching". This documentary was about film openings and how affective they can be, and also what makes them effective. Thomas Sutcliffe says that "Films need to seduce their audience into long term commitment. While there are many types of seduction, the temptation to go for instant arousal is almost irresistible." By this quote, i think that he means that films need to make the audience interested in watching them and not make them get bored and want to leave halfway through the film. I also think that the latter part of this quote suggests that putting full effort into the opening of the film is irresistible to make the audience fully engaged.

Another quote from this documentary is "A good beginning must make the audience feel that it doesn't know nearly enough yet, and at the same times make sure that it doesn't know too little." The meaning of this quote is pretty obvious. The audience must be engaged enough so that they are eager to watch more of the film, and find out exactly what is happening. If you don't give the audience enough information at the start, they are more likely to be too confused, during the rest of the film, to figure out whats happening.

Critic Stanley Kauffmann describes the classic film opening as starting off with an Establishing shot, specifically in the east of New York. The next shot should be of a building, and then a close up of a window. After this, there should be a shot of what's inside the window, most likely a office, and then you should introduce a character. I believe that this is the perfect movie opening because you are given just the right amount of information about the surroundings, and an introduction to one of the characters, where you can then make connections as to what the story is about.

Kyle Cooper's title sequence to the film Seven, is extremely effective in my opinion. The mysteriousness of this is extremely engaging. There is alot of tension, suspense created, and the viewers are put on edge as they have no idea of what will happen next. There is not alot of information given about what actually happens in the film,  but the way that the colours, camera angles, and font is involved, makes the viewers interested in what may happen throughout the film.

Camera Info

We have been introduced to the camera that we will be using to film our thriller openings. The JVC GY-HM100. We had to listen to a short introduction; how to treat the camera properly to make sure that we do not damage it, and receive the full potential. Here is the list of things that I have taken away with me from this lesson:
  • Use the tripod to secure the camera - this is so that if you want to get a nice steady shot of the action that may be taking place, it's best not to shoot the scene with a flimsy camera. If you use a tripod, the scene will be more steady.
  • Close the lens when the camera is not in use - It is important to close the lens when the camera is not in use because the lens can be easily scratched and people may touch it with their fingers in which case you will see your work in editing with finger prints on it.
  • Focus before filming - This is important, it is always best to find the shot that you want to take before hand, set it up, press record and then move onto the '5,4,3,2,1,ACTION' theory, before starting any real action that you want in your scene.
  • Make sure to have permission to film in the place where you are filming - some places may not be permitted to take footage therefore it is important that you ask for permission to film in the area that you want. ie. tube station, it is important to ask if you are allowed to film in the tube station.
  • Don't vandalise - if you need a wall of graffiti, don't spray paint the walls, make sure to ask for permission to use a wall that has already got a legal graffiti design on it.
  • Always use an umbrella above the camera not yourself when you are filming - it is important to not let the camera get wet, the repairs for damages could be expensive.
  • Return the camera on time - It is important to bring equipment back in time, so all students who are permitted to using the camera get to have a chance at filming.
  • Using the microphone - I there is diegetic sound in your shot, it is best to ask for a microphone that can be attached to the top of the camera, this way you will get good quality sound.
  • Make sure to always put the camera and tripod back in their cases - This is important for obvious reasons; so that the camera and tripod are both safe, so they do not get scratched and will get less dusty.
  • The battery life on the camera lasts up to 2hrs - this is important to keep in mind when you're filming, so that you can be prepared to bring the camera back and charge the battery for your next shoot.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Opening a film

There are many different ways you can start a film, and they are all used to suit the film.
Discrete titles 
These are when the titles are separate from the rest of the film, they are usually highly edited and styled. Covering all the titles and information.
Se7en contact sheet
A good example of this is seen in the film 'Sev7n' where they have many close ups quickly edited together.
Styled editing
Styled editing is when it is is fabously styled to together to include the story as well as the style. It grabs the 
audiences attention. It is usually quick paced. A good example of this is 'The Taking of Pelham'

Credits over a blank screen 
This is when the titles come up over a blank screen, with a soundtrack or some sort of noise. Until they eventually show images with some titles still coming over. An example of this is Donnie Darko:

Narrative film with titles 
Is when the film starts, the setting and the characters and the titles run over it, it is a common way to start. One film that does this is The shining.

Denotations & Connotations

Denotations & Connotations

Font Analysis


Whilst in lesson, I came to realise that choosing the right font to feature in the sequence is just as important as filming.

