Knight Of Cerebus / Film

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    Films — Animated 
  • Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas. The movie is dark, but none of the residents of Halloween town are Serial Killer cannibals and the movie gets darker when Oogie Boogie tries to murder both Santa Claus and Sally by dipping them in his snake and spider stew.
  • Hopper from A Bug's Life. He contrasts any comedic trait, and his sociopathic behavior is played very seriously.
  • Dag from Barnyard. The movie completely loses its comedic tone whenever he appears on screen.
  • Castle in the Sky has a really notable case with Colonel Muska, especially for a Hayao Miyazaki film. For most of the film, the antagonists were Dola and her fairly comical crew, and even later on, General Muro was a bit of a blowhard. Colonel Muska has no comical traits, being a Faux Affably Evil government agent treated very seriously by the protagonists. What makes him truly qualify as the most evil Hayao Miyazaki antagonist was massacring an entire army that helped him conquer Laputa, laughing maniacally as he watches them die.
  • DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp: Though the movie does sort of play as an extended episode of the show, it's clear that Merlock poses a far darker and more serious threat to Scrooge and his nephews than any other enemy has in the past. Unlike other examples of the trope, this doesn't stop Merlock from being a Chew Toy until the climax of the film (he gets physically abused several times, including getting swatted as a rat and stepped on as a roach).
  • Rattlesnake Jake from Rango, whose appearance instantly stops the funnier bits of the movie.
    • Lampshaded when Rango starts to make another joke, but Jake cuts him off by showing his fangs.
  • Shere Khan from The Jungle Book. As Affably Evil as he is, his appearance in the original film stops much of the fun and silly mood and makes things more tense and dark. This is carried Up to Eleven where he's concerned in the sequel.
  • Though already being hauntingly dark, Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, when The Nightmare King shows up, this trope is brought on home.
  • Though its non-musical status and period setting already set Atlantis: The Lost Empire apart from the rest of Disney's repertoire, for the first half-hour or so it's still a fun, mostly harmless pulpy adventure story. Then the Leviathan shows up and blows their sub to smithereens, along with something like 90% of the people on board. From that point onwards, it's straight-up action adventure all the way and with a huge death toll to boot.
  • Finding Nemo is filled with a colorful cast of characters—virtually all of the villains are either mindless predators, oblivious to their own wrongdoing, or turn out to be not so bad after all. However, there is a dead-set example in the first five minutes, in the shape of the barracuda that kills Coral and every one of Marlin's children except Nemo. It appears for only a minute, but that minute is often regarded as the darkest in the movie. The mood instantly darkens when it appears, it's one of the few creatures not anthropomorphized, and the rest of the scene is just heart-breaking. It's in effect for the rest of the movie, too; the barracuda triggers a lifetime of mental trauma for Marlin and leads to his violent overprotection, driving Nemo to abandon Marlin and get captured as a result. In a sense, this thing is responsible for the entire plot and all the dark and sad moments within. Not bad for one scene.
  • Hey Arnold! The Movie: Scheck is the descendant of a commanding redcoat during the Revolutionary War who has the power and influence to have the neighborhood where a significant battle occurred that the colonists won against his family demolished so that he can put up a mall complex on it and thus reclaim it in the name of his family. He also seeks to have Arnold and Gerald locked up when they get to close to exposing that he's covering it all up, and later on when he's defeated, attempts to run them over with his car. And this was a movie to a show that involved ordinary (and occasionally strange) things only happening in this city.
    • The Jungle Movie would have had La Sombra, a greedy river pirate who likely kept Arnold's parents stranded in another country for nine years away from their son, as the movie's central antagonist.
  • The Rugrats Movie: The biggest and most deadly threat the babies ever encounter comes in the hungry and Dead Serious form of Scar Snout, the Wolf. He stalks the babies with the single-minded intention of eating them essentially. He'd do the Shark from Jaws proud.
  • The Incredibles has Buddy Pine, better known as Syndrome, a genocidal superhero wannabe and a true Nobody to Nightmare. Early in the film, Buddy interrupts Mr. Incredible, or Bob Parr while fighting the supervillain Bomb Voyage in an attempt to become his sidekick. His careless actions nearly get himself killed and allow Bomb Voyage to escape, leading to Mr. Incredible rightfully turning him down and crushing Buddy's dreams. However, Buddy instead subverts his potential Freudian Excuse by holding on to his petty grudge into adulthood, and initiates the mass murder of retired superheroes by luring them to his island. Once Bob finds out, Syndrome beats him down with his Omnidroid and has him tortured, spitefully launching a missile at a plane that he knows has his family on it. Showing callous indifference to Mirage once her life is under threat by Bob, Syndrome plans to release the Omnidroid on the populace once he's disposed of Bob, then painting himself as a hero by falsely defeating the Omnidroid. Once foiled, Syndrome kidnaps the infant Incredible Jack-Jack with the intent to corrupt him into becoming like him. Selfish, petty, and all-around murderous, Syndrome stood out as one of Pixar's darkest villains.
