VILLAINS (2019) is a black comedy in which two criminals invade a home only to discover the owners are psychopaths with a dark secret. While nothing new is added to this well-trod territory, the actors’ performances give enormous charm to the protagonists, and Jeffrey Donovan steals the show and chews every scene as the monstrous homeowner.
The film begins with petty criminal lovebirds Mickey (Bill Skarsgård of Pennywise fame) and Jules (Maika Monroe) on their way to live the good life in Florida after one last robbery. Along the way, the car breaks down, leading them to a remote home to get another car. They find a dark secret, and then the owners of the home find them. Thus begins a cat and mouse confrontation with plenty of head games and weirdness. Can they escape?
As I said, there’s not much new here, and with its emphasis on comedy, there isn’t much horror as commonly found in the film’s home invasion and torture-porn influences. I was good with that, but the comedy, well, isn’t that comical. While the leads are very charming and the acting is great, the result is still kind of sleepy.
Where the movie really shines is in the villains. Jeffrey Donovan and Kyra Sedgwick play a dapper, refined, psychopathic couple, and wow, does Donovan deliver. He chews every scene with his barely restrained homicidal, all-American, 1950s Dad demeanor, with him and his natural crazy chemistry with Sedgwick propping up a film that is otherwise somewhat soft.
Overall, VILLAINS was fun, a great popcorn horror movie and worth the time, ideal for when you’re in the mood for something easygoing.