The Modern Thriller

Powerful Essays
“Give the audience pleasure, the same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare.” This unusual statement made by Alfred Hitchcock, accurately represents a major theme in his style of film. Hitchcock, otherwise known as the master of suspense, incorporates multiple factors into his works, which have now become known as Hitchcockian elements. For example, Rear Window, a story which takes an average, small town, condensed neighborhood, and places a murder scene in the middle of it all demonstrates the Hitchcockian idea that “no place is safe”. The film takes place in L.B. Jefferies’ apartment, where Mr. Jefferies, an injured photographer fears he has witnessed a murder and spies on his neighborhood to put the pieces together. This classic example of a Hitchcock film can be compared to Mark Pellington’s Arlington Road. This film also takes a small town setting and inserts danger in the form of a terrorist. Michael Faraday, a college professor, suspects his neighbor of being a terrorist and uses his connections and researching abilities to check up on the possible threat around him. Both Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window and Mark Pellington’s Arlington Road share classic Hitchcockian elements but also contrast in major stylistic elements as well.

Mark Pellington’s Arlington Road can be compared to Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, when analyzed through thematic and stylistic ideas. A classic Hitchcock film demonstrates a blurred line of good and evil. This means that characters are not entirely evil or entirely good. That concept is used to induce more fear into the audience through a more realistic plot. Another famous element of a Hitchcock film is the use of an enigmatic villain. Hitchcock was one of the first directors to ...

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...ese films to categorize Arlington Road as a classic thriller. I believe the few changes that were made only enhance the film. For example, the tasteless perfect ending is eliminated and replaced with an unconventional one which only adds more suspense to the film. Also the main idea that no place is safe, the use of charismatic villains and a blurred line of good and evil remains intact through out this film as well. It is seen in the setting of a suburban town and even the dialogue as well. Also Lang true status remains a mystery to the public allowing him to stay charismatic, and even the protagonists use unethical means to achieve theirs goals. I believe Pellington honored Hitchcock’s classic elements while adding his own style to the film. If Hitchcock’s goal is to give his audience a nightmare, Pellington is just as successful through his film Arlington Road.
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