Venom: Let There Be Carnage



A promotional poster depicting a classic half-Venom, half-Carnage symbiote face. The release date listed on the poster is October 15, but the movie’s release was changed once again by Sony to October 1st after the explosive Labor Day success of Marvel Studios Shang Chi.

Shrey Anderson, Writer

The Andy Serkis directed sequel to the surprise 2018 box office hit, Venom, released officially in theaters on Friday, October 1st. The blockbuster film, titled Venom: Let There Be Carnage, follows the story of Venom and Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy). While in the process of attempting to revitalize his journalistic career, Eddie is asked by Cletus Kassidy (Woody Harrelson), an infamous serial killer, to publish his story.


As a result of this story finally being told, Kassidy is sentenced to death for his horrific crimes. At Kassidy’s request, Eddie goes to see him one more time before his execution, and while there he sets off a chain of events that unleashes one of the most volatile combinations of criminal and symbiote ever seen onto the city.


Let There Be Carnage has a runtime of only 90 minutes, making it 20 minutes shorter than its predecessor. Many were concerned about this difference in length, but director Andy Serkis had an explanation:”We always wanted this film to be a real thrill ride. And a fast, muscular [movie] …not hanging around too much with exposition.”


A common criticism of the first movie was that it spent too much time on exposition, and this criticism was clearly heard and taken into consideration.


Early reviews of Let There Be Carnage are very mixed, with critics rating it at around 59% on the Tomatometer and audiences at 85%. This is very similar to the original Venom, which was given a 30% by critics and a 81% by audiences. 


When asked his opinions on the changes, freshman Matteo Araya stated simply, “I think that the second movie, in my opinion, was better… It was really close though.”


One thing that made the movie a large improvement in his eyes and in the eyes of many was the developing relationship between Eddie and Venom. Many found it interesting to watch them as they attempted to co-exist in the same body, and how they handled their own conflicts with each other.


Let There Be Carnage had many references to some of the better-known comic runs, such as Venom: Lethal Protector and Venom Island. However, a large concern for fans of the comics going into the movie was the PG-13 rating and how the character of Carnage would be handled. It’s no secret that Cletus Kassidy had a tragic and horrific backstory, as he is one of the most violent and dark serial killers in all of Marvel comics. Fans were concerned that the rating would prevent the character from fully developing into what he was known to be. 


Despite this, the film managed to stay overall true to the comic source material. Junior Shiv Anderson, a comic enthusiast, gave his insight on the matter, stating, “Carnage’s origin.. I really like how they did it, actually. It was a twist on the comics but still stayed faithful to the source materials.”


While Let There Be Carnage used a lot of special effects to make it the cinematic triumph many are proclaiming it to be, everything comes at a cost. In this case, it was about 110 million dollars. This is approximately 20 million dollars more than the first film. 


With an opening night of 37.3 million dollars and an opening weekend of 90.1 million dollars, the film had the most successful opening of the COVID era and the second most successful October opening of all time, a spot previously held by the first Venom. Let There Be Carnage is also set to dethrone Marvel’s Shang Chi from its historic 4 week run at the top of the box office.


Despite how successful this film is shaping up to be, it leaves fans with a big question: What does the future have in store for Venom? 


Fans of the beloved character will no doubt be calling for a third movie, and star and producer Tom Hardy is certainly willing and able to take on the challenge. Let There Be Carnage certainly gave many opportunities for a future film,  which could feature symbiote Toxin as a major villain, something that was heavily hinted at in the film.


However, the largest reason for fans to be excited about the return of the beloved anti-hero was a massive “teaser” for his potential role in Marvel’s December film, Spider-Man: No Way Home. This is perhaps the most likely path for the character, as No Way Home is set to feature several old villains, such as the original Doctor Octopus and Green Goblin from Toby McGuire’s Spider-Man 2 and Electro from Andrew Garfeild’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Venom was the main villain played originally by Topher Grace in the third Spider-Man part of the Maguire trilogy.


Many fans of the wicked web-slinger would be thrilled to see Venom join the fun in what is shaping up to be one of the the most groundbreaking additions to the MCU, and they will no doubt be eagerly waiting to see what lies in store for the unlikely pair.