Venom (2005 film)
|Directed by||Jim Gillespie|
|Produced by||Scott Faye
|Written by||Flint Dille
John Zuur Platten
D. J. Cotrona
|Music by||James L. Venable
John Debney (themes)
|Edited by||Paul Martin Smith|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures Distribution|
Venom is a 2005 American voodoo horror-of-the-demonic horror film starring Agnes Bruckner, Jonathan Jackson, Laura Ramsey, Meagan Good, D. J. Cotrona and Method Man. This was the last Dimension Films release to be distributed by Disney, as the former left Miramax Films to become part of The Weinstein Company in 2005.
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The story opens with a Creole woman digging up a small briefcase from the ground in the pouring rain. She then proceeds to get in her car and drives down the Louisiana road. Meanwhile, at a local burger joint, high school senior, Eden (Agnes Bruckner), is working with her best friends, Rachel (Laura Ramsey) and CeCe (Meagan Good) while the rest of her friends hang around the place. Ricky (Pawel Szajda) is aimlessly flirting with Patty (Davetta Sherwood) and Tammy (Bijou Phillips) by giving them alcohol. Eric (Jonathan Jackson) and Sean (D. J. Cotrona) talk about important matters until Ray Sawyer (Rick Cramer) pulls up in his tow truck. Everyone stares and whisper rumors about him while Ray picks his order up. Ray is Sean's biological father. After he leaves, Rachel says how much he scares her, while Tammy flashes Ray while he eats in his truck. After work, Eden begins to bike home alone, but Eric catches up to her to talk to her about going to college in New York. While they were talking, Ray drives up and asks if Eden's alright. When he's sure, he begins to leave when another car, carrying the Creole woman from the beginning of the film - who is CeCe's grandmother - passes by. CeCe's grandmother's car falls halfway off the bridge. Ray gets out of the truck and helps Eric save the woman. Ray saves her, but the woman begs Ray to get the suitcase. As Ray reaches into her car to get it, the suitcase lid flies open as the car falls off of the bridge and begins to sink into the water below. Upon opening, the suitcase releases several horrifying snakes. As the car sinks into the bayou the snakes attack Ray. The ambulance arrives to find Ray dead along with CeCe's grandmother. CeCe arrives shaken up over the tragedy, and takes a charm that was on her grandmother's corpse. CeCe then surprises Eden and Eric by questioning them about the condition of Ray's body.
The same night at the coroner's office, the coroner examines Ray's dead body apparently having been bitten by venomous snakes – presumed to be water snakes. The coroner leaves the area and comes back to see Ray's body missing and then he is killed by Ray's possessed body. Deputy Turner is also killed while returning Ray's tow truck to the shop. The next day Eden is still recuperating from the night before. She visits her father's grave in the cemetery, and sees Ray's tow truck driving by. Rachel and her boyfriend, Sean, are at the lake, with Sean showing little emotion to Ray's death. He drank heavily leading to him ditching Rachel with Eden and having Eric chase after him. Meanwhile, Tammy and Patty are planning to go to the mall to shoplift and they come across Ray's towing business. Patty goes to pee, while Tammy fixes the tires. When she's done, Tammy goes to look for Patty, only to find her impaled by battery clamps attached to chains leaving her to hang. Tammy tries to escape but Ray traps her in the garage and crushes her torso with a lowered car and then sandblasts her face off with a blasting pump.
As Eric follows Sean to Ray's garage, Sean begins to show anger at Ray's death for his abandonment. Sean enters the area to find a picture of him when he was a little kid – showing that Ray did care about him. Sean storms out toward the garage and finds the remains of Tammy strewn around the floor. The night leads to Eden going to CeCe's grandmothers house, where she has a plethora of voodoo materials. CeCe then tells her that the snakes that killed Ray were full of the evil that her grandmother took out of men to purify their souls. Ricky, Rachel, Sean, and Eric arrive at CeCe's and find out what's going on. They try to escape town but their car is turned on its side preventing anyone from leaving the bayou. The kids all see Ray and begin to run and Ricky is caught by Ray when his leg is pinned to the stairs by a crowbar. His arm is then ripped off, causing him to bleed to death. Ray cannot enter the house because the house has been blessed with voodoo spells.
As the others panic inside, they look and it seems as if Ray is gone. Ray throws a chain through a window and winds it around Sean's neck, then drags him outside, while Eden grabs a rifle from the bedroom. Ray slashes Sean's face with his crowbar and then impales him through the chest. Eden and Eric shoot Ray with the rifle to buy them time to drag Sean inside and try in vain to stop the bleeding, but he dies on the floor. Rachel cries over the loss of her boyfriend, while Eden talks CeCe into turning Sean's body into a human voodoo doll to control Ray. Meanwhile, Ray hooks the towing hook to the foundation of the house and pulls a whole room off the house, dragging Eric and Rachel with it. Eric and Rachel run to get back inside, while CeCe finishes the spell, despite her leg being crushed by a support beam.
