A movie is only as good as its villain, or so the saying goes. HAL 9000, Darth Vader, Anton Chigruh, Nurse Ratched, The Joker, Thanos, Jason Vorhees - all of these characters are synonymous with all things villainy, and made their respective movies all the better simply by turning up.
It's goes without saying, then, that when a bad guy fails to to hit the right marks, chances are the film is going to be let down in the process.
This can happen because of poor writing or uninspired acting, or because the film around them isn't willing to take the risks needed to create a solid bad guy.
For this list, focus falls to those villains who simply weren't around as much as they should have been. For many of the following big bads, the movies they were in really were exceptional, but their presence, if spread out over more of the movie, could have elevated them to new heights.
For others, the films were lackluster at best, and needed the inclusion of a more inspiring villain to stop them sinking like they did.
Whatever the case, here are 10 movie villains who were truly spectacular, and should have have more time to show audiences what they were made of. Spoilers ahead.
10. The Director - The Cabin In The Woods
The Cabin in the Woods is a 2011 comedy-horror straight from the mind of Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard.
In the grisly gore-fest, five college friends (including a pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth) arrive in the titular cabin only to find their get-away ruined by ravenous zombies. One by one, the small group is killed, until only two remain.
But in a strange, ingenious twist, the pair of survivors figure out that everything they're experiencing has been controlled by scientists in an underground lab. They also learn that their friends' deaths have been used as sacrifices to the Ancient Ones, a collection of all-powerful gods who demand human blood to be appeased.
All of this is revealed to survivors Dana and Marty by The Director (Sigourney Weaver), the head of the lab and mastermind of the sacrifices. The Director is cold, smartly dressed and intimidating, and with her brief role being executed by none other than Ellen Ripley, she really was a joy to see despite her evil intentions.
Unfortunately, she's killed in the final moments of the film, where Dana and Marty agree to let the world end. In her death, The Director is left with no background, no real characterisation, and no defining characteristics other than the facts she's, you know, Sigourney Weaver.
It's a shame, really, because there was clearly a lot more going on with the character than what audiences got to see.