Investigate the reasons why suspense teleplays become popular recently | Teen Ink

Investigate the reasons why suspense teleplays become popular recently

April 12, 2021
By ZhuyuxinCindy SILVER, Hangzhou, Other
ZhuyuxinCindy SILVER, Hangzhou, Other
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Reflect our lives through film and television

1.     Introduction:

Suspense films, through the setting of numerous suspense, design ups , and downs plots, are important genres of film and television dramas. In the past two years, many suspense films have become popular in China, such as "The Bad Kids" and "The Long Night". Besides, many Korean dramas that have become popular in Asia recently contain suspense elements, such as "The Flower of Evil", "The Penthouse: War in Life", and "Mouse". This article focuses on analyzing the characteristics of suspense-themed film and television works, combining the characteristics of the works and the current living conditions of people, and analyzing the reasons for the popular phenomenon of suspense films in Asia.


2.     Characteristics of suspense teleplays:

1)     Non-linear narrative structure:

In recent years, many suspense teleplays have adopted non-linear narrative structures, inserting memory content in the process of solving the case, and attracting the audience by a confusing plot. The non-linear narrative structure is a technique that breaks the single and orderly pattern of "linear narrative". For example, the Korean drama "The Flower of Evil", this teleplay presents an independent case in each episode in the form of a unit drama and links these independent cases with the serial murders 20 years ago, leading audiences to explore the truth. In each episode of independent cases, there will be interspersed with the male protagonist's memories, echoing the serial murder case. While presenting the truth about the homicide 20 years ago to the audience, it also exposes the male protagonist's tragic childhood experience. Besides, the current hit Korean teleplay "Mouse" also uses the same technique, interspersing cases from ten years ago in the current case-solving process, to increase the suspense effect and attract the audience. As a result, the director uses a non-linear narrative structure to intersperse memories in the current case, allowing the audience to explore the truth.


2)     Set the viewpoint that the audience and protagonists both do not know the truth:

Many suspense film directors will put the audience and the protagonist on the same viewpoint that audience and protagonists both do not know the truth. What the fate of the character afterward and the development of the crimes are. The audience and the protagonist are unknown. In “Mouse” the audiences and the policemen are equally curious about how the next murder will happen, and what is the connection between each murder. Finally, the director showed the audience the "anti-seven deadly sins" homicide method. The murderer killed those who had not committed the seven deadly sins, pretending to be a god, and put them on trial. In this process, neither the audience nor the protagonist knows the truth. The audience is guided by the protagonist to explore the truth in the next step. Besides, the audience in "The Bad Kids" is as ignorant of the murders as many characters in the film. As a result, the director puts the audience and the protagonist from the point of view of "ignorance", and the audience's guesses about the subsequent plot and the development of the case often conflict, which produces a reversal effect.


3)     Add blood and violence elements:

The elements of blood and violence have become popular in suspense films in recent years, bringing a strong visual impact to the audience. Violent elements in teleplays can be divided into language violence and scene violence. Scene violence refers to scenes such as blood, killing, and fighting. The role of violence is divided into two types, one is a separate scene, which does not affect promoting the development of the plot. The other is a plot designed to promote the development of the plot. In recent years, suspense teleplays have mostly adopted the former, and TV dramas are interspersed with many violent and bloody images. For example, at the beginning of "Mouse", the murderer cut off the victim's head, and the boy killed the rabbit and his stepfather. Besides, in "The Flower of Evil", there are many scenes where the male protagonist fights with others, and there are also many plots of violent beatings between the characters in "The Bad Kids". It can be seen that blood and violent elements are popular in suspense films in recent years. The director uses this lens to give the audience a strong visual impact.


