Christian Metz

Applying Christian Metz’s Genre characteristics theory.
Christian Metz’s was French film theorist who is renowned for his genre characteristics theory. Metz’s claims there are reoccurring expectations there are 4 development stages that can be applied to a genre; Classical, Experimental, Parody and Deconstruction.
Classical – An original piece of work which is developing the initial codes and conventions of the genre. For example the Thriller movie genre was established as early as 1926 with silent thriller film, ‘The Lodger’. Then amateur director Alfred Hitcock defined the thriller genre with his suspense thrillers with the success of ‘Rebecca’ (1940), ‘Saboteur’ (1942) and ‘Shadow of a Doubt’ (1943). Hitchock was instrumental in establishing the thriller movie genre and still has a major influence even today. The initial thriller movies experimented with sound, acting and visuals. Below is a classic thriller scene from the movie 'Psycho'.

Experimental – This is where the genre is established and experiments which different sceneries and scenarios. In the late 70’s and early 80’s the experimental stage began to employ psychological origins to the thriller genre. For example
Parody - In the 90's the development stage reached a phrase where thriller scenes and movies incorporated comedic effects watering down expectations of the film.

Deconstruction - The thriller genre has now evolved into a stage where hybrids are evident. The thriller has now fused with several other genre creating sub-catergories the most established being sci-fi/thriller or horror/thriller hybrids.