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Film / Venom (2018)

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"I'm a reporter. Means I follow people who do not wanna be followed. I look into things the government may not even know about. But this latest time, I found something... really bad. Something I can't explain. Something... alien. The reason I'm worried? Because right now it's up my ass."
Eddie Brock

Venom is an Anti-Hero sci-fi Superhero Horror movie based on the popular Marvel Comics villain-turned-anti-hero of the same name from the Spider-Man franchise. With production being handled entirely by Sony and no involvement with Marvel Studios, it was produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmachnote  and directed by Ruben Fleischer with a script written by Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenberg, and Kelly Marcel. The movie was released on October 5th, 2018, and is the first film in Sony's Spider-Man Universe.note 

Down-on-his-luck journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) finds himself looking for a big break as rumors of corrupt and unethical practices within the Life Foundation start to surface, and along the way he discovers that the corporation is forcing alien life forms known as Symbiotes to bond with unwitting test subjects. Eventually being infected by a Symbiote that's willing to help Eddie while advancing its own agenda, the two become a "superhero" known as Venom as they work together to shut down the Life Foundation for good. Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed appear as Anne Weying — Eddie Brock's ex-fiance — and Big Bad Dr. Carlton Drake, respectively. Woody Harrelson makes a cameo as Cletus Kasady in a mid-credits scene, setting up his role as Carnage for future films.

Venom is meant to be the first film of a Shared Universe of Spider-Man spin-offs, focused on other superpowered characters that have been introduced across decades of comics — with nearly 900 characters free to appear in the movies without the involvement of Marvel Studios. With that in mind, the web-head himself does not appear in this film, nor is he referenced in the slightest.

For a time, there was heavy speculation on whether or not Venom could be set in the continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not helping matters were conflicting views between Kevin Feige and Sony exec Amy Pascal, with Feige's being a more or less firm "no" ahead of the film's release (which Pascal later agreed with). Because of this, Spider-Man was unable to appear, or be referenced, in this film as part of the initial contract to include Spider-Man in the MCU.

However, things changed in August 2019, when the end of the deal between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures was initially cancelled; the move ended those restrictions, allowing Spider-Man to appear in Venom sequels as soon as Holland signed a new contract. However, a month later, the deal was renewed after a period of negotiation, with Feige subsequently releasing a statement indicating that Holland's version of Spider-Man could be used for both the MCU and the SSU. As such, Morbius (one of the first follow-ups to this movie) features explicit connections to the MCU's Spider-Man movies.

A sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, was released on October 1, 2021.

Previews: Teaser, Trailer 1, Trailer 2.

