Villains ★★★★

The Black List is a survey of the most liked scripts in Hollywood that aren't yet produced. Villains was one of those projects whose promise on paper seemed monumental. Incredibly, the final product is somehow even more magic. The synergy of writing, directing, and acting in Villains is truly shocking.

If you watch the trailer you probably have an idea of where the movie will go and you wouldn't be entirely wrong, but the plot goes to a few unexpected places. Add to this eye wateringly stellar performances from Bill Skarsgard, Maika Monroe and Kyra Sedgwick and you have a helluva great time. The chemistry between Skarsgard and Monroe is particularly electric. I'm mildly familiar with these two personalities and I was still blown away by how completely they disappeared into the southern hoodlums they portray here.

The movie has some great touches like the animated credits, a wicked sense of humor and a truly energetic score that ratchets up the tension in many scenes. If I were to point out any weakness, it would be the tired plot line of crooks getting the tables turned on them by crazier maniacs. We've seen this harried situation before, but at its heart Villains manages to take what is familiar and make it pretty fresh.

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