Different types of fonts vary to give off different types of emotions/moods.

There are also many different connotations and denotations of type.

We then noticed that the font used was 'Papyrus,' a very popular font that was used in everyday life. But from looking below it looks like the designers have designed it slightly differently.

In class we were asked to analyse James Camerons' 'Avatar' film title.

  • Treasure map
  • Ancient
  • Natural
  • Chipped
  • Trees
  • Old
  • Egyptian
  • Pirates
  • Hieroglyphics
  • Tribal
  • Hand made
  • Rusty
  •  Looks very adventurous
  • Seems that it looks very futuristic in a way
  • Looks shiny so there may be fantastic scenery, maybe
  • Looks very glowy so that may suggest its kind of a mystery

Different types of fonts

Bossfonts Image
 Bossfonts Image
It is extremely important choosing the font, the font catches attention and fits the moment

Livetype & Sound


Adding sound to my groups video proved to be quite easy as it was self explanatory. There was a wide variety of different types of sound effects and that helped quite a bit. 

My group decided to add an MP3 file to the video but we had to convert it to a MOV file which was quite a struggle. When fading in and out the music it was actually really good because it looked professional and it didn't look fake. However we didn't use sound effects because I didn't feel the need to. i think, personally, there wouldn't really make any sense but I suppose you'd put sound effects to suit the video I suppose. Furthermore, using livetype to get the title for the clip was DIFFICULT. I'd say it was difficult because as we made the title for it we had to render it afterwards and there was a complication with the clip not playing. But we got there in the end, thank God. 

Importance of fonts in movie titles

What are fonts? Fonts are a complete character set of a single size and style of a particular typeface. In other words, fonts are the style or shape given to the letters you are reading right now. In the old days to change fonts a printer or typesetter had to buy or make a whole new set and then have that set ready to go for his printing. Nowadays, we simply select from dozens to thousands of fonts on our computer and we click away to make what would have once been a frighteningly expensive and overwhelmingly time consuming physical effort into a breeze.

Fonts are important because they are often our first introduction. They say you only get one chance to make a good first impression and fonts are usually what create that first impression.  The font chosen for that resume is going to either create a good first impression or not. If a silly font is chosen, say the Andy font, which looks like a small child’s writing, that might set the wrong tone. Sure it will standout amongst the rest, but to what end depends a great deal on the job applied for, to be sure.

Since fonts represent styles, they therefore also represent moods. When watching a commercial on TV, or a trailer at the theatre, the fonts chosen say a lot about the product being advertised, and the creators know it. If they want viewers in a romantic mood they are not going to use a blood dripping font or a flashy science fiction one either. They will choose something round and smooth that doesn’t take the viewer away from the product, yet still informs them. By the same token, a horror movie might be dieing to use that blood dripping font.

Fonts in the computer world are as easy to select as clicking a button and their importance has grown with that ease. Readers and viewers know there are now countless available fonts to be had, so they expect a font that fits the occasion. 

Avatar was heavily slated for the use of the 'Papyrus' font because it was an obvious font and people may of expected something different.



Film industries spend a lot of attention to the font they use for their title, a key reason for this is because it is one of the first things they see - in marketing it is the only thing along with one picture someone would see on a poster. So therefore it needs to show what the film is about. 

Connotation and Denotation 
Denotation is what you see and the obvious facts you get from looking at it. 
Connotation is what lies beneath that, the meanings and what individuals can gather from it. 
For example, a spider denotes; black, eight legs, and insect and it connotes fear and discomfort for some people.
This connotation and denotation is used a lot in the fonts used for films. A prime example is 'Avatar' as they used a 'Papyrus' font, this was highly criticised as it is seen as tacky and cheap after they spent loads of money in filming. 
However, Cameron chose it as it is chipped, it looks tribal and natural, his twist on it (making it glow) shows a more alien like effect. All this denotes to the theme, another planet, lack of technology, tribal and nature. Which is why it worked effectively in his film. 

'Rocky' is also a good example of this. 

The font used in the Rocky poster the bigness and boldness shows the masculinity and the strength of the main character. The simplicity shows that he leads a simple life. The fact that some of the letters are curvy show a softer side appealing to a female as well. The way it doesn't quite fit in, shows us that that he may have trouble fitting into life, and may be facing a few problems.  

The effect of the font in 'Big Momma's House 2'

In the poster for Big Momma's House 2, they used a bold but fun font.