  • Lord Shen from Kung Fu Panda 2. While the first film featured slapstick kung fu fighting, Bloodless Carnage, and a Big Bad more interested in a title than anything else, the sequel opens with Shen ordering a mass genocide, and then a few scenes later he rolls out his new invention, the cannon, and murders a legendary kung fu master.
  • The hunter from Bambi. The moment the ominous music hits the screen, every animal panics and flees, with the intensifying music punctuated by the sound of a gunshot. When that happens, something dies, including Bambi's mother. And to make matters worse, we actually never get to see what he looks like, but his hunting dogs that were seen look downright demonic. The hunter's presence is almost something out of Hitchcock in a family feature.
  • In The Lion King, Scar himself qualifies. The film begins quite cheerful, but when Scar kills his own brother and takes the power, the film definitely becomes quite dark. He may be this to the whole franchise as he's the first Disney villain to successfully kill a main character.
    • Zira's no slouch either. Her appearances in the film are quite dark and her Villain Song is even more intense than the last.
  • The Coachman from Pinocchio, who turns children into donkeys for his own benefit. Granted, Stromboli is pretty mean too, and Monstro is scary, but they can't match the Coachman for pure evil.
  • Jugde Claude Frollo for the entire Disney Animated Canon. In the first 5 minutes of his movie he kills a woman begging in front of a church for sanctuary. Later he reveals his plan to wipe out all of Paris's gypsies. Then he begins to burn down all of Paris in order to find a gypsy he has the hots for and lets her choose between sleeping with him or being burned alive.
  • Although The Brave Little Toaster is a dark film, it starts getting much darker once the infamous Monster Clown makes his appearance.
  • Sykes from Oliver & Company is introduced rolling up a car window against a man's neck after he had difficulty paying off a loan.
  • Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night is a fairly dark film with an extremely creepy puppetmaster called Puppetino, who ensnares Pinocchio, transforms him back to a puppet, and forces Pinocchio to dance against his will as he begs to stop, and would be a fair example of this trope. But once his terrifying master, the titular Emperor of the Night reveals himself in the final act, the atmosphere changes dramatically as he reveals his previous victims trapped forever as puppets in his world of dreams and nightmares, and wants to do the same to Pinocchio and his friends. And the Emperor almost succeeds.
  • While the villain of the first Cars film is an arrogant and obnoxious green racecar, the sequel's villains are an organization of evil, beaten-up cars led by a German microcar and a malfunctioning British SUV.
  • The Rescuers Down Under: As mean and dislikable as Madame Medusa was in the first film, Percival C. McLeach, a poacher who sadistically enjoys torturing and killing animals and is more than willing to drop an innocent boy into a river full of crocodiles, proved to be far worse.
  • An example where the villain gets darker as the story does: most of Wreck-It Ralph is a comedy about a pair of misfits trying to find their place in life, and the antagonist King Candy's a whimsical Mad Hatter Expy. By the climax, when the Cy-bug apocalypse Ralph caused threatens to devour a whole game, King Candy becomes a giant insectoid monster that almost kills Ralph, and it's established he most definitely WOULD kill a child (and ruin their life for 15 years to suit his ego, to boot.)
  • Scroop from Treasure Planet is definitely the darkest character in the movie, with a threatening appearance and voice to boot. He heartlessly kills Mr. Arrow and is never played for laughs. His evilness stems from the fact that we need someone to root against when John Silver reforms, and it's done well.
  • Sharptooth from the original The Land Before Time. Beyond simply being outright terrifying, causes the movie to get much darker after he appears when Littlefoot's mother dies from the injuries he inflicted on her.
  • Ice Age appears to be a lighthearted comedy film about a ragtag group of animals in a fun prehistoric setting, its sequels even more so, and for the most part the series' antagonists are simple predators. This wasn't the case for Soto in the first movie, who drains all comedy the film whenever he shows onscreen. To demonstrate his vileness, his plan involves the murder of a baby.
    • The fourth film gives us Captain Gutt an evil pirate primate who has razor sharp claws for gutting his victims. He has a twisted sense of humor. And he holds a powerful grudge against Manny. So powerful in fact, that he eventually resorts to attempting to kill Manny's family
    Manny: Alright! Let them go!
    Gutt (chuckles darkly): I don't think so. You destroyed everything I had! I'm just returning the favor.