Venom contains examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: It's brought up that Venom is killing Eddie, causing his heart to shrink and leading to multiple organ failures. This proves to be the entire reason why Anne separates Eddie and Venom. After that, it's not brought up again until the final scene. Venom does assure Eddie he can "fix it", but this comes across more as desperate pleas to not be separated from his host, and it's not entirely clear if he actually can (and why he hadn't done so already if he could). The final scene of the movie does have Venom admit that Eddie's "liver is gonna start looking real delicious" if Eddie doesn't eat soon, suggesting that the repeated consumption of living flesh can stave this off and that Eddie was simply not adjusted to the Symbiote/eating enough yet.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Carlton Drake has spent six months trying to get a symbiote to bond successfully with a human and not kill the host. He's been failing, and his solution is to throw as many human subjects to the captive symbiotes as the San Francisco streets hold. Dr. Dan Lewis gets to the root of the problem when he thinks that he's treating Eddie for a parasite: the symbiote feeds on the body's organs, causing them to atrophy. Venom gets a Heel Realization because it's in his best interest to keep Eddie alive and he likes the guy, and he reveals that if he eats living beings, then he can heal Eddie's body. The movie ends with them in a relatively healthy symbiotic relationship. Let's repeat: one surgeon made more progress in keeping a human host alive within two days than a billionaire scientist did in six months.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the comics, Riot was merely The Brute to the Life Foundation's symbiote squad and not particularly powerful - all he could do was shapeshift his limbs into blunt weapons like hammers and maces. Here, he is on his own, but is upgraded to Big Bad in this movie, not only being able to shapeshift into sharp objects and being more deadly, but also being Venom's superior in power.
  • Adaptational Heroism: While not exactly a villain in the comics, pre-Venom Eddie did some pretty shady things as a reporter and cared more about advancing his own career than doing the right thing. In some other cases, Depending on the Writer, Eddie's hatred of Spider-Man was so great that it was what turned the symbiote into a murderous Yandere for Spidey. This movie shows Eddie trying to do good but not always thinking his actions through. The beginning has a Hard-Work Montage of Eddie going after corrupt tech companies and discussing the plight of the homeless, followed by lightly chiding his girlfriend for working for a defense law firm that defends evil people... and then using her login information to access confidential information to interview Carlton Drake about performing life-threatening experiments on vulnerable people, which gets them fired from their jobs. Venom convinces him to apologize to Anne.
  • Adaptational Villainy: The Venom symbiote's villainous personality in the comics may or may not was caused by it being corrupted by Eddie's Irrational Hatred for Spider-Man. This take on the symbiote starts out cheerfully violent, macabre, and hungry for human flesh. Also, it had a pet-like loyalty to Eddie in the comics, while the film's symbiote admits it's keeping Eddie alive to keep itself alive and because he's too good a genetic match to discard and replace. The latter part at least creeps into the movie through the finale, when it admits it's grown attached to Eddie enough to abandon Riot's invasion plan and makes a Heroic Sacrifice to protect him from the exploding rocket.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Yes, the Venom symbiote was bonded to Eddie in the comics. However, its connection to his body was essentially in the form of a glorified second layer of skin that would often take the appearance of civilian clothes. This film sees Eddie bonded to the symbiote similarly, but it's also become a part of his body, similar to how his Ultimate version was bonded to the Black Suit.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Eddie Brock is blond in the comics, but has brown hair in the film. Zig-Zagged however, since Eddie has been drawn with hair color ranging from brown to blond in various comics and cartoons.
  • Adapted Out: In the comics, the Venom symbiote was initially worn by Peter Parker as a Spider-Man suit after he finds it on another planet before eventually separating and bonding with Eddie Brock. However, the movie makes the symbiotes independent discoveries of the Life Foundation, removing any connection to Spider-Man whatsoever. Indeed, the giant "white spider" insignia that typically appears on Venom's chest is absent, with the director implying that this was for legal reasons (most likely to do with Marvel Studios).
  • Admiring the Abomination: Drake considers the symbiotes "beautiful" when he sees them, and about half of his dialogue in the film is him describing how they are superior life forms to his fellow Puny Humans. He also all but falls in love with Eddie and Venom as he watches their first rampage via drone cameras, as it represents a level of symbiosis his own experiments have yet to achieve.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Justified for the symbiotes. They are only heard speaking when bonded to a human host, and being bonded to a host gives the symbiote full access to all of the host's memories and skills, including complete fluency in the host's native language.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Played with. Eddie is easily the bad boy of the movie. His fiancee leaves him and starts dating a guy who is A LOT more stable, but it's implied that she still has feelings for him.
  • Alternate Continuity:
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese dubbed version features a theme song sung by Uverworld called “GOOD and EVIL”.
  • Always Someone Better: Venom himself admits he is kind of a loser among his own kind the way Eddie is, and so he changes his mind about bringing the symbiote race to Earth. This brings him in direct conflict with Riot, the pack leader, whose powers can basically be summed up as "Venom, but stronger".
  • Ambiguously Evil: The Venom symbiote may be aggressive, violent, and sadistic at times, but it's more like a predator fighting for survival than a monster. It generally never hurts or kills people that aren't a direct threat to it or Eddie, and limits its more extreme actions for the sake of pragmatism. Later on, the creature comes to truly care for Eddie as more than just a vehicle and seems to genuinely like staying on Earth with him. Compare to Riot, who is genuinely sadistic and relishes bringing the rest of its kind to Earth.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Instead of another Sequel Hook, the post-credits scene shows a sneak peek of Miles Morales meeting Peter Parker in another universe.
  • Anti Climax Cut:
    (Eddie stares down from the window of an eighty-story building.)
    Venom: Jump.
    (Cut to Eddie using the elevator.)
    Venom: Pussy.
  • Apathetic Citizens: What's the reaction of a passerby to an eight-foot-tall pure black alien monster lifting a guy up and threatening to eat his face on an open street? Film it on his cell phone.
  • Apologetic Attacker: During Eddie and Venom's first fight scene, Eddie is appalled by the violence he's causing.
    Eddie: I'm really sorry about your friend!
  • Artistic License – Geography: There's a brief scene in which Eddie calls Dora from the Golden Gate Bridge at night. How he got there is a little questionable if you're from San Francisco and know how to get around. The scene with Anne prior to that was located at 1151 Montgomery St. After leaving her, he's seen walking past the Resolute, a wine bar way out of the way on Geary. He then ends up about 3/4 of the way across the Golden Gate Bridge, despite it being about 7 miles away from where he started. While that's totally possible to do during the day, the bridge is closed to pedestrians at night; only cyclists can use the sidewalks at such late hours, and they have to be buzzed in through a security gate. Also, he's on the western side of the bridge, where pedestrians aren't allowed to walk even during regular operating hours. He didn't have a bicycle with him in that scene. The only way this could've feasibly worked is if he went for a walk and a drink after talking to Anne, returned home to get his motorcycle, drove it all the way out to the Vista Point scenic lookout at the north end of the bridge, used the nearby walkway underneath the bridge to get to the western side, and somehow talked his way onto the western sidewalk.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: With a scoop of Artistic License – Law as well. Dr. Lewis casually shares Eddie's medical results with Anne throughout the film, even discussing it on the phone with her without getting ahold of Eddie at all. In real life, that would be a HIPAA violation and could cost you your job, plus fines ranging from the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. However, you can give permission for someone else to be given your medical information. As Annie was in the room as Eddie was hearing things earlier, it seems he did that.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • Venom describes his weakness to loud sounds in terms of hertz. Specifically, sounds between 4000 and 6000 hertz hurt him. Hertz are a measure of frequency (or pitch), not volume. If Venom's weakness works as described, he'd be affected by any sound in the 4000-6000 Hz range, no matter the volume, and he'd be unaffected by low frequency (lower pitch) sounds like the sound grenades used by the SWAT team, no matter how loud. For added fun, 4-6kHz is well within but towards the high end of the human vocal range, meaning, in essence, that Venom could be harmed by, say, a panicky scream.
