Are You Scared Yet? A Look Back on Oscar-Winning Thrillers: Part-1

20 Jun

5th article in our 7 week series on Psychological Thrillers.

By Parisienne

Why do we like to be scared out our minds?  Is it because we cannot control the surge of panic that our bodies go through when we are scared?  Or is it because we do not know how the film will end?  Whatever the reason is for liking thrillers, the Academy Awards loves them.  Let’s take a look down memory lane at some of our favorites and the awards they have won.

  •  InceptionChristopher Nolan directed this film.  It won Academy Awards for Cinematography, Sound and Visual Effects.
  •  The Matrix TrilogyAndy and Lana Wachowski directed this film.  It won Academy Awards for Best Effects, Editing and Sound
  •  Rebecca:  Alfred Hitchcock directed this film.  It won Awards for Best Picture and Best Cinematography.
  •  JawsSteven Spielberg directed this film.  It won Awards for Best Film Editing and Best Sound.
  •  The French Connection:  William Friedkin directed this film.  It won Awards for Best Actor, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Picture and Best Writing.[1]

 

What thrillers can you think of have won Academy Awards? 

 Also see: Hitchcock & Herrmann

Please join for a discussion Thursday 6/21/2012@7pmEST/12UTC

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81 Responses to “Are You Scared Yet? A Look Back on Oscar-Winning Thrillers: Part-1”

  1. Open Book June 20, 2012 at 1:46 PM #

    Paris-

    “Rebecca” is one of my all time favorites for lighting and cinematography. In the clip below AH went out of his way to remain faithful to Daphne du Maurier novel by incorporating the book in the opening credits. However, Selznick wanted AH to toned down the lesbian overtones that existed in the book. I would say “Birds” is my other favorite thriller and collaboration between AH and Daphne. Anyway, I love the cinematography in Rebecca. Especially in the beginning when the gate opens up. Its dark, mysterious, very intimate and stirs your interest. Do u think cinematography and sound are the most important ingredients for a good thriller? Great Article!!

  2. Open Book June 20, 2012 at 1:58 PM #

    O.k. looking at it today the special effects are a bit laughable but this scene from the Birds scared me when I was a child.

    • ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 8:59 PM #

      The was on tv over christmas time. I didn’t last long because the squawking gave me a headache. I think at school we read part of the book and watched past of the film too but my memory is hazy over how much we did on it.

  3. Open Book June 20, 2012 at 2:07 PM #

    My Nolan favorite and the master of non-linear storytelling IMO!!

    Memento with Guy Pierce.The ultimate psych thriller. Here’s the end of the beginning of the film. Love it!!

    • ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 9:05 PM #

      Ah, Memento! I saw this shortly after Christmas on tv. Another good film and another repeat viewing to make sure I understoof the plot completely!

      What about The Machinist? That’s a good film too. Christian Bale was amazing in it, although at times it was painfull to watch him regarding the amount of weight he lost for it. He’s very dedicated to his craft!

  4. littlebells June 20, 2012 at 4:23 PM #

    Great clips OB!! One of my all time fav thrillers is What Lies Beneath. It wasn’t just the story line but how they approached the shock value. When you expected something to happen– someone jumping up or a face to appear behind someone–it didn’t. Then once you adrenaline started to slow down, CUH-BAM!!!!

    The cast was great and I love Robert Zemekis.

    • Comic Relief June 21, 2012 at 1:34 AM #

      LB,

      I enjoyed this movie also. I would love to see this movie again.

      • ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 9:08 PM #

        I remember watching this as a teenager and being scared but I couldn’t look away! I liked this one too and watched it alot on VHS. I’ll have buy the DVD at some point.

  5. Comic Relief June 21, 2012 at 11:11 AM #

    Frequently I can’t tell what’s more interesting; the story….

    • Comic Relief June 21, 2012 at 11:12 AM #

      …..or some of the events that influenced it?

      • Comic Relief June 21, 2012 at 7:25 PM #

        Sorry, according to IMDB “The Prestige” was nominated for and academy award in “Best Achievement in Art Direction” and “Best Achievement in Cinematography.” I thought the film was fantastic but the film did not win. The film was nominated in many categories everywhere yet it only won in a few places.