  • Thrax from Osmosis Jones. In his first scene, he kills a white blood cell by cutting him so he festers and explodes. Later, he cuts open an eboli germ in a vicious and sadistic manner to challenge and overtake his authority. He is a sinister virus obsessed with fame and breaking records in the medical books. To this end, Thrax infiltrates humans and sees how fast he can murder them. He more than enjoys causing as much damage as is possible until his target is dead. Even worse, his past targets ages have varied.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit had Judge Doom, whose first appearance had him dipping an innocent toon shoe into the dip and from then on, the film became much darker. Not only that, but his plans to destroy Toontown to build a freeway, which for context means he's committing genocide against his own people would probably be the most sadistic act committed in this film.
  • How to Train Your Dragon has the Red Death. While most of the film is a heartwarming spectacle about Hiccup befriending Toothless and learning that dragons are not truly evil, this character shows up and immediately takes the film in a darker direction, since it explains why the dragons are constantly attacking the Viking village, drives a wedge between Hiccup and his father Stoick, and comes very close to killing a lot of Viking warriors.
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2 has Drago Bludivist. Unlike the Red Death, Drago is a human being that is fully aware of his actions, and manages to rapidly push the film into Darker and Edgier territory, even taking the Big Bad of the previous film into account. His introduction via flashback involves him burning down a hall full of Viking chiefs and killing them, with only Stoick surviving. Two major characters die, one on screen, as a result of his actions. Nothing about him is remotely funny, even his Large Ham tendencies, and the mere mention of his name causes the goofy, heartwarming side of things to stop more or less instantly.
  • "The Boxtrolls" is a very whimsical and funny movie. Archibald Snatcher, however, is a genuinely threatening villain.
  • The Dazzlings from My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Rainbow Rocks could be seen as such for the Equestria Girls series, despite their occasionally comical dialogues. The first movie's villain, Sunset Shimmer, spent most of the movie as an Alpha Bitch and was not able to do much more than picking on Twilight. She turned into a demon at the end, but lasted all of five minutes and accomplished almost nothing before being nailed by the Elements of Harmony. Come the second movie, we get this trio who immediately start out armed with insidious magical powers and only keep growing stronger throughout the movie. In addition, their leader Adagio is by far more competent and cunning than Sunset ever was in the first movie. Within hours, the Dazzlings manage to essentially turn the school on itself, feasting on the resulting hostilities. Within days, they manage to strain the Mane Six' friendship to a borderline breaking point despite the fact that they could not affect them directly with their Compelling Voice. When finally comes the time to confront them, they put up a far better fight than Sunset Shimmer had, too.
  • We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story started out pretty lighthearted with the dinosaurs going to New York City to make children's dreams come true. All that changes when Professor Screweyes is introduced and the film takes on a darker and scarier tone.
  • In Home, things get much more serious when The Gorg enters the picture. Even if he himself is not evil at all.
  • Tarzan:
    • Non-villainous example: Kerchak from Tarzan. While the movie was a mixture of comedy and drama, all scenes with Kerchak are often played very seriously, especially with his intense moments with Tarzan. One scene that really stood out was when there was a fun loving musical number that had the gorillas playing music in Professor Porter's camp and then the scene goes through a severe Mood Whiplash when Kerchak arrives.
    • Sabor delivered the fastest onscreen death in any Disney film; in less than 3 minutes, she killed Kerchak and Kala's baby gorilla. Not long after, she offs Tarzan's parents with a fairly graphic aftermath. She is far more sinister than your typical predator, as she scared the baby gorilla first with a roar, and left the corpses mostly intact, and displays unnerving expressions of glee or rage, making her less of a mindless force of nature and more of a sadistic villain. Unlike Clayton, she has absolutely no amusing moments; Kala and Tarzan are in very real danger of dying, as she proves to be capable of nearly killing Kerchak in a straight up fight. Even as an adult, Tarzan had to fight for his life, and no other villain in the films or TV series were as effective as she was.
  • The final Aladdin film Aladdin and the King of Thieves gives us Big Bad known as Sa'Luk. While he may not have any magic powers like Jafar, he's still almost as threatening! Sa'Luk is a ruthless, violent, and rather impatient brute with little if any tolerance for those he deems weak. He is big boisterous, has a knuckle duster with bronze claws on his fist for ripping his foes to shreds! He SURVIVES falling off a cliff into the sea and kills a shark with his bare hands and the film takes a much darker turn when he sets his plot in motion.
    • Jafar himself becomes a downplayed example in the first two movies after he attempts to have Aladdin drowned. For the rest of the original film on to the sequel, the good-hearted laughter stops whenever he is onscreen for the most part.