    • In the scene where Eddie is riding the motorcycle and gets separated from it in midair, the Venom symbiote exudes its tendrils to grab a hold of the motorcycle and pull Eddie back onto it, without affecting the motorcycle's trajectory at all. In reality, while the symbiote would have been pulling Eddie towards the motorcycle, it also would have been pulling the motorcycle towards Eddie, and they would have met somewhere in the middle.
  • Ascended Extra: Riot, like the other Life Foundation symbiotes, is mostly little-known and oft-forgotten in the comics. Here, he is one half of the Big Bad Duumvirate.
  • Asshole Victim: A thug shown early in the movie is indicated to have been hassling Mrs. Chen for money every now and then, threatening her if she doesn't pay up. At the end of the film, he becomes a meal for Venom. Even Eddie has no qualm letting Venom devour him.
  • Bastardly Speech: Carlton Drake gives a lot of these. Most obviously, he does this with the first test subject, Isaac, going into a long monologue about how he appreciates the biblical Isaac for being willing to be sacrificed to God and connecting it with his "willingness" to be a test subject. And then he releases the symbiote.
  • Berserk Button: The symbiote does not like being called a "parasite", reacting violently to the term. Even when it's decided it really likes Eddie, it demands he apologize for calling it a parasite.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: The Life Foundation — led by Dr. Carlton Drake — discovered the symbiotes on an asteroid, brought them to Earth using a space probe, and is using them unlawfully on test subjects that could die as a result of the exposure. On the other side, there's Riot, who's spearheading an invasion force of symbiotes to conquer Earth, and eventually bonds with Drake to accomplish this.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: After Venom hitches a ride with Anne to help save Eddie, she passes the symbiote back to him through a kiss. Anne points out later that it was Venom's idea, which he doesn't even try to deny.
  • Big Eater: Anyone bonded with the symbiotes develops a ravenous hunger. The Malaysian paramedic infected with Riot eats a live eel, and Eddie has no problem eating rotten chicken from his trashcan after he ran out of food in his apartment. Turns out if they aren't properly nourished, then the symbiote will start eating their hosts' organs away. It also needs to be the right type of food; Drake's test subjects keep dying even though they're given "enough liquid nutrition to feed an elephant."
  • Bilingual Bonus: At the beginning of the film when Eddie goes to Mrs. Chen's store, she tells him he's stupid in untranslated Mandarin.
  • Black Comedy: The Venom symbiote's attempts at humor are morbidly hilarious. It mentions it is going to eat body parts of mooks or dismember them, all the while talking to them with a sort of glee like they were old friends catching up.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Riot's hands can turn into gigantic ax-heads.
  • Bloodless Carnage: The film features several violent moments that are notable for having no blood, likely as a way to keep it PG-13. This includes Venom biting off the heads of people (done in quick cuts or off-screen) and Riot massacring the scientists at the Life Foundation. The most human blood we see is when Riot impales Eddie and leaves him for dead.
  • Body Horror: The symbiotes' hosts die rather gruesomely if their relationship are not compatible, and if they are, they are slowly eating their hosts from the inside. Venom, for instance, is still eating Eddie's organs, as shown by medical reports from Anne's boyfriend. Symbiotes are also capable of repairing their hosts' bodies no matter what injuries they suffer, but the process is rather painful to watch.
  • Bookends: The first half of the film has Mrs. Chen being hassled by a thug for whiskey and Eddie doing nothing about it (not that there was much he could do, since the guy had a gun and Eddie was too far away). The ending has it happening again, but this time, Venom devours the thug.
  • Breakout Villain: It's a solo film starring one of the most famous former members of Spidey's Rogues Gallery.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Venom explains to Eddie that Riot has "shit that you've (Eddie) never seen." This leads to the following exchange when they battle Riot, who is able to morph his hands into giant weapons.
      Eddie: Holy shit!
      Venom: Told you.
    • After beating up the men Carlton Drake sends to Eddie's home, Venom suggests that he and Eddie bite off all their heads and pile them in a corner. Understandably, Eddie is horrified by that suggestion. Later on, Anne ends up doing exactly that to Roland Treece after the Venom symbiote temporarily uses her as a host to save Eddie. After transferring the symbiote to Eddie via Big Damn Kiss, she expresses a similar reaction to Eddie after realizing what she did to Treece.
    • After Eddie gets home after being infected with the Venom symbiote, he immediately eats everything he sees, including several frozen tater tots that are in his fridge. What does Venom ask for when he and Eddie go out shopping for food at the end of the film? You guessed it: tater tots. And chocolate.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Eddie's apartment neighbor keeps playing electric guitar on stereo, rocking the entire floor. At first Eddie (miserably) ignores it, but then he absorbs Venom, who is vulnerable to certain his neighbor's music. When the neighbor plays it again, Eddie begs him to turn it down. The neighbor's response? No way. Then Eddie shows him part of Venom's face (eyes and teeth). The neighbor gets scared straight and promises to lower the volume; better yet, he just stops.
  • The Cameo: Good old Stan Lee makes his usual cameo appearance near the end of the movie telling Eddie not to give up on Anne. Like with Deadpool (2016), this is another Stan Lee cameo in an adaptation of a Marvel character that he did not co-create. Due to his death later in 2018, this marks his first and only cameo in Sony's Universe of Marvel Characters.
  • Can't Default to Murder: Eddie is horrified when the Symbiote uses his body to kill and eat their enemies. Eventually, they come to a relatively stable truce, where Eddie insists that they "only eat the bad people."
  • Cardboard Box of Unemployment: Anne is seen walking out of her (former) workplace with one after Eddie uses data from an email Life Foundation sent her regarding a lawsuit. Despite also losing his job for the same reasons, Eddie doesn't have one.
  • Casting Gag: Two of them happen in the Japanese dub:
  • Ceiling Smash: Eddie slams a Life Foundation goon into the ceiling of his apartment when they come after him.
  • Censored Child Death: It's strongly implied that the little girl Riot takes possession of ends up dying like every symbiote's adult hosts, yet the scene immediately cuts away when Riot seizes Carlton Drake.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Eddie is friends with a homeless woman, Maria, who camps outside Ms. Chen's convenience store and talks with him every time he visits. On his second visit to the store during the plot, Maria is nowhere to be seen, with her possessions still laid out on the sidewalk. It's revealed a short while later that she is one of the homeless residents Drake has been kidnapping and using as test subjects, and Eddie's attempt to break her out of the Life Foundation's science wing results in her death and Venom merging with him.
    • When Eddie is first taken to the hospital where Dan works and is given the MRI, he storms out and passes a woman holding a dog, which is seen growling at him. Later in the film, when Dan drives the symbiote away from Eddie and locks it in the MRI room, it successfully escapes and possesses the dog for a brief period.
    • When Carlton Drake gets increasingly agitated in his demands to launch a rocket into space to retrieve the rest of the symbiotes, the camera focuses for a moment on a scientist sitting at a desk behind Drake who looks disturbed at Drake's erratic behavior. Later, he's shown covertly attempting to implement an abort procedure to halt the launch, which, unfortunately, Drake notices.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: An interesting case with Venom and Riot, as those are the actual names of the Symbiotes themselves. Played straight with She-Venom, as she is never called that in the movie.
  • Composite Character: Dr. Carlton Drake and Riot are separate characters in the comics, but here the latter is depicted as the form Drake takes when bonded with a symbiote.
  • Creepy Child: Riot uses a little girl as a temporary host. While it's inside her, she walks around silently, head slightly tilted and wearing a scowl.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: When Eddie is cornered by a bunch of police in riot armor, he warns them not to antagonize him. When they hold him at gunpoint, the symbiote emerges, and Venom proceeds to toss them around like rag dolls and Metronomic Man Mash them into each other.