. The red contrasts the background, indicating humor
.The color red also matches Big Momma's dress
.The font looks both masculine and feminine
.The font's big and curvy, the 'G' at the end of 'BIG' is exaggerated to look fun
.Informal font
.Looks loud and chunky, stands out

Introduction To Editing


Now, editing my groups mini video clip was an ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE. 

I honestly thought that it was going to be a 'field day in the park.' But NO, NO, NO. It was very difficult if I do say so myself. A lot of thought had to be put into how we were going to edit the film and so on. 

It got very complicated as some of the scenes that we edited it was not playing at all. We then thought that as the sequence of the opening title was not rendered properly. Also, a mistake I made NOW rather than later when making the final thriller is that my group members and I didn't save our work. When it came to uploading the clip it was absolutely MANIC. Lucky we saved it. The technician then told us that when we save it the first time it automatically saves it very so often. 

I have vowed to save my work as soon as I start working on it! 

Marathom man title sequence Breakdown

Title Sequence Which Inspires Me ! :D


The title sequence for the film 'Sherlock Holmes' is very intriguing. As the sequence matches with the whole idea of the film which is set in the early 19th century. The type that is included in the sequence looks very hand written and it looks very 'old fashion' which is why it compliments the film so well. The colour of the background also looks very ancient and very antique. 

I have come to a conclusion that the title sequence of a film is an important aspect of the beginning of a film. In fact the beginning of the film determines whether or not what kind of film this may turn out to be. For example if a horror clip was being shown you wouldn't put a sequence which has nothing to do with the story itself and it is a waste of time really, well in my opinion anyways!


Tuesday, 25 January 2011



Well, well, well folks. When I first saw this word, I was left thinking 'What is that, like seriously?' It had me confused, so I decided to use my intiative and research what it mean't.

Intertextuality - The whole network of relations, conventions and expectations, by which the text is defined; the relationship between texts. 


Intertextuality basically means borrowing textual ideas and transforming it into your own.


How Is Suspence Created In 'The Stepfather' ?


'The Stepfather' film has many aspects of a chilling thriller. Conveying typical things such as; mysterious background music, camera shots, which helped in showing that is was INFACT a thriller and how it was edited. I will be analysing three scenes which stood out to me.

The First Scene

Which was infact the introduction of the film. The viewers seeing all of the killers poccessions as if he had an obessive complusive disorder. The way it was filmed. Panning across the objects made it seem quiet creepy in a way, it certainly made me feel uncomfitable but I still wanted to procceed in watching. The background music as well was very strange and spooky. It seemed very sinister. As the killer put on the CD player, 'Silent Night' a gospel, religious song was being played as he was doing things like making coffee, having a slice of toasted bread which seemed very normal of a person to do. But as he walked off the camera stood still and we eventually saw a boy. Cold in blood as the killer killed him. This was disturbing to watch. The editing scene for this is when we could see a full body shot of the killer standing away from us. And the camera speeding up to him as we see flash backs of the young female victim.

The Second Scene

I choose to do the scene were the killer(David) was sufficating the childrens father. This was horrible to watch but it left me feeling to watch more of it. To see what happens next in the killers process. The big close up of the dad's face in the plastic bag, to me, looked very terrifying as there was eventually blood which you could literally see. The suspence of this was when the son, Michael gets very suspious as he can hear noise coming from the basement. We, the audience are left thinking 'Is David going to get caught, he has to, there's no way out of this' But he doesn't and we are left thinking 'Oh damn it!' The in tense music in the background is very striking as in a way it sort of glamourises how he is killing the father.

The Third Scene

The last and final scene which I have analysed is when Michael is in the basement, I was literally left off the edge of my chair thinking is David(The Killer) going to catch him. And the fighting scene on the roof. The music intensifies the whole scene and without that, I personally think that it wouldn't make it as a good film. The close up shot of Davids' face as he stands there in angry depics the emotion he is going through and I believe that this really conveys a good typical thriller film but with an edgey twist to it. As Michael pushed David out of the broken wooden works of the house. They ly helplessly as we get a birds eye view of both Davids' and Michaels' body.

My Thoughts ...

