It is hard to deny that thrillers have a major influence on American society. To a large extent Americans owe much of their culture of fear to film thrillers. Thrillers have both reinforced and established the people and situations that society should be afraid of at the time. Alfred Hitchcock pioneered the way for film thrillers, his films such as Psycho  creating a fear of those with mental illness that is still reinforced in later films such as Swimfan , directed by John Polson. He recognized that audiences loved to be "scared out of their wits" while safely sitting in a movie theatre. Thrillers simply preyed on these fears, and continue to do so today.
With their everyday characters, thrillers created believable yet frightening situations that society can be afraid of. As thrillers developed, they became more relatable in that they were made in context with what was most scary at the time of release. The villain in Philip Noyce's Dead Calm , for example, was reminiscent of serial killers such as Ted Bundy, and reflected the fear of the power individual criminals could have. Thrillers heightened Americans' fears at the time, creating a sense of paranoia and hysteria. Thrillers such as Robert Schwentke's Flightplan , translate audiences' fears of bombs on planes and terrorism to the big screen, contributing to the hype on terrorism in the news. This link with real events has had long-term repercussions on American society. Their constantly agitated fear has lead to acts of irrationality and impulsivity. America has the highest rate of death by... [continues]
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