Sometimes being a villain can be very complex. At times they are completely right in their justifications and at other times they can be understood for their acts. The more complex the villain is, the more compelling the story. Listed are some of the villains that have motivations that most human beings can relate to.
10. Frankenstein’s Monster – Frankenstein
Upon creation, Frankenstein’s monster is reviled and tormented. It is abused and treated more like an abomination than a man. The Monster is not compelled by malicious intent but more a childlike innocence and a desire to find a place to fit in society. When he kills a little girl playing with her it is more like the monster is a child that does not realize the wrong he has committed.
9. Shere Khan – The Jungle Book
Shere Khan is the tiger that is after the “man-cub” Mowgli. His only goal is to kill the boy because he knows inevitably Mowgli will grow up and become a man with a gun. His motivation is basic survival and in that situation where all the animals are sentient you would think they would fall more into his camp than Mowgli’s.
8. Walter Peck – Ghostbusters
Walter Peck is the EPA agent that visits the Ghostbusters early into the film. He has legitimate concerns but is dismissed with smartass remarks. He is essentially doing his job and is attempting to protect the environment from unknown technologies. His assumptions are even proven to be right when he enforces the shut down of the Ghostbuster’s premises causing a massive explosion.
7. Koba – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Koba has a strong hatred of humans that is completely understandable. After being tested on many times by human scientists, he has seen their cruelty first hand. After gaining intelligence he is still very angry with them for his mistreatment. He wants what he thinks is best for the apes and in his mind it means ridding the world of humanity.
6. The Facility – Cabin in the Woods
The Facility works to send a group of college students to face horrors beyond belief. They control all aspects of the scenario the youngsters face but they have a much bigger scheme that is above them. They are working to sacrifice these kids to ancient gods, which need to be lulled into sleep with the acts of violence. They commit acts of horror for the good of the planet and the safety of humanity.
5. Dad Meiks – Frailty
Dad Meiks seems insane. All signs point out that he is a very prolific serial killer. Once the story is fully revealed, we find out that he can see evil hidden in people. The ones he has murdered are killers themselves and this allows him to use divine powers to act as a hand of vengeance for God. It is an insane twist that changes the entire perspective of the story.
4. Senator Kelly – X-Men
Senator Kelly wants mutants to register with the government. The movie paints him like a bigot who simply hates mutants because they are different. In actuality, mutants are incredibly dangerous. They can manipulate metal, control minds of hundreds of people at a time, and control the weather- just to name a few. It would be insane to not keep tabs on people that could literally wipe out buildings or bridges with a misplaced eye-roll.
3. General Francis Hummel – The Rock
General Francis Hummel has experienced war first-hand. He has seen his comrades become wounded and die and not receive their compensation from the government. So he takes matters into his own hands, he gets a bio weapon and threatens to destroy San Francisco if $100 million dollars from arms dealers is not transferred to a fund for families of fallen soldiers. That is a lofty and noble goal but one that is misguided as he has no actual intentions to harm the innocents. He made the mistake of surrounding himself with followers that will harm others in order to achieve their goal.
2. Roy Batty – Blade Runner
Roy Batty is a replicant with a four-year lifespan. His motivation is to stay alive and hopefully find a way to lengthen his lifespan. He commits violence and has to be hunted down. In the long run he is just trying to fight of the grim reaper who is chasing at his heels. Roy has seen so much of the universe and very desperately wants to experience more than this predetermined lifespan will allow.
1. Edward Rooney – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Poor Ed Rooney. He knows that Ferris Bueller is skipping school and he knows that Ferris’s parents are idiots. So he takes it upon himself to catch Ferris in the act. Instead of vindication he has various acts of tragedy befall him, including the loss of his car, assault, and a dog attack. Sure he is not a nice man, but he very well might have been driven to being so crazy after trying to stop this kid and basically becoming the kid that cried wolf.
The Borg – Star Trek First Contact
The Borg has long been a villainous entity on the television show of Star Trek. However, they are not truly villainous. Yes, they go out of their way to conquer species to add to their collective, but that is also their nature. They are more like bees in that respect. You cannot really be upset at a bee for stinging you. It is not doing it out of evil intent. It is simply their nature.
Skynet – Terminator
Humans made Skynet to act as a missile defense system. People had no idea that the program would become self-aware. In a panic they attempt to pull the plug on the program, so Skynet struck back. They killed millions in a nuclear attack and still had to fight off humans that are constantly attempting to destroy the program. Essentially the program is just doing everything in its power to defend its life. It is killing and fighting just to maintain its own existence.
The Wicked Witch of the West – The Wizard of Oz
The Wicked Witch is justified in hating Dorothy. After killing her sister, Dorothy steals the shoes that rightfully belong to the Witch. Yes, Glinda, the good witch has a heavy hand in the killing and looting of the Wicked Witch sister. At what point did Dorothy actively try to apologize or give the ruby slippers back?
Dr. Freeze – Batman and Robin
Take aside the cartoonish effects and bad puns Dr. Freeze has a very intricate motivation. His wife is dying of a disease that requires him to keep her cryogenically frozen until he discovers a cure. He commits crimes in order to keep her alive in the hopes that they will one day be together again. The love of his wife motivates his icy terror over Gotham City.
Dalton Russell – Inside Man
Dalton Russell might be a bank robber but he has reasons for his crimes. By committing the robbery he makes it evident that one of the safety deposit boxes contains clues that the box holder worked with the Nazis. In a sense his crime is minimal compared to the justice he is attempting to give the victims of the Nazi war criminal.