A good villain can propel a movie to greatness, not just because of their actions but also their comeuppance. There is something cathartic about seeing a truly evil villain meet a warranted demise.
A recent online discussion asks what are some of the most satisfying villain fates in film.? Here are some of the top responses. Be warned; there are spoilers below!
This 1983 comedy stars Dan Akroyd, Eddie Murphy, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Wealthy brokers Mortimer and Randolph Duke decide to perform a social experiment on Akroyd and Murphy’s characters. It’s all done over a bet of $1. They almost ruin Akroyd and Murhpy’s lives before meeting a satisfying comeuppance.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The first entry in the Indiana Jones franchise is one of the best movies ever.
While Jones cannot prevent Nazi forces from obtaining the Ark of the Covenant, the villains still meet a gruesome fate. That’s one of the many reasons why it’s so satisfying!
As for the covenant itself, don’t worry; it’s being kept safe by top men.
The Last Crusade
From one Indiana Jones film to another. The Last Crusade adds in Indy’s father, played by Sean Connery. Nazis return as the villain, this time in search of the holy grail.
Like the original, the villains appear to succeed, only to choose poorly at the last second.
Rian Johnson’s murder mystery, starring an ensemble cast led by Daniel Craig, features one of the most satisfying villain fates in recent memory.
The Thrombey family hires Detective Benoit Blanc (Craig) to investigate the murder of acclaimed author Harlan Thrombey. However, it turns out that the real villains are the Thrombey family themselves. Harlan’s nurse, Marta Cabrera, comes out on top, and the film ends with her looking down at the disgusted Thrombey. It’s a shot that’s as brilliant as it is satisfying.
Denzel Washington’s performance in 2001’s Training Day led to an Oscar victory. But, as gripping as he is on screen, his fate is just as enjoyable to watch.
While evaluating Officer Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) for a promotion, we learn that Detective Alonzo Harris (Washington) is as crooked as he is decorated. However, Hoyt refuses to become a dirty cop as the walls close in on Harris before ultimately meeting his maker.
The 2007 adaptation of the Stephen King novel sees a satisfying fate for the villain, Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden). Harden’s performance arguably steals the movie; our hatred for her knows no bounds.
One fan commented, “The screening I saw that at, the audience erupted in cheers and applause when Toby Jones put her down.” As for the ending, they added the theater sat in stunned silence during the ending.
While the high priest Imhotep is the movie’s main villain, Beni Gabor, played by Kevin J. O’Connor, is an equally impressive villain.
Beni is portrayed as a selfish opportunist who will sacrifice his friends for personal gain. So, when he dies due to his hubris, it’s an incredibly satisfying ending for one of the movie’s villains.
There’s a popular saying: “It ain’t Christmas until I see Hans Gruber fall from Nakatomi Plaza.”
Alan Rickman’s performance as Gruber is one for the ages. He oozes pure evil throughout the movie, making his death one to remember.
It’s an outside-the-box response, but it works.
The O’Doyle family thinks they rule, but they’re really just super annoying. Thankfully, their car slips on a banana peel before crashing off the side of the road. The family dies in a fiery explosion, leaving no survivors.
Clive Barker’s Hellraiser is one of the most iconic horror films ever made. One reason, in particular, is the satisfying fate of villain Frank Cotton.
Watching his failed attempt to outsmart the Cenobites never gets old. The iconic line “Jesus wept” was ad-libbed, making his death even better!
Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as Emperor Commodus helps elevate this Oscar-winning film from director Ridley Scott.
After spending the movie making life for General Maximus (Russell Crowe), Commodus realizes that he’s nothing more than an arrogant, power-hungry failure that no one respects. Not only does he meet his demise at the hands of Maximus, but also the Praetorian Guard that’s sworn to protect the Emperor.
“For England, James?”
“No, for me.”
The demise of Alec Trevalyn delivers a satisfying conclusion to the film that reinvigorated the James Bond franchise.
GoldenEye is more than just a fantastic video game. It’s one heck of a movie, too.
Quentin Tarantino’s revisionist history film about Nazis features not just one but two cathartic demises for villains.
Seeing Hitler mowed down with a submachine gun is always satisfying. But, arguably, the death of Christoph Waltz’s Hans Landa is just as fantastic.
You know a movie villain brings their A-game when they’re more terrifying than a literal monster.
Captain Vidal is the personification of pure evil. But, in his final moments, he realizes that his legacy will not be passed down to his baby son. “He won’t even know your name,” he’s told as he takes his final breath.
Pan’s Labyrinth is one of Guillermo Del Toro‘s finest films, and the demise of the Vidal character is one of many reasons why.
Air Force One
Not only does Gary Oldman’s Egor Korshunov meet one of the most satisfying fates for a movie villain, but he’s also the victim of one the greatest one-liners in film history: “Get off my plane!”
Maybe we’re being a little too courteous here, but the Harrison Ford action-thriller is a fantastic guilty pleasure movie.
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