I conclude to the point that the film as a whole was very exciting, it gripped me from the start and wasn't at all boring. The jumpy bits were David appeared out of no where is something I may suggest to my group members as it was scary and it definitely made me up. Camera works such as speeding up also may be considered as it looks like a great effect to have put into a thriller sequence. I enjoyed watching the film, like really enjoyed it. Personally, if it WAS out in the cinema I would not watch it. As I thought it didn't really appeal to me but as they say 'Never Judge A Book By It's Cover' and I have definitely realised that, it has also made me have a wider look on other films which may not be to my taste.

Structure to a thrillers opening

The four basic structures to a thrillers title sequence:

  • Narrative opening with titles running throughout
  • A discrete title sequence
  • Narrative opening with titles running throughout
  • "Stylised Editing" it is a mixture of the first two
  • Titles over a blank screen, followed by the narrative opening
From watching the title sequence of the film "se7en" it is clear that it is a discrete title sequence. There are no narratives and also there are a lot of ECU's, by using the ECU technique we (Audience) can only see parts of the main focus i.e. scissors cutting out photographs, part of the newspaper and we can see the hands of a person but not the face. 
I liked in this title sequence a number of things firstly the combination of music in the editing "drums and sounds that you would find on a keyboard",  this determines that the sequence is a psychological thriller.
Se7en contact sheet

Analysis of Fonts


We will be making a title sequence to a thriller of a genre which we will choose. I have started to think about the different types of fonts that can use over the top of the video clip.
We were informed about the two types of font Serif fonts (Times, Courier) and Sans Serif fonts (Ariel, Comic Sans).

In class, we have looked at the films "Rocky" and "Pearl Harbour". The fonts used in each of these films are very different from each other, but Rocky has a kind of modern feel to the film unlike Pearl Harbour which has the effect of being an old film down to its fonts used.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Marathon Man Titles

The titles sequence of 'Marathon Man' were very 'normal' as title sequences go. The order was as follows: 
Distributing company (Paramount)
Director (John Schlesinger)
Production designer
Associate producer
Screen play

So they did actually inform us of the producers and the directors twice which isn't that common. They put the big distributor along with its logo, to make it memorable, so you associate the whole film with it, and it also announces the start of the film. The most import members are usually seen to be first or last, so when it comes to making my own title sequence I will remember to do the same.

The actual film in this opening sequence did not give us many ideas of the plot or that it was a thriller, it was just a man running after a filming of a man running the marathon. The only clues that gave it away that it was  thriller was that the music was slow and kind of creepy. Also you could hear the breathing quite loudly and the footsteps. 

Analysis to the opening of 'What Lies Beneath'

I think what makes 'What Lies Beneath' so suspenseful at the start of the film is the music, if you just listen listen to the sound of the film, you would know something bad is going to happen, it has  very eerie and creepy feel to it, the music is quiet and speeds up, it is quite changes the pitch and the tempo in a very 'scary' way, and then just before it stops it has a sort of whispering murmur. It also has the digetic sounds of the water splashing and then the woman being breathless and panting, which gives away it is a thriller.
Another way it creates suspense it thorough the camera work, as to begin with it is like the camera is moving upwards to the bath tub, hence 'What lies beneath' so the audience knows that there is something 'beneath'. Then there is a close up of the woman's face as she lifts her head out of the water, and it also somehow looks as if there is another face above hers for a second. this close up as she quickly lifts her head above the water makes the audience jump a little. When we see the wide shot of her bathroom and her in the bathroom, it is shot from a very low angle, so it is almost like she is being watched, the low angle also emphasises the 'beneath'.
For my Thriller film, I will strongly take into consideration the choice of music, as straight away it can set a film up. And also camera shots and the movement, I think the look of being followed or watched makes for  good thriller, and also the perspective shots. As in reference to 'The Shining' the shots at the beginning  were from above as if it was a bird. So in many thrillers these shots are carefully chosen.

The trailer for 'What Lies Beneath' :

The Newspaper

(Refer to video upload of 'The Newspaper')
The Newspaper was a short film that we edited, to get used to and 'explore' some of the software we shall be using when doing our final 'thriller' film. We were asked to film something of 'everyday' and make it interesting to watch. We got a newspaper, and we had someone in the college library secretly reading the sun, and looking at page three. There were a range of shots to work with and edit together.