  • Rise of the Guardians gives us Pitch Black, who is utterly terrifying despite having an understandable, even sympathetic, motive for his actions. Not only does he invade a child's room and turn her dream into a nightmare, he kills Sandy. It didn't stick, but still...
  • While Care Bears is arguably a trope codifier for Vile Villain, Saccharine Show, most of the villains of the series have elements to tone down their menace such as comical minions. Not so for the Spirit of the Book from The Care Bears Movie throws all of that away and the film becomes noticeably darker when she's involved, with acts like releasing an entity that repeatedly attacks the bears and attempts to turn the world into an anarchistic, chaotic hellhole rather than just making everyone uncaring jerks.
  • Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island has the titular zombies and the cat monsters Simone and Jaques. Although the zombies aren't actually evil, they're still portrayed as genuinely scary, while Simone and the others attempt to kill the Mystery Inc. Gang by stealing their youth, which would leave them as dried up husks like the other zombies.
  • Going back to the start of the Disney Animated Canon with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, this film has the Evil Queen, who is one of the most incredibly vain women in cinema and, upon being told that Snow White is more fair than her, tries to get her killed. NO scene where she appears has any sort of comedy, and it gets worse when she turns herself into the infamous old hag and allows herself to go off the deep end, actually speaking to the audience and taunting them directly.
  • Another example is with the classic Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty. The film is whimsical and good-hearted until a thunderbolt cues her entry into the film. Everyone is terrified out of their minds at her appearance. Then she curses the titular princess. As with the Queen, no scene where Maleficent appears is played for laughs at all, and is treated as an extremely dangerous and cunning threat by the three Good Fairies.
  • Shan Yu from Mulan. Every scene that Shan Yu and the Huns are in are played very seriously and they are one of the few Disney villains to cause so much destruction in their wake, including invading China's borders and slaying the Chinese armies that stand in their way. One scene that best exemplifies their ruthlessness was during the song A Girl Worth Fighting For where the Chinese soldiers were singing a happy song about fighting for the women they love when suddenly, the happy song stops when they see a village being razed to the ground.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Wars:
    • Not a villain, but Yoda definitely took the series in a darker direction when he made his first appearance in The Empire Strikes Back. The original 1977 film had been generally lighthearted with a few dark points (the massacre at the Lars homestead, the destruction of Alderaan, Obi-Wan Kenobi's death), and Yoda himself at first comes off as comical with his diminutive appearance, "Muppet" voice, and annoying behavior. But he then establishes himself as the character who first warns Luke Skywalker about the possibility of falling victim to the Dark Side, and things get serious right quick (and then some). Yoda also serves this role in the prequels, particularly The Phantom Menace: almost everything up to the Coruscant scenes had been pure escapist entertainment, and then we hear, "Fear leads to anger...Anger leads to hate...Hate leads to suffering...I sense much fear in you." Even if you didn't know from the start what was to become of Anakin Skywalker, Yoda's speech is more than a little foreboding.
    • The very first movie, A New Hope, was only as dark as it was because of Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin (the latter is not even a Sith lord, and yet is known as one of the nastiest characters in the series).
    • Vader continued this in the next movie.
    • The Emperor/Darth Sidious not only brought it full circle in Return of the Jedi and the first two entries of the prequel trilogy (as did Darth Maul and Count Dooku), but brought it Up to Eleven in the third entry, Revenge of the Sith.
    • The Force Awakens: Kylo Ren, General Hux and Supreme Leader Snoke all apply as well.
    • The entire First Order Stormtrooper army, not only they averted Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy by being able to hit the targets, they stripped the clumsiness and comic relief of Stormtroopers away by being more serious.
    • In Rogue One, Director Orson Krennic is one of the lead creators of the Death Star and is mostly responsible for its conception. Also, his actions lead to Jyn Erso's life going to hell with the death of her mother and her father Galen being forced into the employment of the Empire. His role in the book Catalyst goes out of its way to show he was even worse than just all that.
  • Baywatch (2017): Victoria Leeds is a nightclub owner at the bay who runs an illegal drug operation. She bribes as a means of buying property in order to further expand her operation so she can cover even more ground. When Councilman Rodriguez, who is on her payroll, faces opposition and is unable to follow through on something, she has him killed and his boat set on fire. Two innocent girls nearly die in said fire when trapped onboard. When her ambitious tech Dave asks for more money, Leeds also has him killed and his body used as a means of framing Mitch Buchannon as negligent in his duties to discredit him. She has Murray Chen, the one holdout in her expansion plan, abducted and when the Baywatch team frees him, Leeds has Matt Brody undergo the same fate she intended for Chen: hes locked in a cage and pushed in the bay left to nearly drown. She later shoots and nearly kills Mitch while trying to escape, kills one of her own men and then makes one final attempt to kill Mitch while threatening and holding Matt hostage. Played seriously in most of her scenes, Leeds evil acts ultimately stand out in contrast to both the campy TV show and the even more raunchy film.
