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Light Is Not Good / Live-Action Films

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Examples of Light Is Not Good in live-action movies.

  • Addams Family Values: Debbie Jellinsky dresses almost exclusively in white outfits, the better to contrast with the rest of the Addams clan, and decorates her home in pastel tones. She's also a Black Widow who goes Ax-Crazy when Fester Addams proves too hard to kill.
  • In Alien Abduction (2014), the presence of the aliens is marked with a blindingly bright light glaring out of the darkness in pursuit of the fleeing family.
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  • In Amityville: The Evil Escapes, a demon-possessed lamp is the primary antagonist.
  • The murderous stalker in A Bride's Revenge wears an all-white bridal gown - including a long dress, identity concealing veil and elbow length gloves.
  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs has a played with example. The featured story of Buster Scruggs, has the character wearing an all white suit, and rides a white horse. He also sings and is charismatic like the classic heroes in cowboy movies and television shows. However, the viewer quickly sees that he is a proud gunslinger who not only kills without mercy, but is quick to create a mocking song about the person he just killed. However, its left up to interpretation if he is just a cold blooded murderer, or someone who is constantly forced to defend himself against people worse than him. In the end, he is killed by another singing cowboy who wears all black and rides a black horse, with Scruggs getting angel wins and flying to heaven, raising more questions as to if he was evil or not.
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  • In The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Much like in the book, the White Witch wears pure white and is a Satanic Archetype. Also in the movie, in the final battle her chariot is pulled by polar bears and she has white tigers as minions, contrasting Aslan who has a grizzly bear and various great cats (including regular tigers) on his side.
  • The main villain of the Constantine movie. While the halfblood Gabriel turned out to be the main cause of the problems, Lucifer (Satan) was dressed in an immaculate white business suit and yet was not the major villain.
  • Daybreakers: When Edward Dalton parks his car under a tree in the full heat of the day, the whole scene does a great job at equating light with fear.
  • Doctor Cocteau in Demolition Man wore conservative white robes, was a moral pillar... and responsible for releasing a psychopathic murderer in order to maintain his perfect pearl of a society.
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  • Mehmet II from Dracula Untold. When he fights Vlad, he is surrounded by silver coins, wields a silver sword, and dresses in bright gold armour. This is still the same guy who demanded a thousand boys to use as soldiers. The silver is justified by being a vampire's weakness.
  • In Dragonheart, King Einon always dresses in white. In contrast, hero Bowen is dressed in black.
  • The fundamentalist minister in Footloose. Although, at least in the original, he's not as bad as most of the examples here. As a Well-Intentioned Extremist Anti-Villain, aside from his idee fixe about dancing, he is fairly reasonable.
  • In For a Few Dollars More, El Indio. In some scenes he wears with white clothes, but this does not mean that he is a good person. In fact, he is an Ax-Crazy, cold-blooded maniac.
  • Storm Shadow from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Subverted in that he is also shown to be one of the few on the side of Cobra with a moral code (he doesn't kill women or children and is angry when Zartan does so, and in G.I. Joe: Retaliation he pulls a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Commodus, the villainous emperor in Gladiator, wears a pure white gown while battling the hero Maximus, in dark armor, during the final battle.
  • In The Godfather Part III, the Vatican is revealed to be in cahoots with the Corleone crime family.
  • Godzilla's Arch-Nemesis King Ghidorah is bright gold in color, in contrast to the charcoal-gray Godzilla. But whereas Godzilla tends to be a rage-filled Anti-Hero, Ghidorah is an Omnicidal Maniac who simply likes killing so much that he wipes out whole planets for the fun of it.
  • The Golden Compass seems to love this trope, to the point that Mrs. Coulter (who was black haired in the books) became blonde (to which the author said: "I was clearly wrong. You sometimes are wrong about your characters. She's blonde. She has to be."), and intercision is not done with a blade as in the books, but with lasers.
  • In a rather bizarre scene from Gordy, the villain is shown with a heavenly, golden glow around him as overlaid footage of what he believes is sabotaged clips of the title pig is being shipped off.
  • When we are introduced to the Big Bad in Heroic Trio, he is wearing a gold, glittery outfit and is illuminated in the middle of a dark lair.
  • The Hunger Games: The Peacekeepers wear pristine-white helmets and armor. Capitol, the heart of the decadent Panem, is an imposing Shining City. Even the rooms in the participant's rooms have bright white crystalline lights.
    • In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, compared to District 13, the Capitol has its people dressed in bright lavish colors, the President is named after white snow, and its Peacekeepers wear bone white armor, but the Capitol is anything but good.