When editing I learnt a lot bout Final Cut Pro. the software used to edit the film, We cut down quite a lot of clips, to keep it quick and not boring. We also chose which to put there, keeping it in a reality order. At times there was quite a lot of time consuming to stop the edits being jittery, and it took time to make everything match up, but in my opinion our final result works well, and the cuts are fairly tidy. So I think that was good practise.
Even though we didn't use it, we learnt how to quicken up scenes. We also used the 'razor blade' to cut a camera shot into two. And became familiar with the rendering tool. Overall the software is helpful, and straight forward once you know what you are doing, but it will need more practice. 
Soundtrack software
We also used the soundtrack software which was fairly straight forward to use, and enabled us to create background music, as well as keeping some of our original sounds; like the newspaper, but we called also turn them down, as there was talking as well from the public. We chose the 'Pink Panther' theme tune as we thought it suited the cheekiness of our film, but also an 'inspector' feel to it, as he looked around to make sure no one was watching. It kept with the pace of the film, and I think works well with the final product.

Even though we didn't use any of the music on there, we discovered a lot of effective ones. There was also a lot of sound effects, which didn't work in the newspaper but will be helpful for when we do our real thriller.
Live Type 

We also had some time to go on 'Live Type' a software which helped put more complex titles on, changing the effects, fonts and colours. I learnt a lot about the things which you can do with it and it will hopefully make out final thriller film more interesting and fit well. However, unfortenetly we didn't have enough time to complete our titles but we did have 'The Newspaper' we used a typing font as it fitted with the newspaper, and we thought white was simple and effective. The effect we used was also simple and fitted in well with the theme. 

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Newspaper

After the pain, sweat and tears, here is our final clip 
of 'The Newspaper' coming to a cinema near you!

The Stepfather

The Stepfather is a thriller, about a man who finds families, marries into them and ends up killing everyone. He works on a pattern, he will carry on going to families. 
What signified this was a thriller to me was that it had key parts that you see often in thrillers; for example there was a scene where the bathroom rails ripped of one by one, and when he 'fell' off the roof to then pop back up again. There are also elements in the plot which are typical of thriller for example in the end 'no one knows' where he has gone. 
There were many great scenes in this film which make it suspenseful, but three especially stood out to me. 
The bathroom scene:
The bathroom scene at the start of the film is very suspenseful, as the audience is still unaware that the man is a killer, or anything to do with the plot, the only information the viewer has at this time is that the newspaper has been 'cancelled' and now we see a man with his 'tools' lined up as if by habit. This does seem a little odd to the audience. The suspense continues as we see him seem to change his identity and by dying his hair, shaving his beard off and changing the colour of his eyes. This then means the audience gets a little suspicious of him, as the start to get intrigued. There is also a close up when he has different colour eyes, this is a typical evil look, and therefore is a good shot to initiate that he is going to be bad. 
The neighbour scene: 
The scene where the stepfather goes to murder the neighbour upon hearing that she is suspicious of him after seeing him on 'America's most wanted' is very suspenseful. This is mainly done through the filming and editing. As we are pretty sure (as a viewer) that he is going to kill her, so when the door bells goes we think its him. However there was no one there, but we know that he would be around. The also used the cat well as it was as if we were waiting, and waiting scared for him, but then it was 'just the cat' so we relax a bit, but then all of a sudden the stepfather comes. Creating a more scary atmosphere. I think in this scene it mainly concentrates on the 'jump' factor. Wanting to make the audince jump, with use from quick editing and also the cat from mise en scene. 
The basement scene:
The basement scene is one of the most suspenseful scenes, as we know in the plot that the stepfather  will be coming down and the girl has lost her charger, however it is the editing which makes this scene really suspenseful. As it keeps cross-cutting between the girl in the car finding the charger, the stepfather waking up and coming towards the door, and the boy in the basement, this allows the viewer to see everything that is happening, so we fear for the boy rather than if the director only showed us the stepfather at the end. What also made this scene suspenseful was the mise en scene and lighting as it is at night, so its dark, it is also raining - this is a typical thriller setting which makes the audience know something bad will happen and would also keep them a bit more 'jumpy' in the stormy setting. The music also makes it suspenseful as it is string music, which is quick paced and eerie. With it constantly gets louder, each time he discoverers the clues to who his stepfather really is. 

The Title Sequence
The title sequence in the stepfather is similar to most others, it has the production company and dispatch company first, it has the title, then actors and co-stars, and other sections of production and finishes with the director. However, whilst watching I realised that there were not the same mount of time in gaps, it would stop and start the titles if there was a key part in the film going on. For example it stopped the sequence when the audience had to see that the newspaper was cancelled, also when he was changing identity, but on the parts which we don't really need to pay attention to, like walking down the stairs, it showed the titles again.
The actual film, in this opening was very effective as it showed a man going around daily routine; shaving, making toast and turning on the radio, however it dropped little clues that something wasn't quite normal about this setting, with the changing eye colour and carrying suitcases. But we do not actually see any criminal side to him until towards the end when we see a boy dead on the table, followed by other children and  mum, and bloody tools in a sink. I also think the music plying 'silent night' creates a more eerie atmosphere as in a way it describes his night, he killed everyone so it was silent that night. It is also however a children's carol sung for joy which contrasts the scene.  