  • Darker and Edgier: Zigzagged. Ruben Fleischer planned for this movie to follow in the footstepsinvoked of both Deadpool and Logan, aiming for a hard R-rating... but Sony instead opted to push for a more marketable and MCU crossover-friendly PG-13 rating — still pushing the boundaries without crossing the line.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Downplayed. Eddie is our main protagonist and is very dark in appearance as Venom, but he suggests that the symbiote (from which his black "suit" derives) is more malicious than its comic counterpart, comparing it to a demon.
  • Dark Reprise: When Eddie, under the influence of Venom, starts gobbling food from the other patrons in the restaurant scene, Anne slaps him to get him to his senses. Eddie growls and starts reaching for Dan, awkwardly grabbing at his face before getting back to food. Later on in the film, Eddie, under the influence of Venom again, attacks Dan in the hospital and almost chokes him to death before Anne saves him.
  • Dirty Cop: Skirth believes that Drake might have some cops on his payroll, which is the reason she meets up with Eddie instead of reporting to the police.
  • Disney Death: After blowing up Riot's rocket, Venom morphs into a parachute to try and protect Eddie from the resulting explosion, and seemingly burns up in the process. It turns up alive by the film's end with no explanation given.
  • Disposable Vagrant: Carlton Drake has a bunch of homeless people rounded up to test the symbiotes on. Seeing him casually rushing through this phase of testing, not even flinching at the sight of one such homeless man being partially consumed by the blue symbiote, is what convinces Dr. Skirth to become a whistleblower. It's also implied this isn't the first time Drake's taken this particular shortcut, and that a lot of the Life Foundation's breakthroughs have occurred by fast-tracking research in a similar way.
  • Distressed Dude: Eddie seems to be in constant need of rescuing by either Venom or Anne throughout the movie.
  • Eating the Enemy: Riot tries twice to eat Venom during their scuffle on the launch pad. The second time, he assimilates Venom and Eddie, and then is free to climb into the rocket uninterrupted.
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: In the scene where Eddie gets the symbiote, he encounters Maria held in a cell. When he goes to release the emergency release panel, the darkened room gains red lights, and bright white emergency lights flash rapidly for more than 30 seconds.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The Venom symbiote, though violent and aggressive and initially using Eddie to bring its kind to Earth to take it over, starts to genuinely care about and love him. It even tells him he is one of the reasons why he decided to help save the planet from being destroyed. It also cares about and loves Anne as well, planning to bring both of them together, and it starts to see how beautiful Earth is after it goes up to the top of the building where Eddie used to work at.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Venom is established as a bit possessive of the people with whom he bonds, entitled to eating meat, and insensitive to how he makes Eddie's life more chaotic. He also reads Eddie's mind about how he got Annie fired, and says that he owes Annie an apology. Eddie is shocked that an alien symbiote reached this conclusion after a few hours, and he hadn't realized for six months.
  • Evil Feels Good: Downplayed because it's more to do with the feeling of power and strength (the Venom symbiote enhances all physical abilities while granting regeneration and immunity to toxins and disease, meaning the host feels perpetually in the peak of physical health, not to mention the rush of using the power), and the Venom symbiote is not a clear-cut villain, though still ruthless. At one point, Eddie admits to Anne that he's starting to enjoy being Venom's host, and Anne, too, mentions that she enjoyed the high during her brief time wearing the symbiote.
  • Evil Is Visceral: The symbiote in general looks a lot more flesh-like than its last film outing, and great detail has been made to give it a slick, oily sheen that makes it look like exposed muscle tissue dyed pitch-black.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The symbiotes speak with very deep, menacing voices.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Dr. Carlton Drake sees bonding people to symbiotes as the next step in human evolution, though his experiments with them tend to go awry.
  • Evil Wears Black: Dr. Carlton Drake dresses in an entirely black outfit. Unusually for a film using this trope, our hero is also set to have a mostly black appearance.
  • The Ex's New Jerkass: Notably Subverted. Not only is Anne's new boyfriend Dan not a Jerkass, he's a genuinely nice guy who is a fan of Eddie and goes out of his way to help him. Even Venom himself warms up to Dan in the sequel.
  • Fanservice: Eddie making out with the Symbiote. The symbiote is being worn by Anne Weying, not Eddie, at the time, and is suitably Anne-shaped.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Carlton Drake: Great with kids! Friendly to his subordinates! Watch him casually transition from chatting about his subordinates' kids to subtly threatening them.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • The first part of the Creative Closing Credits has graphics in black and white, the traditional colors of Venom, with a few moments of black and red. The mid-credits Stinger has Eddie going into a prison complex to speak with Cletus Kasady, who warns him that when he gets out, there's going to be Carnage.
    • At the end of the credits is a list of the licenced music used in the movie, and the very last piece credited is "Music from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse". Sure enough, a comic book panel suddenly appears reading "Meanwhile, in another universe..." and a clip from that very movie starts playing.
  • The Food Poisoning Incident: After obtaining the Venom Symbiote, Eddie immediately becomes hungry and eats frozen tater tots, and then finds some chicken left over in his trash can. However, because the chicken was rotten, it causes Eddie to get sick, and he runs to the toilet, where he pukes everything up.
  • Foreshadowing: Maria's absence from her usual spot seems like a simple case of Eddie being at his lowest, to the point where the nicest people left in his life aren't there to comfort him anymore. It turns out the Life Foundation got to her and made her one of their test subjects.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The name of Michelle Lee's character, Corinne Wan, is never mentioned and only briefly visible on her name-tag at the beginning the movie, with the character being credited as "Malayasia EMT/Riot Host".
  • Funny Background Event: When Venom is threatening to snack on his tracker's "eyes, lungs or pancreas", someone in the background is recording the whole thing on his phone.
  • Gangsta Style: The crook that is attempted to shake Mrs. Chen down in the end is holding his pistol in this particular way before Venom intervenes.
  • Genre Throwback: A throwback to the comic-book films of the late-1990s and early-2000s, such as Blade (1998) or Ghost Rider (2007), in that it's a completely solo story starring a popular anti-hero with no larger connections to any other film franchise, that either ignores the more outlandish aspects of its source material, or plays it for maximum absurdity.
  • Green Aesop: Venom favors sustainable methods, while the other symbiotes want to ruin the Earth's ecosystem.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: When he's fighting the SWAT Team, Venom grabs an officer and uses him to club a half-dozen more into submission, complete with some Metronomic Man Mashing.
  • Hearing Voices: Eddie hears the Venom symbiote's voice in his head as though it's speaking to him.
    Eddie: If you're going to stay, you will only hurt bad people.
    Venom: The way I see it... we can do whatever we want. Do we have a deal?
  • Heel–Face Turn: Venom, at first, is perfectly okay with his species' plan to assimilate all life on Earth. It's only after he takes a good look at the beauty of the cityscape and finds himself to be like Eddie that he decides to take a different path.
  • Hero Insurance: By the end of the film, Eddie doesn't seem like he's in trouble for assaulting multiple police officers (even a SWAT team who had all the time in the world to look at him before he transformed, and whom Eddie makes sure Venom does not kill). The sequel addresses this.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The final fight looks like it ends with Venom sacrificing himself to save Eddie. Instead it turns out he's still in there.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In the final battle, Venom uses the same blade that Riot used to stab Eddie to shred the rocket Riot and Drake are aboard, so that it explodes before it can reach Venom's home world.
  • Horror Hunger: After bonding with the Venom Symbiote, Eddie finds himself overcome with a hunger for any food, even if it was thrown in the trash. Venom eventually clarifies that he needs to eat living things, preferably humans, so as not to cannibalize his host. Eddie eventually lays down some ground rules, allowing Venom to eat only bad humans.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: The Venom symbiote is violent and aggressive, and is not fond of humans at first. Over time, though, it starts to see that Earth is actually beautiful, and that humans have something that its kind does not have — compassion and love. The symbiote starts developing those feelings, and it changes its mind about bringing its kind to Earth and decides to help Eddie stop Riot from bringing them over because they will destroy Earth along with everything and everyone on it.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Drake tells a little girl at a field trip that it's not wrong to ask questions, and warns there will be those who try to silence the questioners. Barely a scene later, he gets uncomfortable when Eddie asks questions concerning his dirty laundry and has him kicked out of the premise. And he doesn't actually let the little girl ask her question, pawning it off on someone else as he goes to get ready for his interview.