Ray begins to climb the wreckage toward CeCe, but CeCe stabs Sean's body several times to slow Ray down in his advance. Ray finally reaches her and takes the knife from CeCe to slash her throat, while Eden, Eric and Rachel leave. As the remaining three try to escape, Ray follows in his truck and pulls beside them. He tosses a chain around Rachel's neck and drags her half way out of the car, but Eden grabs hold of her legs. As both cars are accelerating, Rachel screams and is impaled on a dead log. Eric and Eden then try to pass through the swamp to escape Ray, who dives beneath the murky water. As Eric and Eden head for dry land, Ray attacks, missing them both, but separating them. Eden ends up in the graveyard, and Eric deeper in the swamp. Eden makes her way into a crypt where she finds an altar and an open casket where all the victims are kept. Eden tries to leave but Ray comes and locks her in. In panic, Eden hides beneath Patty's body. Eric is then thrown into the crypt by Ray, who then goes to the altar. Eden starts to cry until Eric opens his eyes.
Eden can't hide her gasp, unknowingly drawing Ray's attention. As Ray looks in to inspect the bodies, he grabs Eden's foot, but Eric begins to groan to protect Eden. Ray then stabs Eric in the head with a screwdriver. Eden then fights Ray by setting him on fire and pushing him down a chute, but he drags her with him. She then uses a charm she got from CeCe that protects against evil. Ray submits, but the snakes possessing his body emerge to try to take the charm from her. Eden escapes up the chute, using the charm as a diversion. Eden then traps Ray and the snakes in the chute. As she tries to drive off in his tow truck, she hears an inhuman shriek, signaling Ray is back. Ray chases Eden out of the truck before she can do anything and she runs to hide in the bayou. She hides behind a bush close to Ray. He hears a rustling and hacks the bush, revealing she's not there. Just then the tow truck emerges through the underbrush and crushes Ray in half against a tree, killing him. Eden then staggers off into the trees, and the two snakes can be seen crawling out of Ray's decomposing torso to find another host.
- Agnes Bruckner as Eden Sinclair
- Jonathan Jackson as Eric
- Laura Ramsey as Rachel
- Meagan Good as CeCe
- D. J. Cotrona as Sean
- Pawel Szajda as Ricky
- Rick Cramer as Ray Sawyer
- Bijou Phillips as Tammy
- Davetta Sherwood as Patty
- Method Man as Deputy Turner
- Stacey Travis as Laura Sinclair
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The film marked the re-teaming of Kevin Williamson, writer of Scream, and director Jim Gillespie, who previously helmed Williamson's script for I Know What You Did Last Summer. The film is based on the video game Backwater. It was shot in Louisiana, in the cities of Amite, Choctaw, Hammond, and New Orleans.
Venom was released in September 2005, several days after Hurricane Katrina devastated much of Southeast Louisiana, making the film seem unfortunately topical. However, the scenery was much more typical of the Acadiana region.
Venom opened on September 16, 2005 to a majority of negative reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, 8% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 60 reviews. On Metacritic, the film received an average score of 25 out of 100, based on 21 reviews.
Kyle Smith of the New York Post wrote, “Even the undemanding high schoolers the film is aimed at will experience déjà voodoo, as Venom recites the A through Z of horror clichés. All hopes for suspense and plot twists are snuffed out about as quickly as the film’s black characters.”
Scott Weinberg of DVD Talk said of the film, "Ultimately, Venom is too darn familiar to become anyone's dark-horse favorite, and the screenplay is more bland and familiar than it is outright terrible, but I'd say it's worthy of a rental if you love the horror stuff. You probably won't adore the thing, but you'll most likely admire its nasty tenacity."
J.C. Maçek III of WorldsGreatestCritic.com wrote, "Far be it from me to drool praise upon a movie for simply "not being as bad as it could have been". Especially because... well... Venom sucks. It's got more clichés than a Jay Leno monologue and more moments of self-destructive illogic than a Republican Party campaign promise. If we take three steps back and throw a magnifying glass on this whole shebang, we see a little more clearly what this film really is: A victim of the Disney/Weinstein breakup... which made slightly less news than "Bennifer" did."
Many critics found Venom to be a stereotypical teen slasher movie. Spence D. from IGN Movies called it a “Cookie cutter horror straight from the Swamps of Louisiana”, and Peter Hartlaub from the San Francisco Chronicle said “There’s nothing clever about this movie. It starts too slow, plot points are abandoned and even the killings start to run together.”
Venom did poorly at the box office, taking in $881,779 in gross revenue.
- The Click Five – "Just the Girl"
- No Address – "When I'm Gone (Sadie)"
- Paul Trudeau – "Nothing Comes Easy"
- Tim Cullen – "Already There"
- Scheflo – "Don't You Want This"
- Doug Kershaw – "Jole Blon"
- Courtney Jaye – "Permanent"
- Rob Zombie – "Two Lane Blacktop"
The film was theatrically released in the U.S. on September 16, 2005.
Venom was released on January 17, 2006 on Region 1 DVD in USA. It was released a few months later in UK.
- "Voodoo Nightmare": The Making of Venom
- Storyboard-to-Film Comparison
- Cast Auditions
- Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
- Spanish subtitles