A dynamic villain character can take a good movie and make it great. While a film is nothing without its protagonist, a multi-faceted villain can take our hero’s journey to new heights. In many movies, it’s pretty easy to tell who the villain is. A shifty demeanor, dark gaze, or evil chuckle is a pretty dead giveaway. But in other movies, the villain is not as clear-cut. Ever heard of a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Sometimes, it takes the entire movie to find out just who the bad guy — or girl — truly is. Once you finally do discover who the Big Bad is, you realize they’ve been hiding in plain sight all along.

It’s the classic bait-and-switch technique. We meet a well-meaning character, who might be a little off-kilter, but nothing very noticeable to the viewer. There’s also usually another character who displays all the typical traits of a villain. But as the plot unfolds, we learn that it’s the unassuming friend, sidekick, or love interest that has been pulling the strings the whole time. In some cases, you can see it coming. Filmmakers will leave small hints planted throughout the movie to help clue you in on what’s to come. However, some reveals are so shocking, they make you rethink every second of the movie up until that point.

The following movies expertly reveal their villains in mind-blowing, ingenious ways. It should go without saying, but there are some major SPOILERS for the films below, so proceed with caution.

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