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Film / Venom: Let There Be Carnage

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Spoilers for Venom (2018) will be left unmarked ahead. You Have Been Warned!
"All I ever wanted in this world... is Carnage."
"Every decision we ever make, who do we leave behind? And how do we leave them? Waiting in the darkness, for the rescuer who never comes."
Cletus Kasady

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a 2021 Anti-Hero sci-fi Superhero Horror movie based on the titular Marvel Comics characters, Venom and Carnage. It is a direct sequel to 2018's Venom and the second installment in Sony's Spider-Man Universe.

Tom Hardy returns as Eddie Brock and his bloodthirsty Symbiote alter-ego Venom as they face off against the insanity of the serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), now empowered by a souped-up red Symbiote of his own. Michelle Williams also returns as Anne Weying, while Naomie Harris joins the cast as Shriek. Andy Serkis takes over directing duties from Ruben Fleischer, directing from a script by Hardy and Kelly Marcel.

The film was released on October 1, 2021 after multiple delays due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, resulting in the film being the second installment of the setting instead of Morbius, which was moved to 2022. A third Venom film, titled Venom: The Last Dance, will be released on October 25, 2024.

Previews: Trailer 1, Trailer 2, Trailer 3, Red One Duel Trailer, Red One Safe Trailer.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage contains examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The mid-credits scene shows that Eddie and Venom are now in the Marvel Cinematic Universe contemporary to Peter Parker's public exposure as Spider-Man at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home, meaning they have travelled from 2020 to 2024.
  • The '90s: The film opens in 1996 to show a teenage Cletus and Frances as she is being taken away due to her powers, and how her hatred for Mulligan started.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Adaptational Deviation:
    • In the comics, Cletus and his symbiote are so merged that they're often of one mind rather than two with Cletus being the one in control, as with every other symbiote and its host. Here, Carnage is very much distinct from Cletus, which comes into play in the climax when they turn on each other over Carnage wanting to kill Shriek because her powers are a threat to it.
    • There is also the relationship between Cletus and Shriek. In the comics, Carnage was more or less using her to carry out a murder spree, and even tried to kill her at the end of Maximum Carnage as if she meant nothing to him. Here, the two have a genuine affection for each other.
  • Alien Arts Are Appreciated: It's implied that Venom likes Sonny & Cher enough to name a pair of chickens after them, and in The Stinger, Eddie and Venom watch a Spanish soap opera, and Venom is invested in it.
  • Alternate Universe: The post-credits scene establishes that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a separate universe from this setting, but that Venom and Eddie have teleported there. Spider-Man: No Way Home explains how this happened.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version uses "shout it out" by the band DISH// as its theme song.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • Carnage's status as an independent symbiote versus being a distorted clone of Venom. The Carnage symbiote in the comics is the asexually produced spawn of Venom that was mixed with Cletus Kasady's bloodstream shortly after it was born. Here, it seems to be a cocktail of the Venom symbiote and Eddie's blood that Kasady eats. While Carnage is clearly an independent party from Kasady (of whom it was merely an extension in the comics due to being mixed with his blood) and refers to Venom as its father, Venom never seems to realize that any of itself is missing, and never explains how symbiotes reproduce. What's more, Carnage in the film has a visceral design that looks like a flayed human rather than the smooth and slimy look all other symbiotes have, and the transformation between Kasady and Carnage is more jerky and contains more Body Horror. It doesn't help that Venom's first reaction to seeing Carnage is to completely freak out and shrink back inside Eddie, all the while screaming that this one is red and genuinely believing that they have absolutely no chance against it. There's some sort of insinuation that red symbiotes may actually be somewhere far higher on the pecking order as far as strength level, and indeed, compared to the last movie's villain, Carnage makes Riot look absolutely harmless in comparison, but otherwise nothing else is deliberately said on the notion.
    • Towards the end, it's completely unclear what happened to Pat when he's revealed to have survived Shriek's assault. He becomes Toxin in the comics, but at no point in the movie was any sort of symbiote bonding with him hinted at. His eyes glow blue like Shriek's prosthetic eye, but it's not clear if he gained anything resembling her powers or not. In the end, him surviving with newfound, unknown powers comes completely out of left field and leaves you uncertain what he's turned into.
  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: Mrs. Chen protests to being called old, saying she's only 39. Venom retorts, "And I'm Barry Manilow!"
