Many truly great movies are based purely on the motive of revenge. The original Death Note is a Japanese movie that allows the hero, if he can be called that, to send an Angel of Death after his victims.
What is unusual about this movie is that all the victims are criminals who have no connection to Light Yagami, the owner of the Death Note. He believes he is serving justice until the power corrupts him.
Other films such as Heathers, explore what happens when someone takes another person’s casual comments about revenge and turns them into reality. Some movies aren’t seemingly based around revenge at all though until the moment arrives and catches the audience unaware. Carrie would be a perfect example of this.
One genre in particular often has a theme of vengeance running through it or has unforgettable moments of revenge. Wizard of Oz is probably one the most famous fantasy movies and has the iconic scene where the Wicked Witch of the West vows revenge on Dorothy for wearing her sister’s ruby slippers.
What makes a film a fantasy movie?
Fantasy movies, like any good piece of cinema, can transport their audience to another world. Quite often, these movies will indeed be set on another world, perhaps one that resembles our planet but with dragons and magic.
Key features of fantasy themes will often include exactly that, magic, strange or mythical creatures, and quite often swords. There have been some amazing swords in fantasy literature and these have crossed over into movies and TV. Game of Thrones is littered with powerful swords such as Ice, Dawn, and Blackfyre.
Other fantasy movies may even be set in real countries but with fantasy themes. Stardust wasn’t just filmed in Great Britain, it was also set there, regardless of all the magic involved in the story.
Not only has the genre given cinema some great films, but it has provided some iconic moments too.
What makes an iconic moment in a film?
Regardless of the genre in question, many factors can make a truly memorable movie moment. The actor in question, the lines spoken or not spoken, incidental music, sound effects, pauses, lighting, and many other ingredients all go into making iconic scenes.
Some stick in the mind more than others. Darth Vader telling Luke Skywalker that he is his father for instance. Scarface saying “say hello to my little friend” as well.
Revenge also makes for important and often memorable moments. Old Boy sees the protagonist seeking revenge for his long incarceration, and there is one particularly memorable and brutal fight scene involving a hammer as well as many other weapons.
Fantasy movies are not immune to having scenes of revenge either, and below are five that come to mind easily.
1. Harry Potter and the The Prisoner of Azkaban
Any Harry Potter fan, and there are probably more than a billion, will be well aware of his miserable home life. The Dursleys and their dreadful son Dudley, combine to make sure Harry’s school holidays are thoroughly unenjoyable.
However, everyone has a point where they break, and one visitor to the house pushes Harry just a little too far.
Aunt Marge is even more dislikable than the Dursleys, and in fact, they are somewhat scared of her. Therefore when she starts to insult Harry’s late parents they do nothing to stop her while the young wizard’s emotions start to get the better of him.
After accusing his dead father of being a drunk, making him pick up her dog’s plate, and then comparing his mother herself to a dog, the boy snaps and uses his magic.
What results is a memorable revenge scene where Aunt Marge is inflated like a balloon – in reference to all the hot air she is expelling when she speaks – and then floats out through the garden doors and into the night.
2. The Craft
Unlike Harry Potter, most of the cast of this movie are looking to use their powers for personal gain and revenge from the get-go.
The use of spells for personal gain backfires as power goes to the head of Nancy. Although several moments could be termed as some form of vengeance, it is the end game that stands out. This is when the protagonist, Sarah, has to fight against the other three members of the coven, and most of all their leader, Nancy.
Sarah successfully binds Nancy, and all three of the witches lose their power. The movie ends with Nancy in a psychiatric ward acting delusional and insisting she has magic powers. In real life, you can also try casting revenge spells if you wish to try.
3. The Princess Bride
Possibly one of the greatest fantasy movies ever, and also one of the best revenge scenes. It involves a man with a sword searching for the six-fingered man who took the life of his father.
Game of Thrones never hit the big scenes, and although it was punctuated by many great revenge scenes, some also including swords, perhaps none were as memorable as The Princess Bride’s big moment.
Throughout the movie, one character called Inigo Montoya repeats the line that he has been practicing for years; My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
These words have been spoken over and over for the moment when Montoya finally faces the six-fingered man. The battle is fierce and not one-sided at all, until Montoya gets the upper hand. Count Rugen, the man who killed Monotoya’s father finally realizes he is going to die and starts to promise wealth and power to his opponent.
Montoya states that what he wants is his father alive, and plunges his sword into Count Rugen, finally ending a lifelong quest for revenge.
4. Time Bandits
The Time Bandits were a bunch of workers who were employed by the Supreme Being (or God if you prefer) but grew weary of their tasks. They stole a map that allowed them to travel through time plundering riches and generally getting up to no good. They believed that they were being chased by an entity that was just one step behind them all the way.
The final scene is when the Time Bandits finally get cornered by evil which is then destroyed by the Supreme Being. He then explains that everything had been his plan all along. The revenge scene is memorable for its banality. He simply tells the Bandits to return to their mundane jobs that they had been trying to escape from.
5. Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast’s revenge scene is right at the start of the tale but it sets up the whole of the story. The rude Prince turns away an old lady seeking shelter, only to find out that she is an Enchantress who then turns him into the Beast out of revenge.
Just like Harry Potter, this Disney classic is on the list of top fantasy movies ever, although it is the live action movie rather than the original animated version that took the big monkey at the box office.
There are many revenge movies out there, and no doubt more to come. The fantasy genre allows for a lot of different paths. The TV show Game of Thrones used dragons as well as magic, poison, and other weapons for their path to revenge.
Other movies use the comedy aspect when it comes to revenge, although this doesn’t reduce the end result as Harry Potter shows when Aunt Marge disappears into the night sky.