Watch a montage of movie villains who love classical music

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Sure, Huey Lewis got his in American Psycho — but as any regular filmgoer has noticed, filmmakers absolutely love to make their villains aficionados of classical music.

There’s something irresistible about giving characters with brutal impulses a taste for the sophisticated pleasures of Beethoven (a particular favorite), Mozart, or Grieg; and setting horrendous acts to the music of the great composers creates a frisson that filmmakers seem to find hard to resist. It also creates the chilling suggestion that you never know where the killer lurks: you might put your guard up when you pass a bunch of tattooed bruisers on their way to a death metal show, but it’s the Chopin virtuoso who will stab you in the back — at least, according to the movies.

Slate has assembled a montage that demonstrates just how prevalent the villain-listening-to-classical-music meme has remained throughout the history of film. WARNING: This montage contains villains using obscene language, committing violent acts, and generally being the sort of people scary movies are made about.

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