Villains ★★★

Villains is a movie I want to like more than I do.

I do like it though. I'm generally up for any movie in that "criminals-break-into-the-wrong-house" mould, and this cast is impressive. The four leads all do a terrific job, too. I've been missing Maika Monroe and wondering what happened to her, and she's great here in something a bit different. She always seems to be playing a sort of sullen, uncommunicative role yet manages to make the character appealing - here she is overtly comic but she totally pulls it off. You could say the same of Skarsgard. And Jeffrey Donovan and Kyra Sedgewick are both excellent as the dangerous fruit loops who entrap these hopeless crooks in their house.

The film is pretty charming on that level - I just wish it did something a little more than just present this standard (and somewhat tired) basic premise. There is no real twist at any point. And I can't help but feel that film would have benefited from being prepared to go into more extreme horror territory - it needed another side to its identity to contrast with that quirky comedy.

I kept thinking about The People Under The Stairs, which manages to achieve some nasty horror moments while also having something to say. Although Villains has the trappings of a satire, it doesn't actually seem to satirise anything - content to just have some light fun with its high concept. It's fine - genre fans will probably get a kick out of it - but it's a shame it didn't try harder to stand out somehow.

Full marks for that end credits sequence though. The animation is fantastic and that Courtney Barnett track fits this movie like a glove.

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