The Merriam-Webster dictionary informs us that the word Thriller comes from the word thrill and hence, it refers to a thrilling experience. They define it as “a work of fiction or drama designed to hold the interest by the use of a high degree of intrigue, adventure, or suspense”. If we think of this definition, then it might be a fitting category, but there are some things to be discussed about it.
According to most classifications of this movie in major sites and specialized media, Mulholland Drive by David Lynch is a Thriller. This is how it is commonly perceived even by the most experienced movie critics in the industry. In our opinion, it can be thought of as a suspense, mystery and even experimental movie due to the mind games that the director plays with the spectators all the time.
What Movies It Shares It With
The common denomination of thriller, though, is not the most suitable for the movie.
There are several reasons for this statement:
The movies that are commonly known as thrillers are action films involving some kind of intrigue in the plot, but mostly real action happening. If you google that really quick you will find movies like Seven, Inception, Gone Girl, Black Swan, No Country for Old Men and so on. In our opinion, Mulholland Drive doesn´t quite fit that marquee.
The lack of action scenes is very common for his filmography. This one is no exception, and as usual with David Lynch movies, there is more to be suggested than what really happens. The changes of cameras, the music and the performance by the actors, make you believe something catastrophic is about to or just happened, but it is not actually shown on the screen. This is the main reason behind discussing the place of Mulholland Drive, a classic movie with 8 stars on IMDb as a thriller, the lack of real action.
The category that could fit it the best would be “mystery” since it is the most comfortable label for all art forms that suggest more than they show.