Research Planning Pre-Production

Define the genre psychotic thriller ?

A psychotic thriller is a genre of fiction that combines elements of psychological horror, suspense, and drama to create a dark and suspenseful atmosphere. This genre often features a protagonist with a mental illness or unstable state of mind who becomes embroiled in dangerous situations. The tension is built through the exploration of themes such as paranoia, delusion, and madness. The genre aims to unsettle the audience and create an intense and frightening experience.

A psychotic thriller is a type of film or book that involves elements of psychological horror or suspense, often featuring a protagonist with a mental illness or a destabilized state of mind who becomes involved in dangerous or potentially life-threatening situations. The genre aims to heighten suspense and fear through the exploration of themes such as delusion, paranoia, and instability.

What are some of the key characteristics of the psychotic thriller film genre?

The psychotic thriller film genre is characterized by a focus on psychological manipulation, often involving a protagonist who is being targeted by an antagonist with a mental illness or psychopathic tendencies. Some key characteristics of this genre include:

  1. Intense suspense and tension: These films create a sense of unease and tension that builds throughout the story, often leaving the audience unsure of what will happen next.

  2. Exploration of the human psyche: These films often delve into the darker aspects of the human mind and the motivations that drive people to do horrific things.

  3. Use of unreliable narrators: These films often feature a protagonist who is unsure of what is real and what is not, leading the audience to question the reliability of the narrator.

  4. Psychological manipulation: These films often explore the ways in which people can be manipulated and controlled through psychological means, such as gaslighting, mind games, and other forms of mental manipulation.

  5. Exploration of mental illness: These films often feature characters with mental illnesses or psychopathic tendencies, exploring the impact of these conditions on their behavior and the behavior of those around them.

  6. Twists and turns: These films often feature unexpected plot twists and surprises that keep the audience guessing and on the edge of their seats.

What are some common themes that are explored in psychotic thriller films?

Psychotic thriller films often explore dark and unsettling themes, including:

  1. Madness and Insanity: Many psychotic thriller films delve into the minds of characters who are struggling with mental illness or who are slowly descending into madness.

  2. Power and Control: These films often feature characters who crave power and control over others and will go to great lengths to achieve it.

  3. Obsession and Stalking: These films may explore the dark side of love and relationships, with characters becoming obsessed or stalking others.

  4. Isolation and Paranoia: Many psychotic thriller films take place in isolated settings or feature characters who feel alone and cut off from the world, leading to feelings of paranoia and anxiety.

  5. Violence and Murder: These films may feature intense and graphic violence, often perpetrated by the antagonist or main character.

  6. Psychological Manipulation: Many of these films explore the ways in which characters can be manipulated and controlled through psychological means, such as gaslighting, mind games, or brainwashing.

  7. Reality and Perception: These films may question what is real and what is imagined, blurring the lines between reality and perception, and exploring the way characters can distort their own reality.

Methods used by directors to create suspense and fear in psychotic thriller films

  1. Music and Sound Effects: Music and sound effects can play a crucial role in creating suspense and fear. In many psychotic thriller films, directors use music to build tension and anticipation, often using low, ominous tones or screeching strings. Sound effects can also be used to heighten tension, such as creaking floorboards or footsteps.

  2. Cinematography: Cinematography can be used to create an unsettling or claustrophobic atmosphere. Directors may use close-up shots or a narrow depth of field to make the audience feel as though they are being watched, or they may use unusual angles or lighting to create a sense of unease.

  3. Editing: The use of editing can also be important in building suspense. Directors may use quick cuts or jump cuts to create a feeling of disorientation, or they may use long takes to draw out tension.

  4. Characterization: The way that characters are portrayed can be an effective tool in creating fear and suspense. In many psychotic thriller films, the antagonist is presented as mysterious, unpredictable, and highly dangerous, leaving the audience unsure of what they might do next.

  5. Narrative Structure: The structure of the film’s narrative can also be used to create suspense. Directors may use non-linear storytelling to keep the audience guessing, or they may use techniques like foreshadowing to build anticipation.

impact of psychotic thriller films on popular culture and society as a whole

  1. Influence on Other Films: Many other films, particularly in the horror and thriller genres, have been influenced by the techniques and themes used in psychotic thriller films. For example, the slasher films of the 1980s were heavily influenced by the work of directors like Alfred Hitchcock and Brian De Palma.

  2. Creation of Iconic Characters: Many psychotic thriller films have created iconic characters that have become a part of popular culture, such as Norman Bates from “Psycho” or Hannibal Lecter from “The Silence of the Lambs.” These characters have become cultural touchstones and have been referenced and parodied in countless other films, TV shows, and other media.

  3. Exploration of Societal Issues: Psychotic thriller films often explore societal issues related to mental illness, violence, and power dynamics. By shining a light on these issues, these films can stimulate important conversations and raise awareness about these topics.

  4. Catharsis and Escapism: For many viewers, watching a psychotic thriller film can provide a sense of catharsis and escapism. By watching characters confront and overcome terrifying situations, viewers can experience a sense of release and relief.

  5. Morality and Ethics: Many psychotic thriller films raise ethical and moral questions, challenging viewers to consider their own values and beliefs. For example, the film “Seven” (1995) explores the nature of justice and morality in a complex and thought-provoking way.

Overall, psychotic thriller films have had a significant impact on popular culture and society, and they continue to be an important and influential genre in the film industry.

What are some classic examples of psychotic thriller films and what makes them so effective?

Directed by Mary Harron, this film follows a wealthy New York investment banker who descends into insanity and violent behavior. The film is effective because of its sharp satire of the 1980s yuppie culture, Christian Bale’s chilling performance as the protagonist, and the unsettling violence and psychological manipulation throughout the film.