    • Thrice over does Drake establish himself as hypocritical in a single scene. He tries to comfort a homeless test subject with a biblical story about his name (despite his cynicism), talks of sacrifice (when he's not the one making the sacrifice) and promises the homeless man he won't "abandon us" (and teams up with Riot to hand over Earth to the symbiotes).
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Considering that Eddie is bonded to Venom, he's kinda-sorta engaging in cannibalism whenever Venom eats a human. Eddie reacts with horror whenever he turns back. Later, when Anne is host to Venom briefly and eats one of Drake's mercenaries, she reacts pretty much in the same way.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Eddie, thinking he'd won after kicking Drake off the edge of the platform into the water, starts to run off to stop the rocket and find Venom...only for Riot (having re-bonded with Drake) to impale Eddie In the Back with a gigantic blade that goes all the way through him and sticks well out the front of his chest, leaving him to die while Riot and Drake enter the rocket. Luckily, Venom re-bonds with Eddie as well, saving his life.
  • Informed Attribute:
    • Dr. Carlton Drake never really shows any hint of the intelligence or scientific acumen required of one who worked as hard as people with doctorates must to be able to put that title before their names. We see him throw money, mooks, and "volunteers" at problems, blow his stack when things don't go as he hopes, and lie through his teeth or threaten people's jobs and lives if they don't do what he wants. We never see him provide any theories or suggest alternative hypotheses for why something doesn't work.
    • The symbiote needs to eat living beings, or else the host feels intense Horror Hunger and possible organ damage. Except at the end of the movie, when it apparently decides it can get by with chocolate and tater tots (and the occasional "bad guy").
  • Insistent Terminology: Venom is not a parasite. note 
  • Instant Expert: While symbiotes do absorb the knowledge of their hosts, Venom knowing how to pull motorcycle stunts during the street chase with Drake's Mooks is at a completely different level.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Eddie Brock is an investigative journalist asked to look into the Life Foundation by one of its employees — putting him at odds with his fiancee Anne Weying, whose law firm represents Dr. Carlton Drake.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • Right before Venom destroys Drake's rocket, he tells Riot to "have a nice life", the same thing Drake told Eddie when he interviewed him in the beginning of the movie.
    • When Eddie is confronted by a SWAT team, and fails to talk them down, the officers don their gas masks, ready to launch tear gas. With regret, Eddie tells Venom to come forward and take over:
      SWAT Leader: Masks!
      SWAT Officers: Copy!
      Eddie: Alright, have it your own way. Mask!
      Venom: Copy!
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: Venom takes most insults in stride, but absolutely HATES being called a "parasite."
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: By the end of the film, the Venom symbiote develops into this. It's still quite snarky and bloodthirsty, but it grows to genuinely care about Eddie, and even turns on its fellow symbiote to help him save Earth.
  • Jump Scare:
    • When Venom suddenly shouts Eddie's name as he's brushing his teeth, the fright is enough to send the latter leaping back in shock, knocking himself unconscious on the wall behind him. It is here that we the audience find out that Eddie Brock Screams Like a Little Girl with a hilariously high pitch.
    • Later on, when Carlton Drake is interrogating a captured Eddie to try and find out where the Venom symbiote is, he unexpectedly morphs into Riot midway through. Amusingly, Eddie isn't nearly as scared at this as he was with Venom, despite Riot being much more dangerous.
  • Knight Templar: Eddie demands that if the symbiote is going to hurt anyone, it should at least "only hurt bad people."
  • Large Ham: Tom Hardy was clearly having fun as both Eddie and Venom.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Riot symbiote is silver and set up as the climactic villain.
  • Lodged-Blade Recycling: In the climax of the film, Venom takes a symbiote blade that Riot used to stab Eddie and reuses it to slice the fuel tank of the rocket ship that Drake and Riot are in as it launches, killing the evil duo in a massive explosion.
  • Loud of War: As in the comics, symbiotes are vulnerable to high-frequency sound, specifically 4 to 6 kilohertz, which can drive them from their hosts and even kill them with prolonged exposure.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: The Venom suit allows Eddie to contort in ways that aren't humanly possible and freakishly alters his appearance, such as sprouting Combat Tentacles. He also gains super strength and speed, and can heal from grievous injuries like broken bones in matter of seconds.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: While Riot can seemingly generate any weapon out of itself, Venom is only shown creating different shields.
  • Men Act, Women Are: Venom forces Eddie to go fight, but refuses to let Anne enter the battlefield, asserting there's nothing she can do to help, despite both Anne and Eddie protesting that she can "fight ugly." Defied in the climax, where she ignores Venom's urging to stay away and saves both their lives without even needing to get her hands dirty.
  • The Missus and the Ex: Gender-flipped when Eddie gets back in contact with Anne after she's started seeing Dan. Eddie ends up on civil terms with both of them, and Dan shows no sign of jealousy, but unhesitatingly tries to help Eddie out when he looks like he's in trouble.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: Riot gives every indication that he's about to eat Venom when the latter is separated from Eddie and defenseless.
  • Mook Horror Show: Venom inflicts one on the S.W.A.T. team that try to capture him and Eddie, shrugging off their attacks, moving around in secret thanks to the smoke grenades they throw at him, and smashing and knocking them around with impunity. In the end, he advances on a terrified agent who empties his magazine trying to shoot him and tries to bite his head off, stopping only when Anne comes in, spots him and distracts him. Sony released an abridged version of this fight scene called "To Protect and Sever" as a preview trailer.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Venom has dozens of sharp, thin teeth.
  • Moustache de Plume: Gender-inverted. Eddie is so desperate for a new chance as a reporter he doesn't mind writing under a female pseudonym. Even then he's rejected.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She-Venom is almost as curvaceous as she is in the comics.
  • Mugging the Monster: An entire SWAT team has Eddie at gunpoint, and he warns them that things will go badly. They take their chances, and get the floor wiped with them for their troubles.
    Eddie: Guys? You do NOT want to do this, trust me.
  • The Multiverse: Although there's no crossover with it (yet), the post-credits sequence clearly mentions that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse happens at the same time "in another universe".
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya:
    Eddie: What the Hell Are You?
    Venom: I... am Venom. And you...are mine.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Venom's design heavily resembles his look in Spider-Man: Web of Shadows. He also lacks his Chest Insignia, making him resemble both of his incarnations in Ultimate Marvel.
    • Likewise, even though the design does not straightforwardly adapt Venom's classic spider emblem, he does have some white-coloured veins in roughly the same place. Similarly, while he never attached to Peter to absorb spider-powers, Venom comes up with some workarounds to mimic Spider-Man's abilities like web-swinging (turning his own tissue into tentacles that shoot like webs) and wall-crawling (just clawing violently up said walls). Most impressively, Venom seems to already have a Spider-Sense, despite not copying it from Peter Parker, as he often warns Eddie of danger several seconds in advance.
    • At one point while chasing Venom, Drake's security detail note that he went behind the Schueller building. This is not an actual building in San Francisco, but rather a shout out to Randy Schueller, a Spider-Man fan who came up with the original idea of the Black Suit that eventually would go on to become Venom and sold it to Marvel back in the 1980's.
    • The lighting in one particular scene gives Venom a color scheme not unlike his appearance in Spider-Man: The Animated Series. His growls also sound like those of The Animated Series' Venom.
    • Venom's half-open face at the end of the third trailer looks ripped straight from Mark Bagley's artwork.
    • Venom's "Eyes... lungs... pancreas... so many snacks, so little time." quip is taken word-for-word from The Amazing Spider-Man #374, where it was an Attack Hello to Spider-Man.
