Many narrative films feature villains, major characters that audiences
are meant to condemn. This article investigates the cognitive-affective
underpinnings of audience antipathy in order to shed light on how filmic villainy
is constructed. To that end, the article introduces an analytical framework
at the intersection of cognitive film theory and moral psychology. The
framework analyzes villainy into three categories: guilty intentionality, consequential
action, and causal responsibility.