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A thriller is a genre in visual media and literature which focuses on action, fast pacing, tension, and suspense. The conflicts are usually between desperate heroes and powerful antagonists who outmatch them by large margin. Frequent location changes, time shortage, and Cliffhangers are extremely common.
Thrillers can overlap with almost any other genre. They are more defined by their plot and devices than by their content. They can be identified by the thrills the media gives to the reader or viewer.
Modern incarnations of Thrillers seem to overlap more and more often with the Horror and Science Fiction genres, leading to a misclassification of all Thrillers as being Horror, Science Fiction, or both.
Not to be confused with either the Michael Jackson album or the old Boris Karloff-hosted anthology series, nor yet the 1970s British anthology series. Although the Michael Jackson music video does slightly fit in.
Tropes often associated with the genre
- Cliff Hanger
- Mad Lib Thriller Title
- The Reveal
- Title In: Used to make sure the audience doesn't get confused by frequent location changes.
- Airframe, specifically, a techno-thriller.
- Jurassic Park, overlapping with Horror and Science Fiction.
- The Matrix, overlapping with Cyberpunk.
- Serial Experiments Lain, overlapping with Horror and Cyberpunk.
- Kindergarten Cop, overlapping with comedy.
- The Transporter, overlapping with Action.
- The Bourne Series, overlapping with Action.
- Reservoir Dogs, overlapping with Crime And Punishment.
- The Silence of the Lambs, overlapping with Horror.
- 28 Days Later, overlapping with Horror.
- The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable
- The Hunt for Red October
- Jacobs Ladder, overlapping with horror.
- Monster, overlapping with horror.
- Strangers on a Train
- Bad Monkeys.