Knight Of Cerebus: Film

    Films — Animated 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In the first Jungle Book film, Shere Khan didn't come in until the final act of the movie which until then had only featured Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain Kaa. And when he did appear, things took a turn for the darker, particularly where Baloo was concerned.
  • Though already being hauntingly dark, Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, when The Nightmare King shows up, this trope is brought on home.
  • 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.
  • Toy Story 3 has Lotso Huggin' Bear, who is anything but what his name implies and represents the first truly evil villain in a Toy Story film. Sid, depending on your view, was an Obliviously Evil kid who is implied to be growing up in a broken home and wasn't aware that the toys he tortured were sentient. Stinky Pete was a Well-Intentioned Extremist. Al... Well, he was a greedy jerk, but calling him evil outright is a bit of a stretch. Lotso is a downright monster with no redeeming traits or excuse for his actions.
  • 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. And to make matters worse, we actually never get to see what he looks like.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Frozen gives us Hans. The film takes a darker turn when his true nature is revealed and he is the almost perfect example of a sociopath depicted in Disney. What makes him especially dark ? Unlike most Disney villains, the viewers don't see it coming.
  • 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 sharp claws for gutting his victims. He has a twisted sense of humor and holds a powerful grudge against manny. So Powerful in fact, that he eventually resorts to kill Manny's family
    Gutt: That mammoth has taken my ship, my bounty, and now the loyalty of my crew! I will destroy him, and everything he loves.
  • Thrax from Osmosis Jones.
  • 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.
  • Megamind has Titan. The first two-thirds of the film are a fairly lighthearted Affectionate Parody of super heroes that focuses on a villain discovering himself. Then Titan turns evil and everything goes to hell, with him attacking the city and the titular villain literally fighting for the life of him and his lover.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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.
  • Not a villain, but Yoda definitely took the Star Wars series in a darker direction when he made his first appearance in The Empire Strikes Back. The original 1977 film had been generally light-hearted with a few dark points (the massacre at the Lars homestead, the destruction of Alderaan), 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 scene has 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.
  • Fouchet from Bad Boys. There's absolutely nothing funny about him, and every time he appears, the film dramatically loses its comedic beats.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Big Bad of Galaxy Quest, Roth'h'ar Sarris, 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, and has a rather scary design.
  • After Daniel Craig took over as James Bond, we had the menacing Le Chiffre in Casino Royale and the cunning Dominic Greene in Quantum of Solace. But the drama didn't really kick off until Raoul Silva made his entrance in Skyfall (though he's a Large Ham in true Bond tradition and is funny along with being threatening), elevating the body count significantly and killing off M.
  • In Licence to Kill we meet the overly ruthless drug lord Franz Sanchez who beats his girlfriend with a whip and has her secret lover's heart ripped out, and after being captured by Bond and Felix in the opening, later escapes from jail and maims Felix and murders his wife, setting up Bond's Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Throughout the movie, as Bond starts getting under Sanchez' skin, the villain starts killing his own henchmen in some rather gory methods like making one explode in a decompression chamber and impaling another on a forklift. Even compared to the Daniel Craig movies, Licence is arguably the darkest Bond flick of all.
  • 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 the Caravan that belongs to Mickey's mother, 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 thats not enough he has Kick Ass and Big Daddy tortured live on TV and has Big Daddy burned alive, and killed.
  • 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 on 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. Stewart causes a planeful of people and children to crash and burn and he even manages to deliver a brutal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Mc Clane 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 then 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.