Movies that don't tell you who the villain is

I’ve noticed a pattern with movies that don’t tell you who the villain is beforehand e.g. in the trailers. They generally don’t turn out so well, and tend to be underwhelming.

Look at the latest Spider-Man’s trailer. So the villain is… a reptile? Why aren’t they telling you who he is? To be mysterious, or is he too boring to be in the trailer? Same with Captain America. Ok the enemy is some red faced guy wearing a human mask.

Compared to say, Spider-Man 2, which prominently features Doc Ock in the trailer, The Avengers, where you know they’re fighting Loki (and his army), and even Thor, where you at least get to see Loki.

I never saw Loki in any commercials nor did I even know he was going to be in the movie at all until I saw a picture from the movie in a thread here.

If you’re going by commercials, you can’t particularly tell who the villain is in The Dark Knight Rises.

eh the kind of movies you refer to are popcorn movies where the story does not matter and thr CGI runs supreme. How about Memento, was that a problem?

Because any true-blue Friendly Neighborhood Spidey fan would instantly recognize that the reptile is one of his oldest foes - the Lizard. They don’t need to push him, any of the fanboys who’ll be lining up for the all-important midnight-of-the-day-of -its’ release showing will immediately know who this is.

Yes I realize this may only apply to comic book adaptations. Haven’t paid much attention to trailers of other movies.

Covered In Bees, which movie are you referring to? Loki being in Avengers was quite well known.

Shouldn’t it be “Movie trailers that don’t tell you who the villain is”?

Did moviegoers know beforehand that Henry Fonda plays the villain in Once Upon a Time in the West? The reason he was cast in that movie was because after Fonda and his men killed the family and the camera slowly panned over to his face, director Sergio Leone wanted the audience to gasp, “Jesus Christ, it’s Henry Fonda!”

YouTube link.

But surely the movie isn’t pitched solely at Spidey fans?

I thought so, but there are ads, posters and interviews. (speaking of posters, only shows the bad guy, other than the posters of the reptilian eye. Why is he so shy?)

If any movie fails to distinguish between hero and villain, it’s Hud. Just who is a hero in that movie?
Or any Burt Reynolds movie, for that matter.

In Steven Spielburg’s Duel (his first movie IIRC), they never show the face of the villain. It’s a truck driver who keeps trying to run Dennis Weaver’s car off the road, push it into a moving train, etc.

Any movie mystery keeps the name of the villain under wraps until the end. The Thin Man films, for example.

The actual killer in Psycho.
Any Agatha Christie adaptation.

Terminator 2 trailers ruined a surprising twist by telling you in the trailer Arnold is not the villain

Coincidentally, I just read the Matheson story the movie was based on (Matheson wrote the screenplay as well). In the story, the trucker isn’t well identified either, although the protagonist does get a glimpse of his face. A helluva story.

You can’t tell that the villain is the guy in the stupid mask that speaks even more incomprehensibly than the hero?

Or that you know that guy is the villain but you don’t know that that is supposed to be Bane?

I already know it’s supposed to be Bane but the commercial just shows a muscular masked fellow.

I don’t remember any of the trailers from the original Alien. Did they even hint that Ash was an evil tool of the evil corporation? I do remember being surprised when he started cracking under Ripley’s accusations, and at the double reveal that he was both a bad guy and a robot at once.

Because part of the entire point of that villain was not knowing who he was at first. I think they are wanting to capture that same lack of knowledge in the public that is less familiar with the comics, while letting the fans know it’s one of the classics.

Plus there maybe a desire for us to be blown away by what he looks like. Thus the only way they could reference him is to reveal his name or secret identity, both of which kinda ruin the mystery.

The people to whom the specific identity of the villain has any prior meaning already know who the “red-faced guy” is in a Captain America story. For those who don’t, it’s not really going to matter.

There is no twist. Arnold is clearly the “good” Terminator right from the beginning.

Because only the uberfans will recognize “Oh,thats the Lizard, cool!” Everyone else won’t care, because they won’t know who that is anyway. It doesn’t matter, either you buy the premise “it’s Spiderman, fighting some badguy, see all the cool effects”, or you probably won’t go to the next “Spiderman” movie.

What did we know about The Avengers prior to the movie? I guess you might have seen Loki, if you recognized him, but all the actions scenes really showed was a bunch of flying things getting smashed about and creating havoc. And a guy telling Stark “I have an army”.