  • Clockstoppers: Henry Gates. This is a movie about kids freezing time and not a sci-fi thriller about manipulating the device to be used by an Evil Corporation, yes? No? Gates is Dead Serious in pretty much all of his scenes and clearly cares nothing for what the potential consequences of manipulating time could be. He's willing to use anyone who is of value towards his goals and is more than capable of having those who interfere stomped out if he deems necessary.
  • Dennis the Menace: Switchblade Sam is a dirty, dark and crooked thief who through the course of the movie steals money and jewelry from people's houses, steals a little girl's antique doll, steals a kid's apple right out of his hand and threatens kids with his knife in general. Even though he was made the Butt-Monkey at the end of the movie, he was so dark for an otherwise very whimsical comedy that Siskel & Ebert each cited him as the main reason why they weren't recommending the movie. One would think with the performance that Christopher Lloyd gave in this movie that he thought he was auditioning for Cape Fear!
  • Fouchet from Bad Boys. There's absolutely nothing funny about him, and every time he appears, the film dramatically loses its comedic beats (not to mention a few members of its cast).
  • Calvin Candie and Stephen from Django Unchained. Once Calvin and Stephen are presented on screen, the plot of the film focuses much more on the drama than the Black Comedy.
  • Something Wild is a quirky comedy - til Ray Liotta makes his entrance.
  • The Boondock Saints is a series with lots of laughs along with the kickass action. But when Il Duce gets called in, things get serious very quickly.
  • The first half of A Fistful of Dynamite is a Black Comedy, as we watch bandito Juan Miranda try to convince Bomb Throwing Anarchist Sean Mallory to join his bank robbery attempt, whilst getting into a lot of trouble in the process. Then Colonel Gunther Reza arrives, murders Juan's children, and turns the entire film into a serious drama.
  • Good Burger: Kurt Boswell, though somewhat over-the-top and a little bit of a Large Ham, is incredibly vicious and uncompromising in how he deals with his business, insubordinate employees and crushing any unwanted competition. In a movie based on an All That comedy sketch of all things, he goes as far as to try to poison Good Burger's customers in order to ruin the business. In a sketch it might have been a small thing, but in the movie, the consumption of that poison was likely to either cause severe illness or death. While there were villainous characters on All That who would threaten others and succeed in taking lives, it was always Played for Laughs. In this case, it's not.
  • Hollywood Homicide: Antoine Sartain is shown to represent the dramatic and dark aspects of the film. He is a greedy record producer who has no qualms whatsoever about getting the acts who defy him and try to leave dealings with his company killed. He even has the men who are hired to do the job killed too. He mentions how he has to be detatched emotionally from the job because it requires him to be cold and how he sees the singers and groups as wannabes and posers towards gangland.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean became significantly darker in its second film with the introduction of Lord Cutler Beckett.
  • This Is England started off as a edgy but nice enough movie about a twelve year-old befriending some affable skinheads who protect him from bullies. Then racist thug Combo crashes the party (literally) and the film immediately takes a dark turn.
  • Roth'h'ar Sarris of Galaxy Quest is actually pretty disturbing for a sci-fi comedy movie villain. He even guns down most of the main characters at one point, beheads his second-in-command, genocides all of the aliens that were not on the Protector (and had their previous leader tortured to death for information on the Omega-13, denying it a Mercy Kill when it begged for it) and has a rather scary design.
  • James Bond
  • Brick Top from Snatch.. While he has a lot of funny moments (Albiet in a rather dark way) and is generally Laughably Evil, he's also responsible for the more intense situations in the film, and not all of his cruelty is played for laughs either. Special mention goes to him ordering his men to burn down Mickey's mother's caravan, while she's still sleeping inside it.
  • Frank D'Amico of Kick-Ass; is responsible for the serious shifts in tone throughout the movie. He is also responsible for the origin of Big Daddy and Hit Girl. If that's not enough he has Kick Ass and Big Daddy tortured live on TV and has Big Daddy burned alive, and killed.
    • His son Chris also is played more seriously in Kick-Ass 2 and D'Amico's brother Uncle Ralph D'Amico is far worse than either one.
  • Hancock starts out as a spoof of the superhero genre, showing us a drunken jerk who can't stop a crime without destroying a city block. And then we quit hearing about Kenneth "Red" Parker Jr. and we actually get to meet him. After that first appearance, he seems defeated, until we see him hatching a revenge plan. Cue the movie mutating into a deconstruction instead of a spoof. Bonus points for Red causing the Cerebus Syndrome by accident: it was Hancock's reaction to taking him down that changed the tone of the movie, not Red's revenge plot.
