Villains in Film

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Cameron Mitchell
9/28/11
Villains in Film 2nd Draft

Why So Serious?
In recent years, technology in the cinema industry has become amazingly effective in creating alternate realities for us to go see for seven dollars on a Tuesday night. For a movie villain to be successful and spark emotions from its viewers they must look the part, be insanely brilliant, and push the protagonist to the edge. The first and most obvious characteristic that makes an amazing movie villain is their appearance. When is the last time there was a movie villain that look like a normal human that left a lasting impact on cinema? The most iconic villains are either cripplingly disfigured or hidden behind a mask or the shadows, and the 'Big 3' of horror villains personify this perfectly. This is because directors wish to play of of their viewers fears to create a more impacting villain. One way to make the appearance of a villain more memorable is by giving them deformities and lacerations to their face. This is no more apparent then in one of the 'Big 3', Freddy Kruger of the Nightmare on Elm Street series. There is no part of Freddy's body that isn't brutally burnt and scarred as a result of being burnt alive. On top of that, Freddy has long claws attached to his disfigured hands. Freddy was given this appearance to invoke fear in the movie viewers. This is effective because people are easily scared by people who have been visibly mutilated. In fact, Freddy's appearance was based on three men that Wes Craven, his creator, had seen and had terrified him. There are other ways to inspire fear in the viewer than by creating a hideous abomination. The other most effective way to create a lasting appeal in a movie villain is by keeping their identity hidden behind a mask. The reason that hiding the villains face behind a mask or in the dark is such an effective way to make a villain for frightening is because it is playing off our fear of the unknown. Some of the best movie villains still...
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