A movie that involves conflict is not complete without a villain. However, there has to be more to a villain than someone who is against the protagonist. For one thing, a villain who is just evil for the sake of being evil is just boring. A villain that leaves an impression is someone who has motivations that the audience could relate to. In fact some of the strongest villains are people that would’ve been the hero if things when just a little differently. In other words, they are tragic characters.
Darth Vader is the classic example of a villain who turns good. In fact, he is also a tragic character. He eventually finds his way back to the light side of the force and defeats the real villain.
Although originally a comic book villain, the Joker is also a compelling villain, especially when done right, even if he doesn’t belong in any of the best feel good movies. Even though his backstory is not very certain, the Joker does come off as a tragic character depending on the interpretation. Chris Nolan’s interpretation of the Joker is someone who wants to see the world burn. While there is no certain backstory, his motives is something that people could understand. He also has an understanding of human nature.
Other honorable mentions are Hannibal Lector, Alonzo Harris, and plenty more. Whatever their backstory is, these characters have impacted the movie they were in. Without these characters, the film would’ve been much different.
John Goodman in 10 Cloverfield Lane
If you haven’t seen 10 Cloverfield Lane yet, then stop reading and go watch. This is one of the best PG 13 scary movies you can watch. The twists are amazing, and John Goodman’s performance is nothing short of remarkable. A departure from the original Cloverfield’s commitment to the found footage movies style, they found a way to make the series truly interesting and engaging again, and definitely something truly special.