Seven Movies That Didn’t Realize They Let the Villain Win

I must warn you right now, that if you have not seen any of these movies, and don’t want to know how they end…other than the villains winning. Stop reading this article right now.

1. Arlington Road: The protagonist Michael Faraday (Jeff Bridges) is a college professor who was widowed because his wife was killed in the line of duty. Faraday befriends the Langs (Tim Robbins and Joan Cusack) after an encounter with their son Brady (Mason Gamble) who apparently has injured hands. He learns that the Langs are next door neighbors. Michael is still upset over with the loss of his FBI Field Agent wife, and he has reasonable doubts about the Langs. In the end it only proves to be a toxic cocktail which Michael will consume. He makes a few wrong moves in this game of Cat & Mouse with the Langs that finally gets him killed and framed for being the terrorist. The real terrorists happen to be entire Lang family (the son has blood on his hands too), and they also orphan Faraday’s only son Spencer who will have to move in with relatives and will forever believe that his father was a bad guy and wanted revenge against our government. The Langs move on to find their next fall guy, or perhaps fall gal. Smart but very evil family.

2. Of Her Majesty’s Secret Service: I talk about the many Bond films in which SPECTRE does win in a previous piece about movies you just did not think that the villain really won. With this Bond movie, it is a hands down victory for Ernst Stavro Blofeld as he and his associate Irma Bunt murder the only woman that Agent 007 truly loved. That woman was Tracy di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) who would take Bond’s sir name, even if the marriage was only for a short time. I guess the only reason for George Lazenby to play James Bond was to show a romantic side of the character. At the very end, he could play it well when Bond lost the love of his life. Lazenby returned the role to Sean Connery and let him handle the vengeance soon after.

3. The Vanishing (1988 film): This is the original French-Netherlands movie from the late 1980’s and not the American reimagined version that was panned and allowed Good to overcome evil. The villain of this movie is a French sociopathic family man who goes by the name of Raymond Lemorne (sir name in English means gloomy). He kidnaps a young woman from the Netherlands by the name of Saskia Wagter during her visit to a French convenience store. Her boyfriend Rex Hofman is determined to keep his vow of never abandoning Saskia and begins his never-ending search for her. Three years later, Raymond plays with Rex, and eventually comes out of the shadows to taunt him. Raymond and Rex do come back to the rest area in which Rex made his vow to protect Saskia. With Raymond holding all the aces, he gives Rex a cup of drugged coffee. Raymond tells Rex that drinking it will be the only way to find out what happened to the girl that he loved. After much hesitation Rex drinks the coffee and wakes up to find himself in box; “buried alive….buried alive.” Oops wrong movie. Besides Raymond could not hear you really scream his name, except for maybe in his mind. Raymond meanwhile lives happily ever after with his wife and children. Talking about getting away with murder, and boy Raymond did. Hope that made Raymond feel warm and fuzzy inside.

4. Primal Fear: Such a good Catholic that Aaron Stampler was, or not. He murdered an archbishop and tricked attorney Martin Vail into defending him. Stampler claims that he suffers from multi-personality disorder and that the archbishop can’t keep his hands to himself. While the slain archbishop was indeed found guilty of his crimes (and well deserved bad publicity for the Church as well as the city of Chicago), Stampler is only found guilty much too late. He is able to let down his guard intentionally or not (you decide) in the movie’s closing moments telling the suckered lawyer that Stampler did not suffer from MPD after all. Vigilante justice won the day. On the other hand, maybe Vail was the real villain….such a sucker. Make no mistake though, Stampler may have sociopathic tendencies and that is good enough for a victory for the villains.

5. Seven (1995 film): Before Kevin Spacey played Frank Underwood in the TV series “House of Cards,” he played a serial killer by the name of John Doe. His pattern is based on the seven deadly sins as described in the Bible. He loses his life, but he wins because he is able to take down one of the protagonists in the film and complete his pattern. That being the hot-headed police detective David Mills, who is taunted by Doe at the end into killing him. Why? Doe murdered his wife Tracy and chopped her head and put it into a small carboard box. Miles never knew that his wife was having a baby and Doe is the one to provide that information as Tracy only confided that fact to Detective Lieutenant William Somerset. Doe is “envy,” and Mills becomes “wrath” and shooting Doe up to seven times.

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