Best Villian Turns in Movies
Wanda Maximoff- “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”
Wanda Maximoff, or the Scarlet Witch, is a major character in the Marvel cinematic universe. For those who have been living under a rock, Wanda was introduced in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” alongside her twin brother, Pedro. Wanda, whose powers were a result of testing from Hydra, became a part of the Avengers, until losing the love of her life, Vision, in “Avengers: Infinity War.”
After defeating the big bad Thanos, Wanda retreated to a small town called Westview. Unfortunately, Wanda, consumed by her grief, accidentally and unknowingly trapped the town under a spell, forcing those who resided in Westview to become slaves to her suburban fantasy life, complete with Vision and her two children, Billy and Tommy.
Unbeknownst to her, Billy and Tommy were merely fabricated by her magic and were in fact not real. When she loses them and awakes from her delusion, she goes on a rampage to try and find her sons in different universes, killing anyone standing in her way.
Wanda’s villain arc is nothing but entertaining. Suffering countless losses of those she loved is such a valid motivation for her evil deeds. Seeing her relentless and violent dedication to her children is very interesting and entertaining to watch. Sometimes, seeing a beloved hero turn bad is better than a stagnant, vanilla, goody-two-shoes hero. Who doesn’t love to root for the bad guy? -Rachel Hord
Anakin Skywalker (The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy)
There’s really no movie saga like “Star Wars,” and there isn’t a villain more iconic than Darth Vader.
Of course, behind that mask, there was the little boy on Tatooine that just wanted to free himself and his mom in “The Phantom Menace,” but ended up training as a Jedi and ultimately betraying the Order for love.
Skywalker’s story is essential to the epic saga, and fans slowly start to see him change across the three prequel films from the loveable little boy to the cold-hearted villain. Most notably, after the slaughter of the Tusken Raiders in “Attack of the Clones,” undertones of “The Imperial March” can be heard in the background.
Skywalker’s fall changes the entirety of the saga, and Hayden Christensen’s underrated acting in “Revenge of the Sith” cements the character’s place among the fallen greats. - Adrianna Gallucci
King Candy - “Wreck-It-Ralph”
Wreck-It Ralph, the enormous, terrifying building wrecker has the classic characteristics to be marked a villain, but in this movie, evil comes from within the king of candy and sweets.
Charming and adorable Vanellope has a dream to race that King Candy won’t allow because of her glitches. King Candy explains that if Vanellope races, she could risk the game’s plug being pulled and her life.
King Candy’s attempt to pretend to look out for the girl failed and as the two race head-to-head, it’s revealed that he prevented her from racing for his own selfishness and vanity.
In the intense racing battle, Vanellope isn’t the only one glitching, but King Candy himself glitches to reveal he is Turbo in disguise- a racer from an old game that loved to win so much, he entered the arcade’s new racing game when his wasn’t being played, causing the new game to glitch and both games to get unplugged.
It shockingly becomes apparent that Turbo took over “Sugar Rush” in Vanellope’s place, and subjected her to bullying and misery by making her glitch instead of him, while he got to sit pretty on her throne. - Rachel Fisher
Hans from “Frozen”
This might be a more recent entry on this list, but it’s hard to think of a villain turn that was as shocking and genre-bending as when Hans told Anna he didn’t love her in the 2013 film “Frozen.”
Considering “Frozen” is coming up on its 10th birthday, it would be easy to forget just how impactful this movie was.
It would already be shocking for a Disney princess movie not to highlight its heroine falling in love with the dashing prince. But for that movie to have the prince become the movie's villain was a stroke of genius.
Hans and Anna share one the best songs to come out of a Disney film in a long time with “Love is An Open Door,” a piece so beautiful and loving that it’s easy to forget that it’s Anna’s duet with a male manipulator.
It’s never too young to teach girls to never ever trust a man, “Frozen” did just that. -Sophia D’Ovidio
Rachel Hord is a third-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adrianna Gallucci is a first-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, please email email@example.com.
Rachel Fisher is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sophia D’Ovidio is a second-year majoring in digital and print journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Sophia D’Ovidio is a first-year from Allentown, New Jersey. She is now a communications (undecided) major at Penn State University. Sophia intends on pursuing a career in journalism. Sophia writes for the CommRadio Arts department.
Rachel Fisher is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. She is the DJ Coordinator of the Arts and Entertainment Department and an involved member, focusing on music and TV news. She is from Ocean, New Jersey, and is interested in singing, food, music, and audio production. Follow her on Instagram @rachelfisherrr_
Third-year / Telecommunications
Rachel Hord is a third-year majoring in telecommunications in the Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State.