The film seemingly casts the Darkseekers as villains, with Neville locking himself in his house at night listening to the horrific noises as they feed outside his fortified door. He is careful not to enter dark buildings during the day, knowing that they sleep there to avoid the sun. The film even gives Neville a primary antagonist, via an alpha male (Dash Mihok) who plays a big part in the climax.
But what if Neville is the villain?
Reddit user u/J_Schermie posits that the film gives us all the evidence we need to see that not only was Neville the villain, but that the infected were afraid of him. Essentially, the Darkseekers started their own society, which Neville is so biased against (because he’s so connected to pre-pandemic human society that he lost) that he doesn’t realize they’re trying to go about their lives and watch scares him as he rolls around, belts out music, and attacks whenever they cross paths. As the user points out, “After he sets his trap, we see the one walker get super pissed off and expose himself to the sunlight just so he can stare at the doctor.” Furthermore, based on the Darkseekers’ observations, they knew that Neville was probably where his home was all along – only acting aggressively when he captured the alpha male’s lover.
This theory actually brings the film series closer to the unforgettable ending of Matheson’s book, as another Redditor points out: “Basically, he realizes that they aren’t really mindless and that he himself is the monster of the story, hunting and killing these people .”
Contrary to many internet theories, this hypothesis carries serious weight and makes the film far more powerful than it first appears.