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thrillers

The thriller is a broad genre of literature, film, gaming and television. It includes numerous, often overlapping sub-genres.

Thrillers are characterized by fast pacing, frequent action, and resourceful heroes who must thwart the plans of more-powerful and better-equipped villains. Literary devices such as suspense, red herrings and cliffhangers are used extensively.

Thrillers often take place wholly or partly in exotic settings such as foreign cities, deserts, polar regions, or high seas. The heroes in most thrillers are frequently "hard men" accustomed to danger: law enforcement officers, spies, soldiers, seamen or aviators. However, they may also be ordinary citizens drawn into danger by accident. While such heroes have traditionally been men, women lead characters have become increasingly common; for an early example see Sigourney Weaver's character Ripley, in the movie Alien, 1979.

Thrillers often overlap with mystery stories, but are distinguished by the structure of their plots. In a thriller, the hero must thwart the plans of an enemy, rather than uncover a crime that has already happened. Thrillers also occur on a much grander scale: the crimes that must be prevented are serial or mass murder, terrorism, assassination, or the overthrow of governments. Jeopardy and violent confrontations are standard plot elements. While a mystery climaxes when the mystery is solved, a thriller climaxes when the hero finally defeats the villain, saving his own life and often the lives of others. In thrillers influenced by film noir and tragedy, the compromised hero is often killed in the process.


The article above is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Thriller fiction".