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is particularly dark, but things become extremely bleak once our heroes arrive at the titular temple and face Mola Ram, who may well be the most evil villain throughout the whole Indiana Jones franchise, which is quite the accomplishment in a franchise that features Nazis and Adolf Hitler himself. It's pretty telling that he's the only villain who dies by Indy's direct doing, instead of having a Karmic Death like the others.
  • While Die Hard 2 was a serious movie to begin with, Col. Stuart causes a planeful of people and children to crash and burn and he even manages to deliver a brutal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to McClane in the climax.
  • The Winter Soldier is a Knight of Cerebus for the entire MCU. While various other villains had their humorous moments, both the Winter Soldier and the man behind him have none. Between Alexander Pierce's fairly accurate depiction of a paranoid and xenophobic (sort of) intelligence agency spying on citizens and performing preemptive strikes against individuals who could potentially be threats in the future, and the backstory behind Bucky's decades of torture and brainwashing leaving him both a deadly efficient assassin and completely submissive to his handlers, they're pretty horrifying. The end result? Even with the day saved, nearly thousands are dead, and several named heroes nearly end up being brutally murdered and the price to stop him and Pierce's plan with Project Insight requires burning S.H.I.E.L.D. to the ground.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy is a Lighter and Softer superhero film about a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits, each with their numerous comedic traits. However, Ronan the Accuser is far from amusing. His genocidal tendencies, total lack of redeeming qualities and cruel, calculated malice make him one of the darkest things about the film, and short of one Not So Stoic moment at the end, he's not funny in the least.
    • Ultron's arrival in Avengers: Age of Ultron suddenly amps up the stakes considerably. A light-hearted party amongst the Avengers is turned into a fight for survival the second he shows up.
    • Helmut Zemo from Captain America: Civil War is a Villainous Underdog, but manages to succeed tearing the Avengers apart through tactics and psychological stimulus rather then physical force unlike previous villains, including manipulating Tony into trying to execute Bucky to avenge the deaths of his parents.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 brought in Ego, Peter's father who's quest for exploring all life turns out to be to the means of destroying it all for its inadequacies. It turns out that he has had children all over the universe that have been unsuccessful in living up to his power to the point that he's wiped them all out without hesitation. Not only has his purpose for Peter been to get close only to harness his power and achieve his goal, but his manipulation stings even further when he reveals he created the cancer that caused Peter's mother to die.
  • Green Goblin is this in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The film is essentially a romantic comedy/teen drama with a superhero backdrop, up 'til the final fight. For one, he is the first villain in the series thus far that does not fall victim to Peter's insults and jokes. And by extension, he has no comedic/lighthearted traits whatsoever in contrast to every other villainous "character" that Peter has confronted in the entire series. He also indirectly led to the death of Gwen Stacy.
  • Man of the Year: The corporate villains James Hemmings and Stewart are played straight and not for laughs. Their plotline involving Eleanor Green creates such a sharp, dark contrast to the main plot involving Tom Dobbs that it's almost like it exists in another movie.
  • My Girl: In this light-hearted comedy starring Macaulay Culkin as 11-year-old Thomas J. Sennett, the Bees go from being just bees in their first scene to a symbol of death in their second scene when they attack Thomas J. and because of his allergy cause his death.
  • Transformers Film Series:
    • Transformers: Age of Extinction gives us Lockdown and Harold Attinger. The former is a ruthless bounty hunter who is not aligned with either the Autobot or Decepticon factions and will stop at nothing from carrying out the contract given to him by his clients, and proves to be one of Optimus' most dangerous foes. The latter is a borderline insane Knight Templar who is convinced exterminating every Cybertronian on Earth, be it Decepticon or Autobot will safeguard humanity, and woe if you happen to be any of the unlucky humans trying to help the Autobots.
    • Same goes for Dylan Gould, the first human villain of the series introduced in the previous movie.
  • Good Morning, Vietnam is admittedly a comedy-drama mix, but Sergeant Major Dickerson is an utterly hateful villain from the start. At least Cronauer's rival Lieutenant Hauk is a comic figure; Dickerson is just a humorless Jerkass who actually tries to arrange Cronauer's death. At the end, General Taylor tires of Dickerson's nastiness and reassigns him.
  • 12 Years a Slave is a harsh movie, but Edwin Epps stands out even there. Vicious, lustful, and whip-crazy, he personifies the evil that is chattel slavery. The weird thing: he was much worse in real life.
    • His wife Mary also applies and is arguably worse.