    • During the final battle, Riot generates a spiked mace from itself, among other weapons. This might hearken back to the comics Riot's original distinction of creating blunt weapons out of its arms like maces and hammers. For that matter, Riot being able to create weapons out of itself while Venom can't makes it more akin to Carnage than its comics counterpart.
    • Ann Weying mentions the "Daily Globe incident" and that Eddie was "run out of New York", undoubtedly referencing his bungling of the Sin-Eater case like his origin in the comics.
    • The astronaut who Riot bonded is named Jameson, who is likely John Jameson, son of J. Jonah Jameson, who becomes the superhero Man-Wolf. Like in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, John Jameson is responsible for bringing the Venom symbiote to Earth. The credits support this by naming him "J. J. Jameson III". In the comics, his father is J. Jonah Jameson Junior.
    • Venom tells Eddie to get it chocolate; this refers to the comics, where it's discovered that the phenethylamine in chocolate helps to curb the symbiote's cravings for Brain Food.
    • During the fight scene in Eddie's apartment, Venom at one point throws a dumbbell he has lying around at the attackers. In the comics, Eddie obsessively turned to weight lifting and bodybuilding after the Sin-Eater incident.
    • Eddie Brock’s journal was put on display at the 2018 NYCC, and his notes on Cletus Kasady contain a bunch of references to Maximum Carnage.
    • Cletus Kasady is introduced writing the message "Welcome Eddie" onto the bars of his cell with his own blood while waiting for Eddie to arrive. His first comics appearance as Carnage had him do the same with his victim's, with the words "Carnage Rules!" scrawled on the walls of the crime scene.
  • Neck Lift: Venom tends to pull this on enemies, starting with Roland Treece.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • The trailers, and the teaser especially, sold Venom as a horror-thriller drama. The actual movie is more of a Black Comedy Buddy Picture with more action set pieces than horror elements, although those are still there.
    • The trailers presented "We can do whatever we want" as vaguely threatening and from the beginning of Venom and Eddie's symbiosis, but actually it's an upbeat line from the end of the movie, by which point they're actually friends.
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: As is usually the case in the comics, the only three things that can really harm a symbiote are high-frequency sounds, fire, and other symbiotes. Throughout the film Venom shrugs off gunfire, a point-blank shotgun to the back of his head, several large explosions, and being impaled. Even getting seemingly-incinerated by a rocket's exhaust doesn't keep Venom down for long.
  • Nightmare Face: The symbiote doesn't always swallow Eddie up when they transform. At one point it leaks through his eyes and mouth.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Carlton Drake is an eccentric foreign-born multi-millionaire with questionable regard for his fellow man who's deeply invested in private (i.e. not government-funded) space travel, relying on others to do the scientific legwork. So, basically Elon Musk.
  • No-Sell: Eddie at one point tries a Pre Ass Kicking One Liner and grabbing a gun off of Treece. Treece just shrugs it off and smacks Eddie to the ground.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Carlton Drake at first wanted suitable humans to bond with the symbiotes, so that they can leave Earth and colonize other planets. After bonding with Riot, he decides that all Humans Are Bastards and to let the entire symbiote race feed on and assimilate them.
  • Oh, Crap!: Expect many humans to react this way to seeing Venom (including Anne). Even Venom gives one during the climax when Riot whips out his weaponized arms in the form of a sling-chain spike ball and blade. Seeing as his default expression is a Slasher Smile it's actually pretty funny.
  • Older Hero Versus Younger Villain: Downplayed example, Tom Hardy (Eddie Brock) is 40 years old while Riz Ahmed (Carlton Drake) is five years younger, although he doesn't look his age.
  • Ominous Obsidian Ooze: The titular symbiote and its kin naturally take the form of sentient mobile slimes, and though all have dark colourations, only Venom is pitch black - even then, the trope is Inverted over the course of the movie, in that Venom, the black one, is the only one of their number to undergo a Heel–Face Turn into something that can vaguely be described as heroic.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping:
    • You can hear Tom Hardy's English accent break through his narration at times, specifically on "own" and "issues."
    • At one point during the motorcycle chase scene, Tom Hardy’s accent slips hard as he exclaims “HOLY SHIT!”
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Annie at first is understandably angry at Eddie for crashing her date with Dan, as she's been cold with him for causing them both to get fired. Then he collapses into a chair and begs for help. He says that he's sick, and she checks his forehead. He's burning up. Annie immediately goes Oh, Crap! as Dan's professional training takes over, and he tries to calm Eddie down and convince him to come to the hospital with him. For the rest of the movie, Annie is more concerned about Eddie's well-being than their past, though she has no intention of going back to him, and Eddie says he's not breaking her up and Dan because the man saved his life by running scans on him.
  • Overpopulation Crisis: Dr. Carlton Drake believes humanity is already seeing the symptoms of one, and to the public he appears to be exploring space so he can settle the final frontier. In reality, his solution is to bond humans with symbiotes and get them off the planet, and when Riot bonds with him, he has absolutely no qualms about inviting a million man-eating symbiotes to Earth to cull the herd.
  • Parasites Are Evil: Invoked, Venom is constantly furious and offended at being called a "parasite". Considering he genuinely believes in having a mutualistic relationship with Eddie (unlike other members of his kind), it's understandable.
  • Parasitic Horror: Reconstructed Trope. While Eddie is initially terrified by the Venom symbiote using his body as a host, and is especially horrified by his new diet, Venom is actually sentient and able to be reasoned with—and, as consolation, being his host also grants Eddie all kinds of cool superpowers. They grow to genuinely like and trust one another, to the point where Venom is hurt and angered by being called a parasite, insisting their relationship is mutually beneficial. By the end, Eddie's grown to like having Venom around, and offers the compromise that they only eat bad people, to which Venom agrees, allowing them to become a full-on Horrifying Hero.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Even whenever angered or serious, both Venom and Riot always bear a vicious grin wherever they go. The most they can express is widening and narrowing their eyes, while retaining their usual shape.
  • Plot Hole: The film doesn't bother to explain how the Venom symbiote is still attached to Eddie even after it separated from him and apparently died to the explosion of the Life Foundation rocket. Eddie simply accepts that the symbiote is with him again, and the film moves on from there.
    • There's a six-month timeskip between the events at the beginning of the film and the events that lead to Eddie bonding with Venom. During that time, Riot has been spending those six months with the same old lady in Malaysia for no apparent reason.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: During the very last scene before the official end-credits, the armed robber from before steps into the convenience store run by Miss Chen one final time, only for Venom to soon gulp him down whole and likewise officially conclude the ongoing conflict between said armed robber and Miss Chen once and for all.
  • Precision F-Strike: Eddie gets the honor of the PG-13 F-word in the climax.
    Eddie: (with regards to Riot being on a whole different level to Venom) Fuck it, let's save the world!
  • Prefers Raw Meat: The symbiote likes meat in large quantities — preferably alive, optionally human. Zig-zagged when it and Eddie negotiate a diet that includes conventional human fare, like tater tots and chocolate, with the occasional "bad guy".
  • Production Foreshadowing: When Hasbro's Marvel Legends released a comic-appearance wave of Venom figures (due to a blanket ban on movie-appearance figures not under the MCU), one of the random picks to fill out the ranks is Spider-Ham.
  • Product Placement: Ore-Ida tater tots, which Eddie eats frozen while overwhelmed by hunger, then pukes them out again (most likely because of that rotten chicken, not the tots). Later he burns a dish of them in his toaster oven. One wonders how much the company paid for this depiction.
  • Punched Across the Room: During the skirmish with Drake's security detail in Eddie's apartment, the symbiote imposes its tissue over Eddie's arm, creating a giant fist to punch the goon into the wall opposite Eddie.
  • Race Lift: Dr. Carlton Drake was an Anglo-American in the comics, but here is played by Riz Ahmed, a British-Pakistani.
  • Rated M for Manly: Action scenes involving SWAT teams, private security contractors, and a giant beefy, deep voiced alien with no shortage of black comedy one-liners. Outside the action scenes, you have what amounts to two buds talking about how to deal with guy stuff.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: During their meeting for the first time in six months, Anne tells Eddie it was his own fault he's garnered so much bad luck.