        The Film won a in the UK’s Empire Awards:(Best Director), London Critics Circle Film Awards, ALFS Award: (British Supporting Actor of the Year), SFX Award: (Best Film Director), Satellite Award…

        • Open Book June 21, 2012 at 8:09 PM #

          CR this is so fascinating. Its long I’m going to have to come back and watch it. However, I like to see what inspired films.

          • ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 8:42 PM #

            I adore The Prestige, although that was another one I had to watch atleast twice because I had missed the important detail with the Tesla Machine.

            • Open Book June 21, 2012 at 8:45 PM #

              Yep another Nolan fav of mine. U have to watch it more than once before u get it. I loved the costumes in this one as well.

              • ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 9:10 PM #

                I agree with you on the costumes, plus the cinematography was beautiful!

  6. Open Book June 21, 2012 at 6:58 PM #

    Hi Everyone,

    Welcome new and returning visitors to our discussion tonight. Please feel free to comment or ask Q’s.

    • parisienne June 21, 2012 at 7:06 PM #

      Hi OB!

      I am going to be on my phone for the discussion tonight so it might take me longer to respond.

      • Open Book June 21, 2012 at 7:08 PM #

        Hi Paris,

        No problem I will go slow. To give u time.

        • parisienne June 21, 2012 at 7:12 PM #

          Thanks!

  7. parisienne June 21, 2012 at 7:02 PM #

    Hi everyone!

    I’m glad you like the article! Let me read and get caught up.

  8. Open Book June 21, 2012 at 7:07 PM #

    I was reading in Psychology Today they stated, watching scary films makes us more receptive artistically. Let me try and find the article. I will be right back.

  9. Open Book June 21, 2012 at 7:15 PM #

    Ah! I’m having a hard time finding it. But its in the current issue out in stores.

    • parisienne June 21, 2012 at 7:18 PM #

      I can’t play the clips either. This is frustrating!

      • Open Book June 21, 2012 at 7:20 PM #

        That’s o.k. we will wing it. LOL!!

        So what films listed in your article is your all time favorite and why?

      • parisienne June 21, 2012 at 7:30 PM #

        It works! Thank God. I just watched Rebecca but to answer your question , I think both sound and cinematography are both important because they hold the attention of the audience before any dialogue is spoken.

        • Open Book June 21, 2012 at 7:37 PM #

          ITA Paris u can suggest so much with just sound and cinematography. I think these two things are vital to a good thriller. How about lighting? Do u think bad lighting can impact a thriller more than sound?

          • parisienne June 21, 2012 at 7:50 PM #

            My favorite of the list is inception because u have to stay alert to follow what is going on. Also I think lighting, sound and cinematography all have to blend together seamlessly to maximize the emotion the audience is intended to feel.

            • Open Book June 21, 2012 at 7:57 PM #

              Ahh! This is sooooo true. Perfectly illustrated Paris. I loved Inception for its innovation. The CGI was used to enhance the narrative and plot. I mean all your faculties had to be working or else u were screwed and needed to see it again. LOL!! How many times have u seen Inception before figuring out the plot? This Q is for everyone. Be honest there will be a test. LOL

              • ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 8:23 PM #

                Okay, confession time. I am the loser who will watch a movie I love over and over (on dvd, so not doing repeat viewings with the cinema prices here!) until I’m satisfied that I’ve not missed any detail. Inception wins the record for longest running dvd marathon! 2 Weeks! It could of been more but I definately know it was atleast two weeks. I think it was maybe the third or fourth viewing I understood the whole plot and even then I wasn’t sure and had to check online! I think I was too blown away by all the special effects on the first two viewings, lol!

                • Comic Relief June 21, 2012 at 8:29 PM #

                  Thanks for the honesty.

                  • ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 8:38 PM #

                    LOL! 🙂

                    • Open Book June 21, 2012 at 8:49 PM #

                      Ahhh! Take a bow Oz! I’m guilty of the same thing. LOL!! We are members of the repetition club!!