Directed by Darren Aronofsky, this film follows a ballerina as she prepares for a role in “Swan Lake” and begins to lose her grip on reality. The film is effective because of the use of hallucinations, psychological manipulation, and a stunning performance by Natalie Portman.

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, this film is a classic in the psychotic thriller genre. It follows a woman who stays at a remote motel and encounters the motel’s disturbed owner. The film is effective because it creates a sense of dread and suspense through Hitchcock’s masterful use of camera angles, music, and editing.

 Directed by David Fincher, this film follows a man whose wife goes missing and he becomes the prime suspect in her disappearance. The film is effective because of the use of unreliable narrators, twists and turns, and a compelling performance by Rosamund Pike.

Genre Conventions

Psychological thrillers are a subgenre of thrillers that delve into the psychology of the characters. They often contain elements of mystery and explore themes such as death, reality, identity, perception, purpose, and the mind. These themes are interconnected and serve as the central focus of the story.

The theme of death is often depicted in psychological thrillers through a character’s fixation or fear of the end of life. This creates suspense as the character becomes increasingly unstable. Similarly, the theme of reality is explored as characters attempt to distinguish between their real life and what is merely within the narrative. This causes confusion and uncertainty for both the characters and the audience.

Identity is another common theme in psychological thrillers. Characters may experience confusion, doubt, discovery, changes, or creation of a new identity in an effort to find their true self. Perception is also often featured in these stories, with characters misinterpreting the world around them or having their perception distorted by outside factors within the narrative. This can create an unreliable narrator and add to the suspense of the story.

Additionally, psychological thrillers often explore the theme of purpose. Characters attempt to discover their purpose in life, and the narrative conflict serves as a way for them to uncover it. The theme of the mind is also prevalent in these stories, with characters struggling with a disturbed mindset due to past events or emotions, creating uncertainty and tension within the story.

Furthermore, psychological thrillers often incorporate elements of the horror genre, including deep drama and mystery, to distinguish themselves from a typical thriller.

Suspense and unease are created through various techniques, such as camera work, mise-en-scene, sound, and editing. These elements work together to keep the audience engaged and guessing until the end of the story.

Do's and Don'ts of Psychological Thriller:


  1. Create a complex and well-developed protagonist who is relatable and sympathetic to the audience.
  2. Establish an unsettling and tense atmosphere that keeps the audience on edge throughout the story.
  3. Incorporate plot twists and surprises that keep the audience guessing and engaged.
  4. Develop a strong sense of pacing to keep the story moving forward at a steady pace.
  5. Use effective and creative cinematography, lighting, and sound design to heighten the tension and suspense.
  6. Utilize well-written dialogue that reveals character traits and motivations, while also advancing the plot.
  7. Use symbolism and foreshadowing to add depth and meaning to the story.
  8. Create a memorable and impactful ending that provides closure to the story while still leaving the audience with something to think about.



  1. Avoid relying on cheap scares or shock value to create tension and suspense.
  2. Don’t over-explain or spell out every detail of the plot, as this can diminish the audience’s engagement and interest.
  3. Avoid clichéd or predictable characterizations or plot elements.
  4. Don’t sacrifice logic or believability for the sake of suspense or shock value.
  5. Avoid gratuitous violence or gore unless it is necessary to the story.
  6. Don’t make the story too convoluted or confusing, as this can frustrate and alienate the audience.
  7. Avoid relying too heavily on exposition or flashbacks to convey information to the audience.
  8. Don’t make the story too depressing or bleak, as this can turn off some viewers.


Formal Survey

Informal survey

Target Audience

After conducting surveys to refine certain aspects of our story, such as our plan to incorporate comedic elements, we have decided to abandon this idea. Despite the fact that the majority of respondents expressed a favorable opinion regarding the inclusion of comedy, and there are successful examples of movies like Get Out (2017) that have done this, a significant portion of the potential audience did not like our concept. Additionally, we were concerned about the risk of not being able to match the audience’s sense of humor. Therefore, we have opted to avoid the comedy genre altogether.

Furthermore, the surveys enabled us to identify our target audience. We received responses from 100 individuals who completed the formal survey, and more than 120 people participated in the informal survey. By analyzing the results, we determined that our story would appeal to a broad range of viewers, aged 13 to 65, regardless of gender, financial status, or viewing habits. As a result, we are now confident that our storyline will have broad appeal within the 13-65 age bracket.

Social Issues


Budget Report by Abdullah Akbar

On paper our budget is quite high but most of our cost comes from the equipment used to produce the opening scene. The equipment were pre-owned before the shoot and were being used on a daily basis so we didn't buy anything new for the shoot other than the mobile holder which costed Rs500. 

Recce Report

Risk Assessment by Abdullah Akbar

Equipment & Technology

  • Iphone 14 pro max
  • Hp Victus laptop 
  • Behringer C1u
  • Mobile holder for car 

Personal Contribution

I took some important steps to plan and prepare for the project. During the planning stage, I produced a location recce report and took photos of the two main locations before filming began. To make filming easier and more convenient for everyone, I finalized my house and a nearby street as filming locations and made my house free and available on the shoot day.

Ensuring everyone’s safety was also a priority for me, which is why I created a risk assessment sheet. This helped me to identify potential hazards and take measures to prevent accidents from happening. I also made sure to pay attention to details such as continuity in clothing and arranging the car for the escape scene, which helped to make my film look polished and professional.

I also prepared the final budget report for our project. 

Pre – Production