3.     Reasons why suspense teleplays become popular recently:

1)     Public curiosity:

Suspense films use non-linear narrative structures and set up special viewpoints to bring psychological expectations to audiences, thereby attracting audiences. The non-linear narrative technique increases the level of the whole story and provides more clues for solving the case. More clues provide the audience with more possibilities to solve the case. As a result, the audience's degree of discussion about the case increases, and it is easier for the audience to be attracted by the truth of the ending. Besides, the director puts the audience and the protagonist on the unique viewpoint, making them full of unknowns about what is about to happen, which will bring psychological expectations to the audience. Both the audience and the protagonist will be curious about how the next murder will happen, and the connection between each murder. Besides, this method also adds to the mystery of the TV series. The audience is led by the protagonist to pursue the truth in the next step. Therefore, the audience's speculation on the subsequent plot and the development of the case often has contradictions with each other, which produces a reversal effect. The contrast brought by this reversal effect will attract the audience more.


2)     Guide individuals to reflect social issues:

In recent years, suspense teleplays with violent elements have brought a strong visual impact to the audience, allowing people to reflect on social issues, and thus sparked public discussions. The creation of movies comes from life, and violence as a mode of behavior in real life is also reasonable to reflect in movies. To cater to the audience's curiosity and the entertainment function of the movie, many action movies emphasize the rendering of fighting scenes, providing the audience with an audio-visual feast. However, violence is not the purpose of film expression, but a means of expressing the central idea. Excellent films usually use violent elements to stimulate audiences to think about deeper levels, such as the exploration of humanity, reflections on society, and doubts about culture. Strong violence often has the physiological effects of human body types but also affects human emotions by repelling available comfort and immediate solutions. If we say that a successful social composition must be based on various extremes. Based on harmony, then this kind of violence is equivalent to a flaw in the veil of reason, a glimpse into the ultimate problem that people refuse for life. For example, in "Mouse", the murderer was despised by his mother in childhood and was abused by his father. Presented in a very straightforward lens, the violent behavior is more authentic and credible. As a result, "Mouse" shows the audience the birth process of a "demon", revealing that the formation of a demon is not due to a natural killing gene, but the contempt of the entire social environment to criticize the entire society. Nowadays, most of the social issues discussed in suspense films are extremely controversial, so these highly controversial topics will produce a variety of opinions, which will generate lively discussions on the Internet platform. In today's information-based and network-developed society, this discussion topic will spread more widely, and an increasing number of people will participate in the discussion. These newcomers to the discussion will be attracted by the source of these topics, that is, suspense films, and will watch these teleplays, so the spread of these suspense teleplays has become more widespread.


3) Emotional vent of individuals:

In recent years, suspense teleplays with violent and bloody elements have provided a good emotional outlet for contemporary young people. In Asia, China, South Korea, Japan, and other countries have experienced very serious involution. Because the population is large but social resources are limited, and the whole society is approaching a state of saturation, contemporary young people can only seek more life resources for themselves through increased competition. Therefore, people are under great pressure in real life,  emotions cannot be properly vented. When dissatisfaction accumulates to a certain level, it will inevitably explode, and violence is likely to occur at this time. More and more violent incidents have made society unstable. The emergence of suspense films with violent elements can just solve part of the emergence of violence in real life. Whenever people watch this kind of suspenseful film related to violence, their hearts will be satisfied. The characterization of the protagonist in the movie emphasizes that the loser succeeds. In short, it is a counterattack. If the protagonist is recognized, then to a certain extent, the audience finds a trace of themselves in the character. All the actions of the protagonist drive the emotions of the audience. At this time, what the protagonist suffers, experiences, and reacts on behalf of the audience. If the protagonist makes a reasonable violent behavior, the audience's psychology will also recognize this behavior, and the resentment in the heart will be relaxed. Therefore, suspense films with violent and bloody elements have become more and more popular in recent years.


4.     Conclusion:

In recent years, suspense films have the characteristics of non-linear narrative, setting of special viewpoints, and elements of bloody violence. These characteristics will increase the public's curiosity, guide people to reflect on social issues, and provide the public with an emotional outlet. Therefore, suspense films have become popular in recent years.

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