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Carnage is created when Cletus ingests some of Eddie's symbiote after biting his hand, making Venom a father of sorts to Carnage. Carnage aims to kill Venom.
    Carnage: Death to you, Father!
  • Antagonist Title: The Carnage in the title naturally refers to Cletus' Symbiote-empowered form, who is set up as the main antagonist.
  • Any Last Words?: Eddie visits Cletus on the day Cletus is to be executed and asks if there's anything he wants to unburden himself of.
    • After capturing the warden at the end of his prison rampage, Cletus briefly emerges from the symbiote to taunt the warden with this. The warden only manages to get out a "No, please!" right before Carnage chomps down on his head.
  • Arc Words: "Lethal Protector" or a variant occurs a few times over the course of the film. Venom declares that Eddie is wasting his potential and should be "protecting the city, lethally!", which Eddie rebuffs, and Eddie does so again during their argument ("Lethal protection, my ass. You couldn't protect anything!"). In the battle against Carnage, they declare in unison that they're the Lethal Protector, and at the end, Eddie says they'll go anywhere that needs a lethal protector.
  • As Himself: British rapper Little Simz shows up as herself, performing her song "Venom" at a rave until Venom swipes her mic to deliver a speech.
  • Art Shift: When Eddie is reading Cletus' letter that details his backstory, the art style changes to an animated version of Cletus' red-ink scribble drawings.
  • Ax-Crazy: Cletus Kasady was already established in the first movie as a notorious serial killer. He waxes poetic about his obsession with causing death and destruction, and bites Eddie in a fit of anger, which culminates in him becoming the psychopathic monster Carnage.
  • Befriending the Bullied: In his letter to Eddie, Cletus Kassidy says that he befriended Shriek when she was the only one at their group home that defended him from the kids who picked on him.
  • Big Bad: Carnage. It and Cletus Kasady serve as the Big Bad Duumvirate for the most part, until Carnage moves up to singular status when it decides Shriek must die due to the very nature of her powers posing an inherent danger to it, alienating it from Cletus.
  • Big "NO!":
    • When Anne tells Eddie that she and Dan are engaged, unbeknownst to her, Venom lets out a loud, angry "NO!"
    • During Eddie and Venom's falling-out, Venom destroys Eddie's motorcycle in retaliation for being evicted, causing Eddie to shout "No!" several times.
  • Big "YES!": During Venom and Eddie’s breakup, Venom smashes Eddie’s motorcycle. Eddie lets out a Big "NO!" and Venom reacts with a big "OH YEAH!"
  • Bilingual Bonus: Venom greets Mrs. Chen with "Wan shang hao!" — or "Good evening" in Mandarin.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Carnage and Shriek are defeated, and Eddie and Venom reconcile. However, Eddie gives up any chance at a normal life to stay with Venom, and the two go on the run... and then soon after, somehow end up in an alternate universe.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Carnage is shown transforming his hands into sword-like blades.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Literally. Despite leaving a trail of bodies across the city, the only time any of Cletus' attacks spills blood is when he squashes a spider.
  • Bloodstained Glass Windows: Venom and Carnage fight inside a church. This was filmed at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, and the window in question is the cathedral's famous Rose Window.
  • Bowdlerise: Before the film was even released, Venom's line "Oh shit! That is a red one!" was censored to "Oh no! That is a red one!" in later trailers like the "Red One Safe" TV spot.
  • But Now I Must Go: Because Venom is connected to Carnage's rampage by being a Symbiote, it and Eddie are now fugitives and can no longer stay in San Francisco. They decide to live on a tropical island just like Venom wanted.
  • Call-Back: The way Venom disposes of the Carnage symbiote, after separating it from Cletus, is exactly how Riot was going to kill him after being separating from Eddie. By being devoured. Unlike Riot, Venom succeeds .
  • Cannibalism Superpower: Or gained by cannibalism, rather. The origin of Carnage in this film is that Cletus accidentally acquires the symbiote by biting Eddie and ingesting some of his Venom-laced blood. This is followed by him noticing a piece of the Venom symbiote clinging to his finger and promptly eating it.
    Cletus: I have tasted blood before and that! Is not! It!