    • In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, tellingly, President Coin's outfits grow ever lighter and less utilitarian even as she's revealed to be evil.
  • Immortals has the villain Hyperion, the titan of light, from Greek Mythology.
  • Inspector Gadget 2: Dr. Claw spends most of the film dressed in white or light gray suits and hats, but he is still an evil genius planning on freezing time to rob the federal reserve,
  • In the Mouth of Madness: Sutter Cane, a godlike horror writer who uses his works to spread chaos and insanity, emanates light during his conversation with Trent about the power of belief in the Confessional.
  • The main villain in The Legend of Zorro kills people because he believes he is doing God's work, and often quotes the Bible.
  • The Lord of the Rings
    • A glowing, beautiful, angelic version of Big Bad Sauron would've appeared in the climactic battle in The Movie of The Return of the King had the design team not decided that making the omnipotent Eye corporeal would've been silly. Still, the idea of Kate Winslet as a Warhammer character would've been something.
    • Then there's Galadriel in The Fellowship of the Ring showing why giving her the One Ring would be a bad idea:
      Evil!Galadriel: And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair.
    • Saruman the White, as listed in the literature section. Though he isn't particularly nice looking and is surrounded by dark forces, he still has some light related symbolism, most notably in the scenes where Gandalf (then Gandalf the Grey) is present.
    • In the realm only perceivable by those wearing the One Ring, the Nazgul appear as bone white harbingers of death (in contrast to their typical black shrouded profiles most everyone sees).
  • In The Man with the Golden Gun, Francisco Scaramanga wears a white suit for most of the film's second act. Although he briefly earlier weared a black suit, his white suit is his most iconic outfit from the film, as he always wears it when he appears as a playable character in James Bond videogames.
  • In Masters of the Universe, when Skeletor absorbs the power of the Great Eye, he transforms into a golden-armored warrior god with golden powers.
  • Midsommar is full of this. The sinister villagers dress all in white, and due to the part of the world where the film is set the "midnight sun" is nearly always bathing everything in bright sunlight.
  • In Night Watch and Day Watch, the good guys are called Night Watchers, while the bad guys are called Day Watchers. This is because the Night Watch are the side of the Light Others, whereas the Day Watch are the side of the Dark Others. The names are literal; Night Watch keeps a watch on the dark, and Day Watch keeps a watch on the light. The books and movies make it clear that when you get down to it, both sides are just people with jobs, and the Night Watch have quite their share of dicks.
  • The white-suited humans in their clean, sterile towers in Oblivion (2013) . Sure, they're more-or-less good people, but they're unwittingly maintaining the Tet's ongoing obliteration of humanity. Similarly, the shiny, white, disturbingly Trigger Happy Attack Drones.
  • Poltergeist - '"Don't go into the light', Carol Ann!". In this case, the light is not good for Carol Ann because she is a living girl sucked into the beyond. The light however is good for the spirits hovering around there. Going into the light allows them to leave their bitterness behind.
  • In The Prophecy, the allegedly good angels like Gabriel and Uriel, who express affection abundantly, love kids and can't stand to see people cry, are the villains on an anti-human crusade to destroy and rebuild heaven as it was before the creation of man. The devil has to offer his aid to the humans who end up getting involved in the war (which he does for his own ulterior reasons).
  • Hilary Faye in Saved! is a pure, virginal, devout Christian... and also a Holier Than Thou Alpha Bitch who makes the main characters' lives a living hell. In the original ending, she even pulls a Columbine on the senior prom.
  • Star Wars:
  • Sunshine (2007). As the Icarus II gets closer to the Sun, the latter begins to take on the impression of an all-powerful god, and not a friendly one either. Several people, notably psychiatrist Searle and the Nietzsche Wannabe villain, are affected.
  • While not present in the actual film (unless you count the ice and snow), the most common poster for The Thing (1982) depicts a man with a white radiance emanating from and obscuring his face, implying he was assimilated.
  • Transformers: Soundwave's robot mode vaguely resembles an angel. His satellite mode (well, at least the toy version) also continues this theme somewhat.
    • And his car mode in Dark of the Moon as well.
  • Frank Nitti, Al Capone's hired assassin from The Untouchables wears a pure white suit.
  • In the exorcism horror The Vatican Tapes, the final shot is Angela, now fully possessed by the Anti-Christ, dressed in white, stepping into a frame filled with bright white light.
  • The pagans worshipping the Sun God in The Wicker Man (1973).
  • A Wrinkle in Time (2018) shows the planet Camazotz as a pastel colored, beautifully sunlit place, even though it’s a planet where individuality and creativity are capital sins.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • X-Men: First Class: Emma Frost, who is (scantily) clad in white and can turn her body into a mass of shining diamonds, but has no discernible morals.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Archangel with his angelic motif and being a Horseman of Apocalypse.

Alternative Title(s): Film


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