  • 21 Jump Street films:
  • A Million Ways to Die in the West has Clinch Leatherwood. As soon as he shows up, all comedy goes out the window as he establishes himself as a sadistic murderer and abusive husband.
  • In Rambo IV, Major Tint is more brutal, sadistic, psychotic and noticeably disturbing than the previous Big Bads or previous kinds of villains all together. He's the complete 180 degree contrast to the first film's Big Bad Hero Antagonist Teasle if comparing Tint's large amount of Kick the Dog acts to Teasle's large amount of Pet the Dog acts.
    • To compare him to the previous villains, Teasle was a Knight Templar Hero Antagonist and his motives were mostly out of understandable Fantastic Racism of 'Nam vets due to them putting Korean War vets like Teasle in their shadow and that fact Rambo was a fugitive from justice needed to be caught unlike Tint's motives being merely For the Evulz, Dirty Communists Podovsky and Zaysen were over-the-top characters to not really be taken seriously with them just to be there for the audiences to cheer Rambo to kill them unlike Tint, who's The Stoic Soft-Spoken Sadist whose actions not only makes the audience to cheer Rambo kill him too, but also shock them due to the grisly details behind the acts and their atrocities are tame in comparison to Tint's, plus while Tint doesn't have The Dragon, the previous ones Galt, Yushin and Kourov were just thugs whose depravity are nothing in comparison to Tint's pedophilia and Tint's constant Kick the Dog acts.
    • On a minor note, he's the only Big Bad not to speak a word of English and the only to be an Unknown Rival to him unlike others before him. He's also the only villain to not head-on fight Rambo himself and just flee for his life.
  • Return to Oz was already a dark film, but when the Nome King finally made his appearance, the film gets even darker as the Nome King raised the stakes for Dorothy and her friends and even ( briefly) managed to capture most of Dorothy's friends in his deadly game. Mombi was pretty bad herself, especially with the infamous "head scene," but she doesn't quite match the Nome King in terms of evilness.
  • The main villains of each of the Rush Hour movies, Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights play up the serious and threatening aspects of each movie. Often when these characters have either ordered that someone die or killed someone, it's always shown that they mean business and that if they are involved in the comedy aspects in any way, their attribution is next to nothing.
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service:
    • Whilst Valentine and Gazelle are mostly comedic villains, Arthur is portrayed very seriously and both of his scenes with Eggsy (shooting the dog and the poisoned brandy) are pretty tense.
    • Even despite being a Large Ham, Valentine becomes a bit of this at times, particularly when he doesn't pick up the Idiot Ball and elects to shoot Harry Hart rather than give him the opportunity to figure out how to get away.
  • Wedding Crashers is pretty lighthearted until we meet Claire Cleary's current boyfriend Zachary "Sack" Lodge", possibly the biggest jerkass romantic rival in a romantic comedy, who's not above "accidentally" shooting someone while hunting.
  • The titular Evil Dead in Evil Dead (2013) is definitely more serious then the demon in the previous ones.
  • The tone in Predator becomes a lot more serious once the titular character is introduced.
  • Due to this entry being Darker and Edgier, Mick from Sudden Impact is a more depraved and sadistic threat then the previous Big Bads and the later one in the next film.
  • In comparison to previous dinosaur antagonists, the Indominus Rex from Jurassic World is the most threatening, homicidal, intelligent, depraved, and frightening. She also had managed to kill Hammond expy Simon Masrani, who only wants to delight the visitors much like Hammond and dies trying to stop this dino from going on a rampage, which shows how much a dangerous threat she is that not even the park owner can stop her and dies trying to.
  • Boris from Men in Black 3 is FAR WORSE than Edgar and Serleena, who were both pretty nasty, since he's Agent J's father's murderer and Agent K's in the modified '69.
    • Serleena and Boris are more or less equal in evilness, since both engage in on-and off-screen multiple planetary genocide.
  • As soon as Jody shows up in The Hateful 8, the comedy elements of the film are dropped and the tone of the film gets much, much darker.
  • Things get dark in Cliffhanger when Qualen and his posse show up. Compared to villains in a lot of other "Die Hard" on an X plots, who often try to at least be Faux Affably Evil to The Hero, these guys make no secret that they're a bunch of sadistic psychopathic Jerkasses who all happily swim around the Hate Sink. The movie was originally rated NC-17 thanks to their antics, before Executive Meddling forced some of the more out-there moments to be toned down a bit.
  • While Deadpool is a Denser and Wackier Action-Black Comedy spinoff of the X-Men series full of over the top violence and 4th-wall breaking, main villain Ajax is played completely straight, with the only humor related to him coming from Deadpool trying to piss him off. Any time he starts getting involved in the action things get noticeably more serious.
