Venom (2005 film)

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Venom (2005 film).jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Jim Gillespie
Produced by Scott Faye
Karen Lauder
Written by Flint Dille
John Zuur Platten
Brandon Boyce
Starring Agnes Bruckner
Jonathan Jackson
Laura Ramsey
D. J. Cotrona
Meagan Good
Bijou Phillips
Method Man
Music by James L. Venable
John Debney (themes)
Cinematography Steve Mason
Edited by Paul Martin Smith
Distributed by Dimension Films
Release date
  • September 16, 2005 (2005-09-16)
Running time
85 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $881,779[1]

Venom (also known as The Reaper) is a 2005 American horror film starring Agnes Bruckner, Jonathan Jackson, Laura Ramsey, Meagan Good, D. J. Cotrona and Method Man.


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 is 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 is 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 is 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 halfway 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 not 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 is 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.



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 Backwater, an unproduced survival-horror video game designed by John Zuur Platten and Flint Dille.[2] It was shot in Louisiana, in the cities of Amite, Choctaw, Hammond, and New Orleans.


Box office[edit]

'Venom was released in September 2005, several days after Hurricane Katrina devastated much of Southeast Louisiana, making the film seem unfortunately topical.[3]


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 11% based on 63 reviews, with a weighted average rating of 3.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "A voodoo horror flick without the mojo, Venom is chock full of gory impalings of interchangeable teenage girls and hunky guys by an unstoppable zombie whose unimaginative rampage quickly lulls us to sleep."[4] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 25 out of 100, based on 21 reviews, indicating "Generally unfavorable reviews".[5]

Anita Gates of The New York Times wrote that the film "certainly can't be called a good movie, but within its genre it's perfectly palatable."[6] Sean Axmaker of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer praised the film, noting: "Venom delivers everything a teen horror audience could ask for in a brisk 85 minutes."[7]

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.” Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote: "Venom is a bad horror film, made worse by the fact that it takes place entirely in Louisiana. Although there isn't a hurricane or even much rain in the film, it's hard to get past the truth -- right about now, people who live in the bayou would probably consider a crazy guy running around with a crowbar a welcome alternative to the reality of the past two weeks."[8]

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."[9]

In 2014, the film ranked at number 61 on a list of the 100 Greatest Slasher Movies on the genre website Vegan Voorhees.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Venom (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 9 September 2017. 
  2. ^ "Venom Movie Preview, Starring Agnes Bruckner and Method Man, Directed by Jim Gillespie". Retrieved 9 September 2017. 
  3. ^ Thomas, Kevin (September 16, 2005). "A voodoo romp in the swamp". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 30, 2018. 
  4. ^ "Venom (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Flixer. Retrieved 23 May 2018. 
  5. ^ "Venom (2005) Details and Credits - Metacritic". Metacritic. Metacritic. Retrieved 23 May 2018. 
  6. ^ Gates, Anita (September 16, 2005). "Film in Review; Venom". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 30, 2018. Retrieved December 30, 2017.  closed access publication – behind paywall
  7. ^ Axmaker, Sean (September 15, 2005). "'Venom' is everything a swamp slasher should be". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved April 30, 2018. 
  8. ^ Hartlaub, Peter (September 16, 2005). "Best watch out for them there swamps, y'all". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 30, 2018. 
  9. ^ Scott Weinberg. "Venom". DVD Talk. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  10. ^ Lee, Hudson (February 20, 2014). "The 100 Greatest Slasher Movies Part IV". Vegan Voorhees. Retrieved December 17, 2016. 

External links[edit]