  • Red Alert: While Eddie is breaking out of the Life Foundation lab, loud sirens go off along with blaring red lights.
  • Returning the Wedding Ring: Anne forcibly hands her engagement ring back to Eddie after his betrayal of her trust costs her her job.
  • Rule of Three: Eddie is told twice toward the beginning of the film to "have a nice life", once by Drake. The third time, Venom says it to Riot as he's destroying Drake's rocket.
  • Running Gag: Every time the Venom Symbiote is referred as a "parasite" by other characters, it throws a hissy fit and makes threats that ultimately go nowhere. Likewise, Eddie is called out as a "loser," often by the Symbiote itself.
  • Royal "We": Averted. The Venom Symbiote refers to itself in the singular; "We are Venom" is purely in reference to it and Eddie achieving an understanding and cooperating. There's a noticeable scene where Riot does not use the royal "we" when calling himself the leader until Drake calls him on this, implying that he regards his host as an Unwitting Pawn instead of an equal.
  • Schrödinger's Canon: The film is this in relation towards the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It has been officially stated that it is not part of the MCU, as Spider-Man is only part of it through collaboration with Sony, however the film's continuity is apparently based on the events of Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Venom could become potentially integrated to the MCU if Marvel Studios and Sony agree. If they do not. . .
  • Scream Discretion Shot: The first trailer ends with Eddie grabbing an attacker by the throat, going full Venom, and slowly slithering his tongue toward the man's face. The screen cuts to black and the man's scream is heard along with a monstrous roaring/growling sound effect. However, the scene in the final film (part of which is more accurately depicted in the second trailer) only sees Venom lick the villain's face before being shot at by someone else.
  • Seen It All: When Venom yells Eddie's name while Eddie's brushing his teeth, the latter is so startled that he gives a high-pitched scream, jumps back, and is knocked unconscious. Later, after Venom beats Carlton Drake's goons, heals all of Eddie's wounds, and takes him for a swim across the bay, Eddie no longer reacts with anything more than mild fear and confusion.
  • Shared Universe: Venom is intended to kick off Sony's own Shared Universe of Marvel films (not unlike Fox's X-Men Film Series or the Spider-Man Shared Universe of films Sony was planning to spin off of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 prior to the character's integration in the MCU), which will also include separate movies starring Silver Sable, Black Cat, Kraven and another announced film starring Morbius played by Jared Leto. A movie about Mysterio was also discussed, but was cancelled when Spider-Man: Far From Home needed the character.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Venom is one Eddie and Anne, declaring it will help Eddie win her heart again.
      Venom: She has no idea that we are going to win her back. You belong with us, Anne...
    • A dog walker encourages Eddie not to give up on Anne. He somehow knows that Eddie is host to Venom.
      Stan Lee: Don't give up on her. Either of you.
  • Shooting Superman: When Venom takes on the S.W.A.T. team, they keep shooting him long after it's made clear they aren't doing damage to him.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work:
    • In real life, it's often hard to determine whether a given symbiotic relationship is Mutualistic (meaning that both parties benefit), Commensalistic (meaning that one party benefits but the other isn't really affected), or Parasitic (meaning one party benefits at the expense of the other). A commonly cited example of mutualism is the Mycorrhiza clade of fungus, which lives in plants in much the same way as Venom lives in Eddie. However, the relationship is only beneficial to the plant in lean times; otherwise the fungus is more trouble than it's worth. Venom's symbiosis classification is similarly blurry; as long as the host is able to meet their newly-increased nutritional needs, said host gets superpowers at no cost. But if times become lean, Venom will have to resort to eating the hosts' own biomass.
    • Much of the film's plot and jokes land harder for Bay Area residents - San Francisco really does suffer from all-consuming tech companies who believe ethics are optional and a major homelessness crisis; Eddie's homeless friend, as well as various gags about Eddie appearing to be a homeless maniac talking to himself (with or without Venom) ring true in SF.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Besides a single shot of the symbiote squirming around in a glass container, Venom does not appear at all in the teaser trailer.
  • The Sociopath: Carlton Drake is lacking in empathy, superficially charming, has a grandiose sense of self-worth, and is willing to commit genocide on his own species.
  • Soft Water: Defied: Venom knows that a terminal-velocity fall from an exploding spaceship into the water of San Francisco Bay will shatter every bone in Eddie Brock's body like hitting solid concrete, so Venom turns himself into a parachute to slow Eddie's descent, even though Venom's biomass will be immolated by the flames of the exploding spaceship.
  • The Stinger: Two.
  • Stock Scream: The Wilhelm Scream is heard when Venom throws a SWAT team member over a balcony during a battle with them.
  • Superhero Movie Villains Die: Carlton Drake and Riot are killed in a fiery explosion (with fire being one of the few things that can kill the symbiotes) in the climax as a result of Venom using Riot's own blade to slice through the rocket's fuel tank. This almost takes Venom himself down with them, but he somehow manages to survive.
  • Super-Senses: While Eddie is at home, he pulls out a load of (burnt) tater tots, and Venom abruptly instructs him, "Don't answer the door", having heard Drake's mercenaries were outside before anyone knocked. Still not one hundred percent sure what's going on with the dark creepy version of his own voice at this point, Eddie is only confused and disregards the warning.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Eddie sees Mrs. Chen being forced to pay a protection racketeer under gunpoint, but does nothing because he knows what exactly will happen. Aside from that, whereas some Marvel characters would try to 'play hero' (the whole thing comes across as a Take That! to "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer"), Eddie's approach (staying out of it) is more pragmatic. It's only after Eddie has Venom to back him up that he does get involved, so the odds are more in his favor.
    • After bonding with the symbiote, Eddie begins ravenously eating any available food in his apartment, including frozen tater tots and rotten chicken straight from the bin. Naturally, he pukes everything out. Just because he became a host to a Big Eater entity doesn't mean he can (and/or wants to) eat or stomach anything.
    • Despite the scene Eddie makes at the restaurant, Dan is more concerned about his condition like any doctor would be, and runs some medical tests on him afterwards.
    • During the chase scene, after Venom causes two of Drake's pursuing vehicles to crash into each other, Eddie looks behind him to admire the scene instead of watching where he's going. He promptly gets hit by another pursuing car, driven by The Dragon, that he might have been able to dodge if he'd been paying attention.
    • When Treece holds Eddie (this time without the symbiote) at gunpoint, Eddie makes a desperate attempt to grab Treece's gun, only to be quickly overpowered. Just as should happen when a journalist (no matter how fit) tries to fight an overtrained security guy.
    • Bereft of their symbiotes, Drake resorts to a regular fistfight to try and stop Eddie. Drake, the reedy scientist with no established workout or physical training regimen, loses very quickly to Eddie, who has at least fifty pounds on him and weight equipment at home, implying he at least works out regularly.
  • The Symbiote: Four amorphous alien entities are recovered by the Life Foundation, which dubs them symbiotes due to their ability to bond to and enhance a host. The symbiotes need a compatible host to function properly, however, and will consume their hosts from the inside-out unless they have a steady supply of living beings to feed upon. Other forms of artificial or pre-cooked food won't do. The blue and yellow symbiotes have trouble bonding to hosts and end up dying in captivity due to exposure to Earth's atmosphere. Venom and Riot adapt better, merging with multiple hosts that likely aren't fully compatible and retaining their abilities. Venom lucks out with Eddie, who is a perfect fit.
  • Tag Line:
    • "Lethal Protector", which is also the name of the 1993 limited series this film takes inspiration from.
    • There's also the rather blunt "See the Movie", which of all things became part of the movie's merchandising campaign.
    • Finally there's "The World Has Enough Superheroes", which could be seen as a Take That! towards the abundance of comic book movies that have been coming out, as well as a reminder that Venom is not your typical comic protagonist.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Subverted in the climax, Eddie and Drake, both temporarily without their symbiotes, are fighting when Eddie pushes Drake near a ledge, where Drake notices that Riot, his symbiote, is near. Drake tries to distract Eddie long enough for Riot to reach him, but Eddie simply kicks Drake off the ledge.
