Villains- Penneywise from It and the girl from It Follows almost get a Burn Notice from The Closer

Villains is a darkly comic inversion of the home invasion genre from Dan Berk and Robert Olsen starring Bill Skarsgard (It), Maika Monroe (It Follows), Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice) and Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer and frankly everything else; she’s basically royalty by now).

Mickey and Jules are two likable criminals. Kids pulling dumb robberies to gather the money to run off to Florida and live a blissful life on a beach. They aren’t the brightest criminals, though and owing to poor planning they run out of gas on a country road while fleeing from what was to be their final robbery.  The two start walking and quickly come to a large, secluded house where no one seems to be home. They break in and then start to think about what they have broken in for. It takes them a bit to come up with the idea to siphon gas from the car in the garage so that they can get back on the road.

They begin searching the house for a hose to use in the siphoning. During the search they find a child chained up in the basement.   They quickly decide that they should attempt to free the girl and take her with them on the assumption that whomever has imprisoned her has done so out of monstrous motives (a pretty decent guess, really).

While attempting to find a way to free her from her chains they are surprised by the home’s inhabitants, George and Gloria. George and Gloria are odd, to say the least. They dress like some twisted version of a 1950s television ideal, and speak in weird, suburban tones.  Mickey and Jules attempt to bargain for the release of the child but quickly find the tables turned and become captives themselves.

The strange couple have a plan to use Mickey as breeding stock and seem intent on murdering the young couple. It becomes a battle of wills and a series of cat and mouse shenanigans ensue.

The film is well plotted and slowly increases the tension while offering the occasional shot of humor as punctuation. The whole things is inessential but kept afloat by a very likeable cast and great pacing. Villains isn’t a work of great art, but it is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.