Thursday, 13 January 2011

How is suspence created in 'The Stepfather'(2009)

'The Stepfather' displays many conventions of a typical thriller movie. But also, 'The Stepfather' is also original in the sense that the 'bad guy' is the stepfather, unlike in 'Snow White' and other classics, where the enemy is usually the 'evil' step mum. 

From the start, we see how twisted the stepfather is. What starts off a normal day with the stepfather(Dylan Walsh) preparing for a day, with him brushing his teeth and eating his toast, turns very twisted when we see his murdered family on the floor. This causes suspense and curiosity amongst the audience, and has a very strong effect on the audience because of the unexpected outcome. During the whole beginning scene, there was sincere music playing which contrasted the incident and made it even more twisted.

This suspense carries on throughout, where we learn he moves in with a new family. Everything turns out peaceful and normal until an old lady from across the street implies that the stepfather committed a murder after being seen in America's Most Wanted. As a common convention, we all expect the old lady to be his next victim, and does become his victim. In the run up to her death, a 'false plateau' was created when there was a 'doorbell' scene where no one was there. The old lady then found her cat in distress inside a closet, and having pulled the distressed cat away, she shuts the typical cliche mirror cupboard door shut and we see the stepfather appear out of no where. Although very expected, the scene was still intense and shocking.

Thunderstorms and rain add to the effect of the last scenes. The family find out his true identity and there is a chase between the family and the stepfather, and in the stepfather's last scene, the son(Penn Badgley) has a tussle together on the roof, and in the most obvious scene, the stepfather was thrown over, but this was just part of the 'false plateau' and after expecting he was dead and thrown down, he climbs back up with his hand striking up first to shock the audience, and pulls the son down with him.

In general, I feel 'The Stepfather' was a good film and created a lot of suspense and was also very original, and had a good closing scene where we see the Stepfather in the shop 'luring' in another lady to dinner like he ruled the one in the family.

Thriller Sub-Genres


As I am aware, there are a variety of different types of thriller films. Varying from pyschological thrillers to romantic thrillers. In order to create a very good thriller, in my opinion you have to have the following key aspects in order of succeeding; suspence, tension and excitment.


Conspiracy Thriller - Marothon Man
Crime Thriller - Silence Of The Lambs
Disaster Thriller - Poseidon
Mystery Thriller - The Number 23
Pyschological Thriller - Phone Booth
Political Thriller - 'V' For Vendetta
Supernatural Thriller - The Skeletion Key

I personally think that mystery, political and supernatural thrillers are very appealing. Mystery thrillers gets the audience including myself thinking about the scenario of the film and what could happen. This type of thriller is exciting even though, there are a few scary scenes in movies such as 'The Number 23'

Political thrillers also gets me thinking about life in general and how society is. In 'V For Vendetta' the plot of very twisted and not normal, saying so, I feel that this makes the film marketable as the actual moral of that film is that 'Do not believe all what the government says as they lie, alot.'

V For Vendetta Trailer

I really like supernatural thrillers, in my opinion they are like 'light' versions of horror films. I like how supernatural thrillers scare us but it's like they have some sort of spell on us that makes us, the audience, want to look at the screen even more. The Skeleton Key was quite a good film, it had a decent plot and so on.

The Skeleton Key Trailer

Thriller Sub Genres

 Thriller Sub-Genres and examples

Romantic Thriller- He loves me, he loves me not
Supernatural Thriller-What lies beneath
Psychological Thriller-Momento
Political Thriller-Enemy of the State
Action Thriller-De Ja Vu

I find action and Supernatural thrillers most appealing to me because I feel they're more exciting and entertaining, because there is a lot going on, and would probably have more unexpected scenes which would make you jump and curious. 

I feel political and psychological are more interesting, because some are reality based and make you think more, and keep you on your seat wondering what's going to happen, and usually the unexpected happen.  Whereas for romantic thrillers, they're a bit more predictable where you're almost guaranteed a happy ending.