    • While it's debatable if the symbiotes eating someone while bonded to a human is cannibalism or not, what Carnage does to the minister during the climax probably counts—he grabs the poor guy while pinning Venom to a wall and explicitly says that he's getting a power boost before biting his head off, suddenly growing much bigger to give himself a strength advantage over Venom.
  • The Cameo: Venom teleports into the MCU just in time to watch J. Jonah Jameson report on Spider-Man's secret identity, complete with a new shot of Peter Parker in costume.
  • Carry a Big Stick: During the final battle, Cletus uses a mallet to brutally bludgeon Eddie while ranting about how he’s a terrible journalist.
  • Casting Gag: In the Japanese dub, this is not the first time Naoya Uchida, as Cletus, has voiced, or more accurately said, played, a transforming character, except this time, he is the villain of the tale.
  • Catchphrase Interruptus: After the events of the film:
    Eddie: Well, my dear Sancho, facts are the enemy of truth.
    Venom: What does that even mean?
    Eddie: It means... it means that we... are V-
    Venom: Fugitives!
  • Climbing Climax: The final battle takes place atop a church.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Venom's reaction to seeing Carnage is to immediately let Eddie take back control, having no intention of fighting a "red one", indicating that the color of a Symbiote points to how strong they are.
  • Combat Tentacles: Carnage's design shows him with numerous blade- and spike-tipped tentacles extending from his back and sides.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Venom tries to show Eddie clues to where Cletus hid his victims' bodies by having him draw the etchings on the walls of Cletus' prison cell, only for Eddie to repeatedly think that he's suddenly become a talented artist.
  • Cool Bike: After unraveling the mystery of the missing bodies, Eddie makes enough to get a shiny red Ducati - with matching helmet! At least until Venom smashes it to pieces during their falling-out.
  • Creator Cameo: Stan Lee has a posthumous one as the cover image on a magazine in Mrs. Chen's store that Venom prevents from slipping off the rack.
  • Cue Card Pause: Cletus Kasady asks Eddie to deliver a message to his "fans" (a message actually meant for Frances Barrison), and in return, Eddie can have his "life..." Eddie gives a confused, "Huh?", and Cletus finishes, "...story."
  • Death by Childbirth: Revealed to be part of Eddie's Dark and Troubled Past in this film, during Cletus' "The Reason You Suck" Speech to him.
    Cletus: No wonder Daddy could never look at you again after you killed his wife, your mother, just by being born!
  • Death Row: Cletus is being kept here, and a botched execution attempt, combined with taking a bite out of Eddie Brock and getting a bit of the Venom symbiote in him, triggers his transformation into Carnage.
  • Denser and Wackier: The comedic elements are played up more here than they were in the first film, although the horror elements are still there.
  • Destroy the Abusive Home: Cletus and Frances hated St. Estes, and the first thing they do together is locate their childhood home and burn it down.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Eddie chews Venom out for losing his temper and trying to attack Cletus, which risks getting Eddie arrested and caused him to get bitten by Cletus, which is how Carnage came to be.
  • Dimensional Traveler: In The Stinger, Eddie somehow transports from a slummy shack to a similarly-shaped but much cleaner and fancier hotel room. Before he and Venom have much time to wonder what just happened, they see that on TV there is a broadcast of J. Jonah Jameson from the Marvel Cinematic Universe telling the public that Spider-Man is Peter Parker in the same scene as seen in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
  • Disney Death: Mulligan is seemingly killed by Shriek, but while Eddie, Anne, and Dan escape the scene after the climactic fight, there's a shot of Mulligan with his eyes open, mumbling about monsters.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Homoerotic Subtext between Eddie and Venom from the first movie is ratcheted up to eleven in this film. Eddie and Venom get into an argument that ends with Venom trying to kick Eddie out of the apartment, and he later boasts to a crowd at a party (while covered in rainbow glowlights) about how Eddie tried to hide him because he was ashamed of him. He also turns down a girl at said party while saying that she isn’t his type and he’s out of the Eddie closet.
  • Dramatic Thunder: There is a flash of lightning on the final word when Carnage says "Let there be CARNAGE!" during the final showdown.
  • The Dreaded: The Carnage symbiote is classified as a "red one"; based on Venom's reaction in the church, this caste of symbiotes is among if not the most dangerous, so much that he briefly retreats back into Eddie.
  • Dreadful Musician: Venom is not only a godawful cook, but he also cannot sing to save his soul.
