Everybody loves vengeance. "It's good for the soul," Mom used to say. If you're in the mood for a thick slab of righteous vengeance, try giving one of these nine movies a spin. They make you see the good, the bad and the ugly of what vengeance does to all parties involved.
Fritz Lang's first Hollywood movie is a horrifying look at what the thirst for vengeance can do to a man—that man is Spencer Tracy who's wrongfully targeted by an insane lynch mob. He survives, but the loving and gentle man known to his fiance is gone, replaced by a man twisted by a need for revenge on his attackers.
"The Bad Sleep Well"
Toshiro Mifune's character in this
You think you know who the bad guys are in this horror classic after you see them torture, rape an innocent teenager (Sara Paxton), but those bad guys end up unwittingly spending the night with their victim's parents house. When the parents find out what their guests have done, they suddenly go from being bad guys to being victims themselves. The most horrifying part: The girl's mother dupes one of the murderers into letting her bite him in a place nobody wants to be bitten, all the way through. Yeesh, does anybody deserve that? (Yes.)
"Fist of Fury"
fu master. In a scarily surprising move, Lee kills a man responsible for his master's death and hangs him from a lamp post!
Wilson wants Valentine's record producer to know he's coming for him. And "come for him" he does, killing numerous of the man's underlings before finally making it to the man himself. It's all part of a plot to avenge the death of Stamp's daughter, who he believes Fonda murdered. Poor Peter Fonda.
When committing a horrifying act of vengeance, remember to make you you have the right guy. In this chronologically backwards revenge thriller, the main character forgets that rule. The first act of violence we see in the movie is his incredibly graphic smashing of another man's head with a fire extinguisher. Later in the movie do we find out that it wasn't even really the guy who beat up and raped the guy's girlfriend. It hopefully made the guy feel a little better anyway, though.
Everybody loves a good bit of child molester vengeance, right? In "Hard Candy," Ellen Page plays a crafty girl who lures child molesters to their doom to avenge a young girl's death some time before. She drugs his drink, performs a castration operation and eventually goads him into committing suicide. She makes Chris Hansen look like a pedophile's best friend, right?
"Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance"
When an employee is fired, he hatches a scheme that would get him vengeance and money for his sister's kidney operation as well. That plot is of the kidnapping varies and since this is a Korean thriller, things go sour in the worst way possible. The kid he kidnaps is accidentally drowned and things get more violent and horrifying from there.
"I Saw the Devil"
A recurring theme in almost all vengeance stories is how vengeance almost never makes anyone feel better. That's spelled out explicitly in the Korean thriller "I Saw The Devil," in which a government agent goes rogue to hunt down his fiance's killer. He gets his man eventually and hooks him up to a contraption that yanks out his tongue and chops off his head. After the deed is done, he breaks down in tears. If vengeance is all you have to live for, what'll you do if you get it?