We love a feel good movie. Especially in America, we love an underdog going from zero to hero and saving the day. Just look at Captain America's origin movie.
But what about movies where the villain wins in the end? Even if it seems like our main character has caught the bad guy and made out on top, sometimes the villains still get away with their agenda. Regardless of if they're caught, it can feel unsatisfying but makes for a compelling story.
We went to Ask Reddit to know which movies gave the villain what they wanted in the end.
Redditor Jeffstrife127 asked:
"What are some movies where the bad guy wins?"
Readers be ware, spoilers lie ahead!
Framing her husband for murder.
"Not only did Amy get away with murder and the attempted murder of Nick, Nick knows exactly what type of person she is. Amy doesn't have the wear the mask of a doting, sweet wife around him any more. She can be the psychopath she always was and what he going to do about it? Tell the police? Who would believe it? And would he even risk it knowing that would put their baby at risk?"
"Yeah, Amy came out like a gold medalist victor in the end."
"I actually love gone girl because of this. She gets away with everything even though it went South for her near the end."
"That movie was so unsettling and I felt so bad for Nick at the end. Speaking for other men here, I think it's safe to say this scenario is a guys worse nightmare."
"Don't feel bad for Nick. He's just as bad in the book as Amy is. They're both insane.
The Joker came out on top.
"The Dark Knight, Joker kills Harvey, multiple important people, destroys Batman's reputation."
"I'd argue Joker only half-won, Sure he destroyed Batman's reputations, but his theory that everybody is bad (I think that's his theory, My memory is a bit fuzzy) is proven wrong when the people on the ferries decided not to blow each other up, so Joker was defeated by the people of Gotham showing basic human decency."
"Yes and even with him getting Harvey to turn to a villain is kept only to Batman and Gordon and his family. So the rest of Gotham still perceived him as the good man he was before the whole two-face deal."
Seven deadly sins.
In this movie, the killer is killing people based off the seven deadly sins. He sets up the detective on the case to fulfill the destiny of his mission and kill the villain to represent the sin of wrath.
The victim was the villain all along.
"The Usual Suspects."
"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."
"And like that... (poof)... he's gone."
The building of this villain made it all the more devastating.
"Avengers: Infinity War."
"That movie was so good at building Thanos as a villain."
"They had all the small Thanos scenes as the man behind the curtain in a bunch of movies before that which helped."
"Christopher Markus did a Q&A at a theater in North Buffalo for Endgame shortly after the premier (his hometown, where I live) and he described how they were consistent in all the movies - build a villain up but then let the hero win. Except Infinity War, he said the story was basically written with Thanos as a hero and evolved from that. Super cool concept that I think benefited the production."
"I still stand by that infinity war was much better than Endgame. It was really anti climactic to replace him with a completely different Thanos that didn't go through the arc which contained all the maturity and sacrifices which made him the compelling character everyone was drawn to."
"I can see that, but I can also see it as a story about how anyone, no matter how initially well-intended, who wants to wield that much power will ultimately abuse it or go crazy. One person's solution isn't great for everybody, I'd say at least half of all living beings would disagree with his methods for 'bettering' the universe. And I doubt he had left his own fate up to that coin toss."
"Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith."
"I love how throughout all the movies it becomes clear that Palpatine was never going to lose, that the war didn't matter only his rise to power, and no one even saw it (the Jedi I mean, we all knew what was happening)."
"That's what makes The Clone Wars so good, you follow these heroes and favourite characters for years, all the while knowing the bittersweet fact that none of it matters anyway because Palpatine will win either way and nothing will change that."
The same director gave us similar endings.
"Midsommar and Hereditary both end with dangerous cults winning, so there's that."
"Midsommar was amazing. I see a lot of people who somehow think it was a comedy...? I guess cult stuff makes them laugh or something weird."
"There's a lot going on for that movie. I'll always remember it. Was amazingly shot, didn't use any night time tropes of regular horror based movies. The movie was a master of dread. I'll take that over 99% of horror movies out there. Same shit, with different themes."
"I never saw Hereditary, but it's the same producer. Midsommar is obviously heavily inspired by Wicker Man, a very famous cult horror movie. No, not the sh*tty Nicholas Cage version."
"Same director, and if you liked Midsommar 1000000% check out Hereditary. Many similar themes, has fantastic cinematography and directing, and likewise is a heavy piece of dread and sorrow."
Who's the hero and who's the villain in Silence of the Lambs?
"Silence Of The Lambs."
"'I'm having an old friend for dinner.'"
"Buffalo Bill is really the 'bad guy' in that one, and he clearly loses."
"Yeah. Hannibal Lector is an anti-hero. Which is not the same as a bad guy."
"No Country For Old Men."
"Been a while since I've watched it, but I always thought getting injured in something as mundane as a car accident kind of shattered Chigurh's view of himself as some unstoppable embodiment of the universe's will. So he didn't get caught by the cops, but he wound up broken all the same."
"He bought a shirt and hobbled away very much alive. I don't think it would have been an epiphany, more like a cost of doing his business."
"He didn't seem like the type. He got the money and everyone else was either dead or emotionally shattered."