  • Immortan Joe from Mad Max: Fury Road is easily the darkest of the Mad Max villains. While the villains in the first two were just motorcycle gangs and the villain of the third was trying to run a town with order, here, he is a downright sadistic dictator who rules over the Citadel and farms people for their blood and milk, even owning a group of sex slaves and will stop at nothing to get them back when they escape from his clutches.
  • Mystery Men: Casanova Frankenstein, though a little goofy at times, shows just how much of a legit threat he is by blowing up the asylum he was just released from, planning to unleash a device on the city that will kill everyone in it and having a couple of his own men heartlessly killed near the end of the movie just to prove the point that how expendable everyone is to him.
  • Following the Door Gunner's brief appearance in Full Metal Jacket with him gunning down innocent people on the Marines' payroll, the film and Joker become much more serious and people start dying, showing just why War Is Hell.
  • In spite of his surface-thin goofy demeanor, Lex Luthor from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice manages to be worse than Zod. Blowing up the Senate hearing firmly establishes him as this.
  • The Jungle Book (2016) version of Shere Khan is far more serious than his animated counterpart. His initial act of threating to kill Mowgli at the water truce and a few minutes later, his murder of Akela most certainly establishes him as this. Taken Up to Eleven when he threatens to kill Raksha's pups and when he beats everyone down in the final battle with ease.
  • So far every villain in the Star Trek reboot movies have been this.
  • Eric Byer from The Bourne Legacy is the one who created all the technical on the programs and despite some occasional moments of humanity, demonstrates a cold, calculated detachment when he has operatives and anyone whose involvement threatens to publically expose any of their work, killed in manners varying from setting up a suicide, drugging a scientist so he commits a mass shooting, sending assassins meds that poison them and sending an assassin whose been chemically enhanced to have no empathy.
    • CIA Director Robert Dewey from Jason Bourne turns up the seriousness of the film, and while the Asset does most of the heavy lifting, he is operating under Dewey's command. The fact that Dewey is responsible for the events of the series also turns up the seriousness. He also goes even further than Conklin, Abbott, or Vosen in terms of ruthlessness, such as killing off agents as he goes along.
    • The Asset himself is a far more villainous than other henchmen Bourne took down in previous films; he cold-bloodedly murders multiple civilians and even CIA officers who stand in his way to do Dewey's dirty work.
  • Apart from getting thrown into the buffet table, most of the scenes with Zach in Beverly Hills Cop are played quite serious, such as the scene where he confronts Mikey before shooting him in the back of the head. During the final shootout, he sends Foley running multiple times and is only taken down when Foley waits for him and greets him with a three-round burst.
  • Out of all the Rocky antagonists, Ivan Drago definitely has the darkest and longest-lasting effects namely, both Apollo's death and Rocky's career-ending injury.
  • Logan isn't exactly a bright and cheery movie to begin with, but over the first half of the film there's still a few funny and heartwarming moments, particularly in the interactions between Logan, Charles, and Laura. Even Pierce, as bad as he is, is quite amusing with his Large Ham personality (though it in no way downplays the disturbing nature of any of his actions and he applies for this trope no less). That changes the moment Rice and X-24 appear on the scene, as nothing about them is played for laughs.
    • Rice is a cold, ruthless, For Science! monster who had no qualms against the implied murder of who knows how many young Mexican girls and women used as part of his experiments, treated the children they carried as things with the intent of turning them into Living Weapons, and callously had them disposed of when they proved uncontrollable and useless for the purpose. And then he unleashes X-24 onto an innocent family to get Laura back, casually dismissing Caliban's protests by essentially claiming his hand was forced.
    • X-24 is a clone of Logan himself, but stripped bare of all his positive traits. He's a ruthless ball of unrestrained rage with no compunctions against slaughtering anything in his path. And if that's not enough, he's a Hero Killer, murdering a helpless Charles Xavier in cold blood, and ultimately fatally wounding Logan himself.
  • Wild Wild West: Despite fitting in with the movie's over-the-top nature and being a Large Ham, Dr. Arliss Loveless takes a turn for the hateful and disturbing when he not only has an army of his own Confederate soldiers shot and killed without hesitation, but is revealed to have used the same machine to massacre an entire village of freed slaves for target practice, women and children included.
  • Daigoro vs Goliath certainly has its dramatic moments (such as the death of Daigoro's mother or trying to deal with the kaiju's growth and difficulty keeping him fed), but is overall lighthearted and comical...until the title villain Goliath enters the picture. Not only is his introductory scene ominous, with a storm appearing out of nowhere and the music taking on a darker air, but Goliath promptly beats Daigoro nearly to death before rampaging across Japan, all of which is treated much more seriously than the first half of the film.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/KnightOfCerebus/Film