Starring: Bill Skarsgård, Maika Monroe, Blake Baumgartner
Director: Dan Berk, Robert Olsen
Running Time: 88 mins
Villains is an American film about a burglar couple who break into an isolated house in the forest, only to find themselves locked in when the owners return home, desperate to keep them from leaving and revealing a dark secret.
Villains is a film that has all the ingredients of a darkly hilarious home invasion thriller, but there’s somewhere that it just doesn’t manage to stick the landing. Despite some rather unnerving performances from Jeffrey Donovan and Kyra Sedgwick, and a few moments of brilliantly dark and uncomfortable comedy, it’s not a movie that will have you on the edge throughout.
Of course, as a dark comedy, Villains isn’t exactly meant to be an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride, but it’s a film that doesn’t manage to balance its two very complementary genres all too well. Despite strong performances and a few great moments, the film is a little erratic, with an episodic play-through of all the things that could go wrong in an attempted robbery that at times feels more like a sketch show than one darkly comic thriller.
That doesn’t mean that Villains is ever a particularly dull watch, and it certainly uses comedy to its advantage throughout, with much of the humour also serving as the most unnerving parts of its story.
However, the film arguably doesn’t push the boat out far enough. It’s a fun watch at times, but Villains is a rather lightweight example of a dark comedy, with a few unsettling moments, but very little in the way of the deranged, manic thrills that could have turned this into a real delight.
With what seems like a very small-scale production that means the film isn’t able to deliver the same action-packed or blood-ridden thrills as the likes of the brilliant dark comedy Ready Or Not, Villains comes off as a passable and enjoyable, but ultimately not the most memorable watch. And that’s why I’m giving it a 7.3 overall.