As humans we love to analyze and then categorize items by their similarities and
movies are no different, consequently grouping movies by genre gives us an expectation
of what a film will be before it is viewed. Genres can be identified by the
components of a film including setting, characters and theme therefore there are
many different types of film genres. Mulholland Drive is not a typical film that can be
placed into the major genres so it falls into a sub-genre class. The film has some
characteristics of a black comedy with the casting of Billy Ray Cyrus, a one hit wonder,
and the scene where the director discusses the cowboy has a dark humor. Yet it also has
the feel of a horror movie or a film noir if you focus on the lighting but it does not show
the standards of these genres. The film Mulholland Drive is a hybrid movie that should be
grouped into the category of a Psychological Thriller
Psychological refers to matters of the human mind whether it is based in reality or in the recesses of our subconscious. This movie takes the viewer to the most obsessive and disturbing parts of human nature through imagery and content. The main character, Betty, is innocent during her first scenes in the film. For example, she is naïve when she finds Rita in her aunt’s apartment and subsequently when she and Rita find the large amount of money in her purse. She does not see the danger in the situation. She is more than happy to help Rita in any way even though she is warned by the neighbor that things are awry. Throughout the film you see Betty change from a girl who wants to be a famous actress into a bitter woman who realizes that Hollywood can be a lurid place. Due to her bitterness she becomes obsessed with the woman who has obtained her goal. As a result she begins to show the destructive nature of the psychology of the human consciousness. She is no longer the naïve and innocent woman who stepped off the plane and as the movie plays out you see her obsession consume her to the point of death.
The psychological aspects of the movie enhance the content that make the movie fit into the genre of being a thriller as well. Thriller movies are full of suspense moments that keep the viewers ‘on the edge of their seats’. For instance the conversation between the two men at Winkie’s when Dan tells his traumatic dream to Herb. This brings upon the feeling of suspense as he says that he hoped to never see that face again. The suspense rises as the viewer becomes aware that the events of his dream are coming true. As they turn the corner to go behind the restaurant the camera shows a payphone...