                    • ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 8:53 PM #

                      Wooo, I’m not alone, lol! We have our own club, I feel cool now! 🙂

        • Comic Relief June 21, 2012 at 7:44 PM #

          Speaking of sound and cinematography I can’t help but think of Blair Witch Project.

          Being that the “sound and cinematography” were so innovative why do you think this was so suspenseful? And Paris do you think that Psychological thrillers and Horror films are suspenseful in the same ways.

          • Open Book June 21, 2012 at 8:01 PM #

            CR-

            I have never seen Blair Witch but I assume it was the documentary realistic nature of the film that hooked people in. Did u see this film?

            • ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 8:14 PM #

              I think it was the documentary style too. It was good but I was disappointed at the end. I can’t say why though because I can’t remember, lol!

            • Comic Relief June 21, 2012 at 8:16 PM #

              Sorry, only in parts. Yet your assessment is likely the correct regarding how appealing and provocative it was.

  10. Comic Relief June 21, 2012 at 7:21 PM #

    Hi all,

    Hope everyone is great.

    • Open Book June 21, 2012 at 7:26 PM #

      Hi CR!

      What Thrillers did u like that came out last year and why?

  11. Open Book June 21, 2012 at 7:25 PM #

    To give u time to type. I recently saw The Lincoln Lawyer it was pretty good. Also, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo I liked.

    • Comic Relief June 21, 2012 at 7:29 PM #

      If you are talking about films in general then I like liked all of these: Fatal Attraction, Cape Fear, Se7en, Taxi Driver, Rear Window, & Silence of the Lambs

      Referring to the article, Inception, Rebecca, and The French Connection were all great.

      • ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 8:37 PM #

        I loved Se7en, Rear Window and Silence of the Lambs. I don’t think I’ve seen the others.

    • Comic Relief June 21, 2012 at 7:32 PM #

      OB,
      What did you think was suspenceful about “The Lincoln Lawyer” or “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?”

    • Comic Relief June 21, 2012 at 8:27 PM #

      The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo gets my vote.

  12. Comic Relief June 21, 2012 at 7:47 PM #

    On a good day (when the grass is cut) would either of you categorize “Indecent Proposal” as a psychological thriller? I tend always want to include Horror films yet rarely romantic films.

    • Open Book June 21, 2012 at 8:04 PM #

      Umm! Indecent Proposal is a Romance Drama. I would not categorize it as scary. I mean the proposal is scary but not the story.

      • Comic Relief June 21, 2012 at 8:12 PM #

        Oh, being scary is part of the definition? I’ll accept that. I guess a suspenseful plot without scary conclusion would not cut it.

  13. Open Book June 21, 2012 at 7:49 PM #

    Both films were interesting for different reasons. I like Lincoln Lawyer for its complex plot, great character development and the soundtrack was AWESOME! Did u see this movie? If so what did u like about it?

    The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo I loved this film for its realism while staying faithful to the book. I loved the cinematography, lighting and costume design. The dialogue was great it felt very authentic and believable IMO!

    • Comic Relief June 21, 2012 at 8:06 PM #

      For Lincoln Lawyer, I liked the complex plot also like another film “Primal Fear”
      Like Edward Norton’s character it was hard to beleive actor Ryan Phillipe’s character was capable of so much violence.

      • Comic Relief June 21, 2012 at 8:07 PM #

        primal fear:

        • Comic Relief June 21, 2012 at 8:23 PM #

          As for “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,”the girl or main character, Lisbeth Salander was wound so tight I spent the entire movie (suspended) waiting for her to pop.

          • ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 8:35 PM #

            I love both versions of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. However, if I was pushed I’d say the American version is better because even though they left minor bits out, or changed a part or two, it was closer to the book.

  14. parisienne June 21, 2012 at 7:57 PM #

    Everyone, I’m going to go for the evening my phone is giving me issues. Thanks for the discussion!

    • Open Book June 21, 2012 at 7:59 PM #

      Paris-See u later. Have a nice evening. U did an amazing job on your phone.

