In all media platforms and text there are conventions that can be seen. Conventions are the typical features and attributes shown in text that have become the norm for the genre. The horror genre has many sub-genres but my group decided to explore the psychological niche for out production. Therefore , I though it would be useful to find out the conventions of the sub-genre so we can use them in our work. I believe if done correctly it can improve our piece and make it conform to other ideologies and stereotypes of the genre.

Examples of the sub genre- psychological:

  • The Shinningth (2)
  • The Silence of the lambs
  • 6th Sense
  • Vertigo

The most common conventions in the psychological sub-genre is the use of cinematography. (Some of these shots that will be spoken about are in greater detail in another blog post – Cinematography) A conventional camera shot is called ‘The Dolly Zoom’, used to make the background seem distorted and convey paranoia and sickness. This was used in cult classic vertigo. This is used because it confuses the audience creating ambiguity and confusion cruical in any psychological film.

A convention found in most psychological films, is watching the characters cope with their difficulties, normally the villain that struggles to with their challenges. Additionally, deepening the understanding of characters is typical, widening audiences knowledge of their past and therefore the narrative. Creating narrative enigmas within the narrative is another conventions. Making the audience wonder about the characters past, attributes and motive. Normally used in mainstream trailer, it is utilised in this sub-genre to creative the same effect of confusion.

This is used in ‘Shutter Island, a film released in 2010.

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During a scene, when a character says “someones missing.” Making the audience question, who is missing, why and how? It allows the audience become more apart of the film as they try to understand the situation.

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