“Two bad people are about to meet two worse people.”
Synopsis: After a pair of amateur criminals break into a suburban home, they stumble upon a dark secret that two sadistic homeowners will do anything to keep from getting out.
Villains is a twist on the standard home invasion story, one that will feel familiar to those who have seen Don’t Breathe. While the twists here involve more psychological than physical danger, I still found myself regularly comparing the two. Villains on the surface seems more lighthearted, and it does offer more laughs and sweet moments than Don’t Breathe – not to mention more likable protagonists – but make no mistake, it earns its WTF rating just as well.
Jules (Maika Monroe) and Mickey (Bill Skarsgård), on the run from a burglary, take shelter in a nearby home only to find matters inside aren’t what they seem. As they spar with owners George (Jeffrey Donovan of Burn Notice fame) and Gloria (Kyra Sedgwick), twist after twist keeps the audience guessing. It’s pretty obvious who the titular villains are early on – the movie is often heavy-handed – but there are some creative turns to the storyline. Jules and Mickey are charming antiheros, from their masked robbery to their preferred problem-solving methods. They have good hearts, and it’s hard not to root for them. (It’s also fun seeing Bill Skarsgård play the straight man after his turn as Pennywise.)
Villains was fun to see in theaters, but ultimately, it’s sort of forgettable. The first watch was entertaining, but I don’t see myself rewatching it and I’m honestly not sure how well it would hold up to repeat viewings with the twists already spoiled. This would be a fun choice for a movie night with friends where you can yell at the screen, but just the once.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: B