With the thriller Straw Dogs (starring James Marsden, Kate Bosworth and Alexander Skarsgård)hitting DVD on December 20, CraveOnline's getting in the spirit of the occasion by running down a list of the Best Revenge Films ever made!
V for Vendetta
This politically-soaked dark thriller finds The Wachowskis moving beyond The Matrix to centers on a corruption-assassin named "V" who wears the mask of Guy Fawkes, the man who many years ago famously attempted to blow up the House of Parliament on the fifth of November, and whose face has come to represent everything from the Anonymous hacker group to the Occupy movement. Spouting elegant prose and killing with brutal grace, V spawned the image of a vigilante hero who stands up to society's most powerful and the corrupt elite. the sociopolitical parallels are jarring, given the Orwellian spin on our modern-day security and surveillance technologies.
Count of Monte Cristo
This Alexander Dumas classic was remade in 2002 and directed by Kevin Reynolds, starring Jim Caviezel as sailor Edmund Dantes who is framed for treason by his best friend Fernand Mondego (Guy Pearce). Sent to the horrific prison Chateau D'If, Edward befriends the incarcerated monk Abbe Faria (Richard Harris) who tutors Edmund in finance, science, and fencing. After escaping from prison, Edmund – still as desperate for vengeance as ever – makes his way to Monte Cristo where he discovers a buried treasure that Abbe Faria had told him about. Using his discovered riches to create the guise of the titular count, Edmund infiltrates Parisian aristocracy and takes his revenge on Fernand and the others who engineered his imprisonment.
Dae-su is a man erased. Abducted on his daughter's birthday, he's imprisoned in a single room for fifteen years with only a TV set to connect him with the outside world. Until he is suddenly released, apparently without condition, leaving Dae-su on a relentless hunt for his captor and the reason of his long imprisonment. While looking for revenge, Dae-su discovers deep secrets from the past, ultimately learns the shocking truth about his imprisonment.
Kill Bill I & II
Quentin Tarantino's two-part masterpiece stars Uma Thurman stars as The Bride, sabotaged member of a team of assassins called the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. Waking from a headshot-induced coma four years after her boss, Bill (David Carradine) and her fellow killers ambush her on her wedding day, The Bride sets out for revenge against her former accomplices. In brutally splashy fashion she slices her way through her hit list of allies-turned-nemeses, including crude hick Budd (Michael Madsen), the venomous Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) and, of course, Bill. Easily Tarantino's most cinematically beautiful film to date, Kill Bill serves as both an homage to the kung-fu classics that preceded it and a high-water mark setter for all revenge films.
Last House On The Left
An old classic shocker comes back to life in this Wes Craven tale of two teenage girls savagely sexually assaulted and beaten by a prison escapee and his wretched crew, who find the tables turned when they seek out refuge at the home of one of the victim's parents. Once the girl's worried parents realize the horror of what's just happened to their daughter, John (Tony Goldwyn) and Emma (Monica Potter), lure the killers into a deadly trap, without any intention of making their demise slow – or merciful – ones.
A terrible accident sends four boys from Hell's Kitchen to the Wilkenson Center in upstate New York for a year, where they're tormented with horrific beatings, humiliation and sexual abuse at the hands of the guards. After a chance meeting thirteen years later, the friends reunite and set a plan in motion to get even with the surviving guards. Based on a true story chronicled by Lorenzo Carcaterra in his namesake novel, Sleepers is a gripping tale of pain and redemption… no matter how long it takes.
After some mercenary thugs kidnap his daughter from their peaceful mountainside home, Arnold Schwarzenegger embarks on a take-no-prisoners path of explosive destruction and over-the-top action to get his daughter back. If impaling a man on a giant exhaust pipe and telling him to "let off some steam" isn't a classic revenge moment on film, we don't know what is.
This article was sponsored by Sony Pictures.