Movie Review – Venom (Agnes Bruckner, Jonathan Jackson)

venom-movie-review-screen-shot_0There is a truism in the movie making business that if there are black people in a horror movie they are killed first . This is true with Venom, a horror movie that could have been better than it is.

Venom takes place in Louisiana, that hotbed of voodoo. Voodoo seems to play an important role in this film, but you would never know it by the silly way it deals with rituals. I guess this is because the movie is based on a story idea that’s going to become a video game. You got that right. It’s a movie based on an unreleased video game. Usually they put the game out then go to the movie. Not this time.

When I watched this I expected to see something as campy and fun as the horror slash films from the 80s. Everything was in place: odd story, unknown actors and someone with experience in the director’s seat. What ended up in the final cut is some blood and gore, but not as much as there should have been. It seems the folks behind Venom were trapped between making a slash flick and a dramatic movie. It doesn’t work on either level.

What does work is the pacing. The movie moves along very briskly, and after the first 15 minutes you pretty much can expect more and more action. This is something that horror movies sometimes get wrong, but Venom gets right.

The story itself is on the weak side. A truck driver accidently knocks a voodoo priests off a bridge in a car accident. The truck driver makes up for this by saving the priestess’ life, but she won’t quit talking about some suitcase. The truck driver gets her suitcase and just like that, we have our first gore with the truck driver plunging to his death. The truck driver becomes the villain after he’s raised from the dead and the rest of the escapades follow your typical pattern.

I did enjoy the conclusion of the film, as the film makers took a combination of endings and tossed them together. You get a little bit of each of the horror movies from the past.

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Who should see this movie? I think teenagers will get a kick out of it and hard core horror fans. I mean it’s not everyday you get to see snakes as imaginative as this. If you’re thinking about renting it make sure that you know what you’re getting into. It’s not a movie you’d watching with small kids or grandparents.

Why is it rated R? The blood and the language. Again, the film makers should have gone all out with the gore since they were already tagged with an R.

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