  • Take My Hand!: After Riot forcibly yanks Venom away from Eddie, tossing the latter aside while preparing to eat the former, Eddie reaches his hand out to Venom, allowing it to stretch out, wrap around his arm, and re-bond with him to escape Riot.
  • Technicolor Fire: The explosive combat drones dispatched by Drake's troops set their targets alight with pale blue flames.
  • Tested on Humans: Carlton Drake has little patience for proper protocol and jumps to testing on homeless people as soon as animal testing shows the slightest bit of progress. This got his company hit with several lawsuits when testing cancer drugs, but he managed to beat it.
  • Third-Act Misunderstanding: Eddie and Venom have a falling out after it's revealed that Venom is essentially eating Eddie's organs. Venom can only respond that he can fix it. While it is heavily implied that symbiotes only eat a compatible host if they don't consume enough living biomatter from an outside source, Venom makes no effort to explain this. Anne manages to separate Venom from Eddie using an MRI machine, and Eddie storms off only to get captured by the Life Foundation. Venom and Anne save Eddie from execution, and the falling-out is all but forgotten due to the impending invasion of more symbiotes.
  • Too Desperate to Be Picky: When he's newly infected by the Venom symbiote and doesn't know how to manage its appetite, Eddie gets so desperate for food that he eats chicken scraps out of the garbage and live lobsters out of a tank in the middle of a restaurant.
  • To Serve Man: Similar to his tendencies in some pieces of media (including his Ultimate comic counterpart), this version of Venom states his desire to consume body parts and organs, holding up a goon at one point and practically salivating over the parts of him he'll get to eat (and later, seemingly devouring a Mook's face whole after describing what he's going to do to him).
    Venom: Eyes, lungs, pancreas. So many snacks, so little time. (Licks Mook's face.)
  • To the Pain: Venom likes to make his prey squirm by telling them which parts he'll eat first. He even hints at keeping them alive afterwards just to be cruel.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The second trailer reveals Carlton Drake himself becomes a host for a symbiote. Specifically, Riot. Additionally, the second trailer shows off the final scene of the film, in which Eddie/Venom confronts and eats the mugger who roped Mrs. Chen into a protection racket, complete with Venom's signature quote and final joke. ("Oh... I have a parasite. Goodnight, Mrs. Chen!")
  • Truer to the Text: Zigzagged. This version of Venom is, in some regards, closer to his comic book counterpart compared to his previous live-action version from Spider-Man 3.
    • Venom refers to himself as "we" instead of "I." He's also got a deeper voice.
    • His appearance is more monstrous, more muscular and larger. He also has the iconic enormous tongue and a lot of razor-sharp teeth.
    • He's an anti-hero rather than a straight-up sadistic villain.
    • The symbiote turns Eddie into Venom by "eating him" (as in, the teeth form around his head, just like in the cartoon adaptations and the comics themselves), and acts more like a liquid instead of a sticky spider-entity.
    • The comic adaptation of the movie establishes that the Symbiote is an alien from the Planet Klyntar.
    • Averted, however, in the sense that all connections to Spider-Man are omitted, whereas the previous version was comparatively faithful to the comics' origin story. This version of Venom lacks the iconic "White Spider" chest insignia.
  • Unexplained Recovery: After causing the rocket to explode, which kills Riot and Drake, Venom appears to die as well in a Heroic Sacrifice to shield Eddie from the fire and slow down his fall at the cost of seemingly being incinerated himself. But then in the following scene during Eddie's conversation with Anne, Venom once again is heard talking to Eddie in his head and seems to be none the worse for wear, and it's never stated how he survived.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Venom seems to be this when bonded to Eddie. Eddie mostly lets Venom do the work when they're in trouble and hasn't been bonded with Venom long enough for them to be an effective team. Later however, despite Venom outright stating that they had no chance against Riot, they actually make a decent showing and give Riot a hard time. Riot states that Venom found a good host. It seems that having a perfect match with the host affects a symbiote's power, because it was heavily implied Riot only took Carlton Drake as a convenience, rather than because Drake was a perfect match. It was already established that Riot can take people without killing them immediately. Venom ultimately won because his host was the best match and Riot had to use the host he just happened to be using at the time.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Granted, Mrs. Chen probably isn't at all upset about the death of the guy who was extorting money from her, but she only seems to be mildly surprised when Eddie and Venom ate said guy in front of her.
  • Villain Has a Point: This is how Drake gets Dr. Skirth to reveal that Eddie was the guy who infiltrated the lab. He accurately points out that with the symbiote on the loose, it will kill anyone in its way, and has probably infected Eddie, risking his life. Dan confirms Drake's suspicions, that Venom was killing Eddie slowly.
  • Villain Protagonist: Averted, since the film is taking its cues from storylines where Venom is an anti-hero and isn't the villain.
  • Villain Opening Scene: The movie opens with the Riot Symbiote crashing into Earth and Drake observing the scene as the Riot Symbiote escapes from an ambulance.
  • Visual Pun: The first weapon Venom shapeshifts his limbs into during the final battle against Riot is a Riot Control shield as often used by the police.
  • Voice of the Legion: "We... are Venom."
  • Way Past the Expiration Date: The rotten chicken Eddie threw away into the trash that Venom made Eddie eat then puke up.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Drake is trying to find a way to colonize deep space to stop overpopulation and environmental disaster - even if it comes with unethical experiments on the homeless and vicious corporate abuse. And that's before he makes contact with the symbiotes - when a team brings back the symbiotes, he continues the experiments in hopes of allowing humanity to adapt to the extremes of space faster.
  • We Have Reserves: While Drake seems genuinely sorry two of the symbiotes his rocket brought back died before they could find a suitable match, Riot casually brushes off his apology by saying the comet has millions more. Drake is also much more upset at the symbiotes dying in the tests than the human test subjects. Drake only has access to two symbiotes. Humans... billions more where those came from.
  • Weird Crossover: A trailer featuring Joker from Persona 5 was released to help promote this film's Japanese release.
  • What the Hell Are You?:
    • Asked by Eddie after Venom saves him from Drake's goons and heals all his injuries. Venom answers, "I... am Venom... and you are mine."
    • Asked by a mook so Eddie can spout the famous: "We... are Venom."
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Annie reads Eddie the riot act for getting her fired by hacking into her computer. The names that he fired at Carlton Drake identified her as the leak, and he basically committed a felony. When Eddie tries to justify his actions, she responds by tossing her engagement ring at him. It says something that Venom itself tells Eddie he needs to apologize for his stupidity, though he can read Eddie's mind and knows how shitty Eddie feels about it.
    • Eddie gets outraged when Dan (Anne's new boyfriend) shows him scans that Venom was eating through his body out of hunger since Venom hasn't eaten for a while. Venom pulls an Oh, Crap! by defending that he can make up for that through his regenerative abilities.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Eddie Brock talks about leaving New York and speaks with a strange version of a New York accent, though it weaves in and out.
  • Wicked Cultured:
  • Wimp Fight: After Anne separates them from the symbiotes, the final fight is temporarily reduced to Eddie vs Drake. While Eddie seems to be able to somewhat handle himself in a fight, it's still very much a reporter vs a scientist.
  • Worf Had the Flu: A villainous example in the case of Riot. Riot was mentioned by Venom as being very strong and capable of "shit you've never seen", giving himself "about 0" chance of defeating him. When the two begin to fight, however, Venom gets a few licks in, and Riot compliments the strength of Venom's host. It appears that Venom ultimately wins because Riot was not fighting at full capacity due to being an imperfect match with Carlton Drake.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After the rocket is complete and set for launch, Carlton Drake and Riot slaughter their rocket supervision staff when one of them is spooked by his erratic behavior and tries to secretly implement an abort procedure (he's the first to die). The surviving staff is left to run off in fear.

"We all have our own problems. Our own issues. Our own... demons."


Video Example(s):



A giant, festering parasite that eats people and generally does a host of nasty stuff. This is our hero, ladies and gentlemen!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (17 votes)

Example of:

Main / HorrifyingHero

Media sources: