I have finally figured out that TV science fiction, vampires, and other woo-stuff has shaped the modern thriller.
1. You don't have to wait very long for something to happen--it will, no matter how far-fetched
2. Nothing is as it seems.
3. Someone or several characters will not be who he or has been earlier in the story.
4. What the story started out about is not necessarily what it will finish up about.
It was pretty much the paradigm for "24," which was only this /\ much more believable than vampires. Maybe not even that much because just about everyone stayed awake for 24 hours.
Comments? Additions? Rebuttal? Other paradigms?