10 Films Where Villains Are Introduced In Unique Ways

These movie villains made instant history.

Arrow brad pitt se7en
New Line Cinema

What is any movie without a great villain? Without sufficient tension driving the hero's quest forward, movies tend to lack tension and conflict, which are at the core of any great story.

But introducing an antagonist, even a truly excellent one, to audiences in a way that's totally unique is incredibly difficult, because there's a seemingly limited number of ways a villain can be ushered into the narrative, right? It's all been done before, basically.

It takes a particularly creative filmmaker, then, to buck the established rules and do something truly different with their antagonist, presenting them as more than a garden variety baddie and making the audience perk up the moment they arrive.

Whether employing neat stylistic tricks to throw the audience off-balance, concealing the villain's identity for an extended amount of screen time, or simply subverting expectations of what a movie villain is supposed to be, these films absolutely nailed their left-field antagonist reveals.

In the very least these scenes ensured audiences were immediately eager to see more from these characters, and at their best they perhaps even ended up stealing the entire movie...

10. Terry Valentine - The Limey

Arrow brad pitt se7en
Artisan Entertainment

Steven Soderbergh's The Limey is one of the most unconventional crime films of the '90s, in large part due to the daringly non-linear editing style the director employs throughout.

And this is put to perhaps no better use than in the early introduction of the film's villain, record producer Terry Valentine (Peter Fonda), whose first scene features him in an infectiously entertaining montage simply going about his business - a glorified music video or character trailer, if you like.

Without needing to utter a single word, the collage of images tells us everything we need to know about the sleazy wheeler-dealer, who according to the DVD's liner notes was nicknamed "The Slimey" on set.

Furthermore, the musical accompaniment of The Hollies' "King Midas in Reverse," complete with lyrics such as "I'm not the guy to run with, cause I'll throw you off the line. I'll break you and destroy you, given time," efficiently confirms Valentine as a man to be feared.

First Posted On: 

Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.