• Common Thriller conventions are ideas of identity such as in Shutter island.

Shutter Island focuses on Teddy Daniels who has a traumatic past and troubling dreams in which he sees his dead wife. It is found out later on his memories are false and he is not who he believes he is.

  • The protagonist having an Achilles heel is another common convention of Thriller. In Shutter Island Teddy Daniels weakness is his past, he doesn’t want to remember and the false antagonist Dr. John Cawley uses this weakness to get him back to a normal mental state.
  • The narrative is centered around an orderly disappearing from the asylum. Thrillers are normally centered around a crime of some kind.
  • A build up of suspense is often used, this is used in Shutter Island to make the viewer feel shocked in the final reveal.
  • The protagonist is seen in peril quite often in Thrillers, this is evident in Shutter Island in the scenes where Teddy fights off patients and guards to reach the lighthouse.
  • The protagonist is often caught up in a complex web as in Shutter Island when Teddy has to solve the mystery surrounding the island and he is shown to be quite frustrated by his lack of proof and difficulty to solve the mystery.
  • The narrative often presents ordinary situations which are made extraordinary, in Shutter Island the disappearance of the patient is very strange because of the circumstances involved.
  • The theme of identity often involves mistaken identity which is present here in Teddy’s confusion over himself.
  • Voyeurism is used a lot in Thrillers, we are spying on Teddy’s dreams and his every move as he travels through the island.
  • The enigma at the beginning of the film is common in Thrillers and present in this movie because of the missing patient, it is resolved at the end when we discover his true identity. The theme of tricking the audience is also used.
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