Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Venom lacks real bite, 25 July 2012
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This review is from: Venom [DVD] (DVD)
Well, Amazon suckered me in with this one! Based on my purchase/ browsing history, the witchcraft of technology put Venom in front of my face as a recommended purchase. The site told me that the DVD release date was May 2011. A little research shows that this title was actually made back in 2005...

Anyway, I was in for a novel experience with this film since, under the influence of a little alcohol, Mrs Milton agreed to settle down to watch this with me. She NEVER watches horror! So, the DVD sleeve offered the following info about the movie:
"From the creator of Scream and the director of I Know What You Did Last Summer...Venom is a fright-filled voodoo thriller loaded with a cast of the screen's hottest young stars!

Set deep in the eerie swamps of southern Louisiana- Agnes Bruckner (Murder By Numbers), Jonathan Jackson (Tuck Everlasting) and Meagan Good (Roll Bounce) are among a group of teenagers trying to uncover the truth behind a friend's mysterious death. What they find is an evil force more deadly than anyone could have imagined! Now they are the ones running for their lives! Also starring Bijou Phillips (Almost Famous) and Method Man (Garden State), Venom is a chilling horror tale sure to thrill you!"

With the impressive opening sentence, half-decent trailer and the promise of a voodoo-fuelled killing machine, I was let done by what followed: a formulaic horror that lacks any real imagination. It could be argued that no horror tale is entirely new but with Venom we seem to have some cliched horror memes in the possessed killer, creepy house, dumb teenagers/ slasher fodder, etc.

For me, there were some clear highlights to the movie, those being how the killer overcomes the voodoo magic keeping him from his prey and also how he dispatches his victims on the whole; I will reveal neither of these things to you in case you do decide to watch Venom.
The voodoo backstory is a nice touch but ought to have been explored a little further to add some depth and perhaps greater scares since this movie failed to even make Mrs Milton jump.

The young cast are adequate in their roles and bring quite the horror pedigree to Venom with: Agnes Bruckner (The Woods, The Pact, Kill Theory, Vacancy 2), Jonathan Jackson (Insomnia, Riding the Bullet), Laura Ramsey (The Ruins, The Covenant) and Meagan Good (The Unborn, Saw V) but it is Rick Cramer who shines and is suitably menacing and physically imposing enough to pull off the role of the possessed killer; but isn't really given much opportunity to perform.

The practical effects in Venom cannot be faulted but the CGI employed for the snakes and other effects was poor and blatantly computer generated. Additionally, many of the scenes clearly used studio sets rather than somewhere a little more authentic, detracting further from the feel of the film.

Overall, I feel this film ought to have been a decent addition to the stalk `n' slash subgenre but it failed to realise its own potential.
Minus the expletives, Mrs Milton's verdict was that Venom was "Like Snakes on a Plane... with hardly any snakes... and no plane".
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