  • Ear Ache: Frances Barrison attempts to kill Mulligan using her scream in the Ravencroft van. He survives by shooting her in the eye, but his hearing is permanently damaged in his left ear, forcing him to wear a hearing aid in the present.
  • Eating the Enemy: When Cletus and Carnage are separated, Venom grabs the symbiote before it can reach Cletus and eats it.
  • Eldritch Location: Not in the usual sense, but the exterior of the cathedral starts to look like one as Carnage envelops it.
  • Electrified Bathtub: Cletus offed his mother this way. In the final battle against Eddie, Cletus justifies it by saying that his mother, grandmother, and father abused him first.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Cletus and Frances may be Ax-Crazy, but they sincerely love each other. This shows when Cletus gets enraged at the Carnage Symbiote for attacking her because her powers hurt him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Cletus is a murderous psychopath, but draws a line at killing a priest. Unfortunately for the priest, Carnage has no such qualms.
    • Frances seems to think killing Anne is going too far, and her asking Cletus to stop is what prompts Carnage to try to kill her against Cletus' desperate protests.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Unlike most incarnations of Carnage, who tend to speak with high-pitched voices, the Sony version of Carnage speaks with a very deep voice.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The Carnage symbiote decides to turn on Shriek, whose hypersonic screams are a menace to it when it decides she's arrived at You Have Outlived Your Usefulness, after she successfully carried out bringing Anne in as I Have Your Wife bait against Eddie and Venom, and as a result also turns on Cletus, who objects to this.
  • Eye Scream: In a flashback, Frances tries to kill Mulligan while being transported to Ravencroft, and Mulligan shoots her in her left eye. In the present day, after she escapes, she seeks Mulligan, wishing to blind him in the same eye (and then kill him) as revenge.
  • Finishing Stomp: Cletus murders a convenience store clerk by knocking him to the ground and stomping on his head.
  • Flipping the Bird: After Eddie and Venom come to blows and Venom gets kicked out, Venom takes over the body of someone outside, destroys Eddie's motorcycle, and stomps away while giving him the finger.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Venom laments his state, essentially trapped in the apartment with Eddie, he states that he needs to feel "the wind in [his] hair and the sand in [his] toes". By the end of the film, both Eddie and Venom end up on a beach together, getting exactly that.
    • While writing to Eddie, Cletus mentions heroes and origin stories (referencing himself and his sordid past) before abruptly killing a spider crawling on his desk. During an earlier conversation between Eddie and Venom, they bring up the topic of responsibility. The Stinger features a surprise cameo from the one and only Spider-Man.
    • In The Stinger, Venom reveals that symbiotes have knowledge across alternate universes, just before they inexplicably get transported to the MCU in time for the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home. The specific spell that Strange cast in NWH brought in anyone who knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Venom's dialogue sounds confusing until you realize that since he has knowledge across parallel universes, he likely has memories of his alternate counterparts' battles with Peter Parker (implied by him recognizing Peter on TV), potentially even the one from Spider-Man 3, explaining how he was brought into the MCU.
    • In a deleted scene Carnage threatens to eat Cletus's face, foreshadowing the ending when Venom bites off his head.
    • While Eddie is cleaning up the mess Venom made of his apartment during their cohabitation, red M&M's can be seen scattered all over the floor. Venom's apparent dislike of the color red foreshadows its fear towards Carnage when seeing its offspring for the first time.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Venom walks around a rave in his humanoid form. Since many partygoers are also dressed up, nobody finds the sight unusual. Also, it's a rave, so they're probably all stoned as fuck.
  • Food as Bribe: Venom retreats in fear upon seeing Carnage. In desperation, Eddie promises that he will let it eat Carnage and Shriek, which is more than enough to convince Venom to come back out.
  • Freudian Excuse: According to Cletus, his heart stopped on the day of his birth and his entire family was abusive, which is why he killed his mother and grandmother. No word on what the dog did to him.
  • Gainax Ending: Eddie and Venom inexplicably get transported into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in The Stinger. Later subverted elsewhere, as Spider-Man: No Way Home reveals this to be caused by Dr. Strange’s memory erasure spell going awry.
