When looking at films from any genre there different groups and social classes which are presented. Within the thriller genre there are specific social groups we can talk about.
The first social group we can talk about is the male gender. The man plays a specific role within the thriller genre as do women. The man is usually the protagonist. In Thrillers there is usually some type of quest for the male protagonist, unlike in action films these quests are not usually fast paced and full of action. Vladimir Yakovlevich Propp was a Soviet folklorist who analysed Russian folk tales to break down and look at narrative elements and also characters.
- The villain (struggles against the hero)
- The donor (prepares the hero or gives the hero some magical object)
- The (magical) helper (helps the hero in the quest)
- The princess (person the hero marries, often sought for during the narrative)
- The false hero (perceived as good character in beginning but emerges as evil)
- The dispatcher (character who makes the lack known and sends the hero off)
- The hero (AKA victim/seeker/paladin/WINNER, reacts to the donor, weds the princess)
This is theory can also apply to films within the thriller genre. An example of a film it does apply in is ‘The Matrix’. In the film the Matrix there is a clear Hero which is Neo, The Donor which is Morpheus, a villain which is Agent Smith, a dispatcher which is the oracle, a princess which is Trinity (despite the fact she is strong and can fight at some point of the film Neo has to SAVE her) and a false hero which is cypher. Although The Matrix is assisted by CGI and contains a lot of action, it still has some features of a psychological thriller.
Within our thriller however we didn’t really include Propp’s theory. Our main character was a female and she was the only character we really see within the piece apart from the girls in the flash backs who are already dead.
Some character types are not really mentioned in Propp’s theory, the one I’m going to be referring to is the Femme Fatal. A Femme Fatal is a woman who is often very beautiful and extremely seductive. Despite being extremely beautiful and seductive she will only ever looks out for herself, in most cases the femme fatal will die or be killed in the end. Some times the femme fatal will help the hero then betray him in some way.