Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Film Review: Venom (2005)

Venom (Review)
United States/2005
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...a typical slasher with an interesting concept but flawed execution."

In the swampy backwoods of Louisiana, a group of teenagers find themselves dealing with an evil presence...

Venom is an interesting yet cliché slasher horror film. The story follows this group of teenagers after local Ray Sawyer (Rick Cramer) dies while trying to save a priestess woman. Turns out, the woman was carrying evil souls she "milked" from evil people, and those souls have possessed Ray Sawyer. The story takes a lot of time to buildup this simple concept, all whilst we spend time with some very hollow characters. (I can't even remember their names.) The second half becomes more of a traditional and exciting slasher. The ending is familiar yet enjoyable, too.

There's not much to talk about when it comes to Venom. Like I said, the story has quite a bit of filler here and there, which leads to some boredom, especially during the first half of the film, but most of the film is at least decent and enjoyable. It's really an old-school slasher at heart. Obviously, I didn't think it was as good or iconic as said old-school slashers, but it has that campy vibe -- it also has the classic stupid characters we've grown to hate. Maybe, it's better to compare this to a b-movie slasher from the 70s or 80s. The death sequences won't blow your mind, either, but they're solid enough to satisfy. That's it, thought, a typical slasher with an interesting concept but flawed execution.


If there's one thing that was truly bad in this film: the acting. It was more than often cringe-worthy and unnatural. This may be due to the unnatural dialogue... No, no, the acting was pretty bad, regardless. The film's darkness also hindered the experience a bit. I understand it's nighttime, but I should be able to see something! The editing hurts the film in the very same way. The music was forgettable, like the characters. The writing is decent, at least for the story, but it has too much filler. So, director Jim Gillespie ends up with a poorly paced film - one moment it's boring, the next it's exciting and fun.

Overall, Venom is a merely decent film. Maybe it's because I haven't watched a slasher in some time, but I had a good time. Don't get me wrong, though, it has plenty of flaws. The bad acting and filler-filled (?) story being the two most glaring issues. If you're like me and you haven't watched a slasher in some time and don't mind b-movies, this offers some solid entertainment value. If you have higher standards, you'll probably hate it.

Score: 5/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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