Related to, and continuing from, this post.
Sometimes, you can’t even show the villain’s true Intent of Evil, because it’s simply too dark and unpleasant to think about. You know what the villain really means, whether it’s genocide or betrayal or something else entirely, but it’s too horrific to simply come out and bluntly say it. What to do?
You show your characters’ reaction to the potential evil to show how Very Bad it really is. Even when it’s unclear who the villain is, you can still hint at their villainy by having some character have a strong negative reaction to them… (No, Connor, your bad feeling about a certain gentleman is totally unjustified. Honest!)
And sometimes, just showing the reactions and not the event that evoked them can be more impactful than any amount of gruesome detail. (People have very active imaginations.)
When all else fails, in a well-scripted and acted movie, watch the eyes. You can generally guess what a character is thinking. It’s sort of the same thing here. By watching the characters’ reactions, you can guess at the true horror of the villain’s misdeeds.
It’s like that scene where the bad guy shoots someone, but we only see him as he makes the shot, not the grisly results.
Thanks for reading, and God Bless!