"It's close to midnight, something evil's lurking from the dark"(Jackson 1-2). "You try to scream"(Jackson 5). We are introduced to a setting, a conflict, "something evil", and a character "you". Michael Jackson sets the mood by combining eerie lyrics and pop tunes to create a thrilling and foreboding mood, somewhat like the mood set in an actual thriller movie.
"You hear the door slam and realize there's nowhere left to run"(Jackson 19-20). The character has to face some challenges, for example, when the character hears the door slam, he/she is trapped in a room with monsters. Michael Jackson has the tone of thrilling and exciting tone, as if he is trying to scare "you".
"Night creatures call and the dead start to walk in their masquerade"(Jackson 32-33) The character has to face the final challenge, the "Night Creatures" and the "Dead". Michael Jackson sings this song in an casual American accent while still pronouncing every word clearly.
"They're out to get you, there's demons closing in on every side"(Jackson 37). As from Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey, our character is on the falling action, he/she has to escape the "Special World" or the world with the monsters, back to the "Ordinary World", or the regular world we live in now.
"All through the night I'll save you from the terror on the screen"(Jackson 40-41). Most thriller movies at the time when this song was written often featured a female protagonist with a male hero who saves her. In his, Michael is the male hero while we are the female protagonist, he saves the female protagonist by warding off the beasts and monsters.
"AHAHAHAHAHAH"(Jackson 79). The ominous laugh at the end of the song leaves a cliffhanger, hinting that there may be a sequel to the thriller. Often times, thrillers will show something odd and scary to create a cliffhanger, such as in the thriller music video, it showed that Michael Jackson looking back at the camera, with yellow eyes and an evil grin.