As we near the autumn season, where Halloween paraphernalia and mass marketable costumes are on display, we slowly get accustomed to pop culture’s identification of heroes and villains. From werewolves to superheroes, whenever we see a child, begging for candy at our doorsteps on All Hallows Eve, it’s honestly kind of cool to see iconic characters, from past to present, roam around our neighborhood streets, on this one specific fateful evening. In 2019, the year of Killer Clown sequels and reboots, the scariest costume to roam around our neighborhoods isn’t the Joker or Pennywise. It’s the treat-givers, the people who give us an arduous sweet tooth every year. Think about it! Have you ever considered the potential villainess activity that’s going behind the doors of these suspicious scoundrels? In Robert Olsen and Dan Berk’s latest venture into the horror genre; the duo delightfully submits us into a reality of a terrifying psychotic suburban couple, whom’ of which will taunt and mock the most ruthless of criminals.
Mickey and Jules are on the run. Just recently robbing a local gas station, the pair are delightfully content with their earnings, as they drive off through the wilderness, heading to Florida; a place of sunshine and lavish relaxing lifestyles. After stupidly running out of gas, the pair break into a local house, to see if they can possibly find some way to get out of their rather extreme situation. Little do they know that in this house (a state that is owned by a rich white couple), is something so shocking, so coldblooded, that will make them question if their the heroes of their own tragic story. Extravagantly portrayed by Bill Skarsgård and Maika Monroe, Jules and Mickey are a delightful pair to follow and relate with, as they suffer through the painstaking lunacy of the trappings of George and Gloria’s (the batty owners of the “estate”) evil and misconstrued intentions. What follows is a cat and mouse thriller between two couples, both in the morally wrong, who attempt to outwit each other, with some potentially fatal results.
It’s easy to see why Villains was becoming such an admired hidden cult classic during its festival run. It’s consistently fun and entertaining, where the action and constant bicker and banter never fails to run out of steam. It’s also incredibly convoluted and incomplete. With numerous ideas failing to hit the target, the conclusion of Villains feels underwhelmed and nonsensical, with character arks remaining undisclosed, and plenty of questions left shockingly unanswered. No matter how many quips or cute character moments you insert into your film, it just won’t save you from bad writing! This pains me, especially because the film demonstrated tons of potential in it’s opening minutes, with the first scene in particular being gutbustingly hilarious!
Entertaining, wild, sloppy, and indirect; Villains presented plenty of promise at first glance. The cast was great, the end credit animation sequence rocked, and some of the chemistry between characters turned out great. It’s a shame that in the end, the film speaks volumes, but fails to deliver anything worth while listening too. It’s pulpy entertainment at its most decent and satisfactory. However, if there’s one thing worth noting about Villains, is it’s pitch-perfect representation of terrifying white suburban couples. That shit is scary!
Villains opens in select cinemas on September 20th