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15 Movie Moments Where Villains Reveal Their True Form

August 5, 2021 1.1k votes 162 voters 3.9k views15 items

List RulesVote up the villains who are even scarier in their true form.

Few things in movies are more memorable than the big reveal. Sometimes, that means the reveal of who the real villain of the piece actually is, as in a whodunit like Knives Out or the Agatha Christie classics that inspired it. Other times, we know who the villain is all along - or we think we do - only to have them revealed to be something much more than they initially appeared. Maybe they're actually the devil, or another villain in disguise, or an outer-space cockroach, or just someone disfigured by fire.

Whatever the reveal, this moment, when the villain is unmasked and shows us their true face, is often the most dramatic moment in the entire movie. Here are a few of the best examples - vote up your favorites!

  • Played by Christopher Lloyd, Judge Doom is the cruel and uncompromising superior court judge who presides over Toontown - and also the mastermind behind the plot to demolish the place in order to make room for a freeway. For most of the film, he seems to dislike toons (to put it mildly), taking sadistic pleasure in destroying them using "The Dip."

    With Christopher Lloyd playing the character, though, you just know that icy facade is going to drop sooner or later, and in the end, when Doom is seemingly slain by being run over by a steamroller, he is revealed to be not only a toon himself - complete with swirling eyes and a squeaky voice - but also the very toon that took the life of Eddie Valiant's brother years ago.

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  • Witches in Roald Dahl's novel - and the 1990 film adaptation, produced by Jim Henson and directed by Nicolas Roeg - have a lot of problems that make it difficult for them to blend in with regular society so that they can do what they love to do best: destroy children. They have claws on their fingers, bald heads (which they cover with wigs that cause them to develop rashes), and square feet.

    Young Luke, our protagonist, knows all about witches thanks to his grandmother, and when he begins to suspect that the convention of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children - which is having its meeting in the seaside hotel where he and his grandmother are staying - are actually witches, it turns out that he's right. Leading them is, in fact, the Grand High Witch, played by Anjelica Huston, who reveals her true form in the film's final reel when she strips off her human costume to reveal a long-nosed crone beneath.

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  • Portrayed by Gary Oldman in Francis Ford Coppola's phantasmagoric 1992 adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic vampire novel, the eponymous Dracula goes through a number of transformations, from old man to handsome prince to werewolf to giant bat monster, with Oldman always giving a game performance, often under acres of makeup.

    While the old-age Dracula at the beginning of the film may be the most memorable (and most frequenty lampooned) aspect of these transformations, one of the most striking comes near the end, when the hunters confront Dracula and Mina in Dr. Seward's chambers, after Dracula has already begun to turn her into a vampire. Taking the form of a giant, bat-like monster, Dracula claims Mina as his bride before escaping his would-be killers.

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  • Look, the Beldam, more commonly called the Other Mother, from the 2009 stop-motion animated adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel of the same name, never looks particularly okay. She may look like Coraline's real mom, but buttons for eyes are always going to be creepy, let's face it.

    When the Other Mother reveals her true form, though, it's even worse. Spindly, skeletal, and spider-like, with needle-sharp fingers ready to sew buttons onto the eyes of little kids, imprisoning them in the Other World forever, the Other Mother's true form is the stuff of nightmare fuel.

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