VILLIANS review by Patrick Hendrickson – Bill Skarsgård & Maika Monroe try a new kind of horror

VILLIANS review by Patrick Hendrickson – Bill Skarsgård & Maika Monroe try a new kind of horror


VILLAINS tells the story of two small-time criminals who break into the home of a violent couple after pulling off a robbery and losing their means of transportation. Mickey (Bill Skarsgård) and Jules (Maika Monroe) are the protagonists with George (Jeffrey Donovan) and Gloria (Kyra Sedgwick) being the older couple.

Mickey and Jules are looking to relocate to Florida and thus the film starts with them sticking up a gas station and getting away with a decent amount of cash. Ironically, their car runs empty on gas immediately after and they are forced to break into a nearby home. In this house, they find a little girl (Blake Baumgartner) chained in the basement before being incapacitated by the owners of the house.

This is a comedy-horror film which is not particularly successful in either of these two genres. It is definitely closer to comedy than horror, and I would even go as far as to say it creates a fairly humorous atmosphere. The only issue would be all that unnecessary “horror” business, and even the humor falls flat sometimes. A lot of that humor comes from sexual activity at inopportune moments. This is not particularly funny the first time it happens nor is it funny the numerous times afterwards. There is one particularly uncomfortable scene where Mickey is chained to a bed with Gloria performing a striptease. Non-consensual sex does not make great humor. Over-exaggerated profanity is similarly used for comedic purposes and is similarly unfunny.

One might question what exactly this movie is about. That would be a very good question because it feels completely shallow and surface. There is nothing of depth to any of these characters, no subtext to this story, no themes or ideas to explore. It’s just a bunch of foolish immoral people running afoul of other foolish immoral people. The film is only an hour and a half long so at the very least it is short and sweet. Unfortunately, it feels very long due to how slowly it paces itself. A lot of the scenes drag on and on, which should in theory create suspense but that never really happens. The comedic atmosphere of this production is pretty nice and that is probably the only saving grace… thusly, VILLAINS gets a 2/5.

VILLAINS opens September 20, 2019

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