      TC!

    • Comic Relief June 21, 2012 at 8:24 PM #

      Bye, Paris.

      • ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 8:30 PM #

        Aww, I missed you Paris!

  15. littlebells June 21, 2012 at 8:02 PM #

    Aaaahhhh!!!! I’m so sorry I’m late!!!

    • Open Book June 21, 2012 at 8:05 PM #

      Hi LB-
      No problem, better late than never I always say.

  16. ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 8:10 PM #

    Hi all!

    I think many of my replies will be “I love *insert movie name* too!”

    The only one I can think of right now is The Woman In Black but would that come solely under horror?

    • Open Book June 21, 2012 at 8:12 PM #

      Hi Ozzie-

      How are u???? How was the game? I’m pretty sure Woman in Black is Horror.

    • Comic Relief June 21, 2012 at 8:17 PM #

      Hi Ozzie.

      • ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 8:28 PM #

        Hi CR, OB and LB!

        Still feeling sick and dizzy. I’m hoping to see my doctor tomorrow. England won but I think it was an underwhelming game. What was most baffling was that we won our group! Anyway, the next game is Sunday I think.

        I thought so regarding The Woman In Black. The only part I could think of that would fit the thriller part was the end.

        • Open Book June 21, 2012 at 8:41 PM #

          Ozzie-

          U are a real trooper u inspire me. I hope feel better and the game is better on Sunday.

          • ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 8:47 PM #

            Awww, you are too sweet! *hugs* I expect us to lose because I think the other team is better than us and its rare that we make it into the semi finals, lol!

            • ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 8:51 PM #

              P.S You inspre me too. If I were in your shoes I’d be in wreak on the floor still!

  17. littlebells June 21, 2012 at 8:13 PM #

    I saw.Inception twice but got the plot the first go.around. the second viewing I could enjoy the film more without focusing so hard. Great thrillers are very smart and clever. The audience shouldn’t guess what’s coming. that kills the buzz.

    • Open Book June 21, 2012 at 8:22 PM #

      LB-

      This is so true. I saw it four times but got it the first time but got into arguments about the different layers. LOL!! Your right the second time u can relax. However, the third time I was able to watch and appreciate the design and how everything worked together. Loved It!!

      • littlebells June 21, 2012 at 8:27 PM #

        Yes! There were layers for the story and design. Brilliant movie and introduced me to Tom Hardy.

        • ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 8:29 PM #

          It introduced me to Tom Hardy too. He was excellent in it!

        • Open Book June 21, 2012 at 8:34 PM #

          Yep, I love Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy. What I like about Nolan’s films are the many layers and sub plots it feels like your reading a book. Does that make sense?

          • ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 8:49 PM #

            Yes it does and I love Cillian too.

          • littlebells June 21, 2012 at 8:51 PM #

            Yeeeeesssss!!!!! And u re-read parts because.they are so well written. I figured I must be pretty smart to get Inception. Hahaha!!!!!

  18. Comic Relief June 21, 2012 at 8:31 PM #

    Unfortunately,

    I have to go. This was fun. Bye.

    • Open Book June 21, 2012 at 8:37 PM #

      bye CR. TC!

    • littlebells June 21, 2012 at 8:38 PM #

      Goodnight CR!

      • ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 8:43 PM #

        Night CR!

        • littlebells June 21, 2012 at 8:56 PM #

          Goodnight ladies. My phone typing skills have ceased. 🙂

          • ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 9:12 PM #

            Night Night, LB!

  19. Open Book June 21, 2012 at 8:56 PM #

    Everyone-

    I have to go. This was fun and a great article and discussion Paris. Before I go. I’m so looking forward to Cosmopolis in August it looks like I will need to see it multiple times as well. Goodnight everyone!!

    • ozzie20 June 21, 2012 at 9:24 PM #

      *big sigh* I’d have to travel over 30 miles to get to the nearest cinema that’s showing Cosmopolis. 😦

      Anyway, I have had fun tonight. Its taken my mind off not feeling well so thank you ladies and gentlemen!

      Night all!

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