  • Get Out!: When their friendship falls apart, Venom decides to try and kick out Eddie out of the apartment and screams "OUT! GET OUT! TAKE YOUR STUFF! GET OUT!" Eddie returns the sentiment. Venom frantically throws Eddie's belongings out the window, making Eddie throw him out.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: Kind of, as Dan reacts to Eddie giving advice of "Fire and sound" with "What's this, a new rock band?".
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Cletus Kasady's family, consisting of his grandmother, mother and father, who all abused him as a child and turned him into an Enfant Terrible. While the former two died, the latter proved too strong for Cletus to stand up to and dumped him in a mental institution.
  • Happy Ending Override: At the end of the previous film, Eddie and Venom seemed to have formed a fairly functional, relatively healthy mutualistic relationship. Come the first act of this movie, reality has set in, with quite a bit of tension and bickering between the two, until it finally escalates into a physical brawl and Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure that lasts throughout the second act.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Why Cletus Kasady wants to kill Eddie. In his newspaper article about Kasady, Eddie gave a very one-sided story about Cletus being a cold-hearted serial killer and killing his own family out of sadism, while Cletus reveals he did it out of retribution for abusing him. Cletus rants to Eddie that he's a terrible journalist.
  • Horrifying the Horror: When Venom sees Carnage for the first time, his first response is an "Oh Shit!" before retreating into Eddie and begging him to leave, red symbiotes The Dreaded among other breeds. Even after Eddie talks him into resuming the fight, Venom is still confident that it will end with the both of them dying.
    Venom: Time to die!
    Eddie: That's the spirit!
    Venom: I mean us. We are going to die.
  • Hypocrite: Cletus Kasady is a sadistic, unrepentant serial killer and cannibal who refuses to even tell anyone where he hid the bodies of his victims. Once Eddie and Venom crack his code and allow the police to discover the bodies and put his victims to rest, the governor of California makes an exception to his moratorium on the death penalty to allow for Kasady's execution. Cletus feels embittered and betrayed by Eddie for effectively signing his death warrant, despite the fact that it was his own actions that led to him being imprisoned in the first place.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Venom is incredibly aggressive and insulting towards Eddie in the film’s first act, but when anyone else is mean to him, he gets very protective of his host. At the beginning of the film, Detective Mulligan makes a rude comment at Eddie, and Venom’s first instinct is to try to bite the man’s head off. Then, when Cletus gives Eddie a scathing "The Reason You Suck" Speech, Venom is furious and outright attacks him.
    Cletus: I wish for you to see out your days alone, as you always have been.
    Venom: Watch it, pal!
    Eddie: Where are you going with this?
    Cletus: You are a cancer to everyone who ever loved you, Eddie. Deceived your trusting fiancée. And no wonder Daddy could never look at you again after you killed his wife, your mother, just by being born!
    Venom: YOU SON OF A BITCH!
  • I Have a Family: A prison guard tries this on Carnage, and still gets his innards devoured.
  • I Have Your Wife: Cletus and Shriek pull this on Eddie and Venom with Anne just before the climactic battle.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: Venom feels stuck in Eddie's apartment, not allowed to play vigilante or eat people. After their falling-out, Venom spends a day or two without Eddie, first relishing the freedom but then kind of missing him.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Carnage uses his blade-tipped tentacles to inflict impalement on many people, stabbing Venom dozens of times during the final battle.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: Anne flatters Venom while speaking in a sultry tone and leaning on the counter. Dan, behind her, uncomfortably says he's right there.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: A literal example. When Cletus and Frances reunite and he shows her his Carnage powers, using them to break her cage open, she remarks, "That is so hot" and makes out with him. She's also clearly enjoying Carnage's rampages and destruction of Ravencroft and St. Estes.
  • Internal Reveal: Detective Mulligan was the cop who shot Shriek, and thought she was dead. He later learns that she survived and Ravencroft had secretly been holding her.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Venom is treated as an individual by Eddie and his allies and referred to as "he", even when inhabiting the body of a female character (Mrs. Chen). Meanwhile, the antagonistic Carnage is called "it".
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: While Eddie sits musing on a beach, Venom offers to leave him, saying while Eddie's a fugitive, what people are after is Venom, not him. Eddie refuses.
  • In Spite of a Nail: A minor example, but the resort Eddie was in before he was transported to the MCU exists in both universes. However the MCU version seems to be doing much better financially based on how well kept the room is and the television they have.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Mulligan is antagonistic toward Eddie, but he's right about Eddie's connections to the Life Foundation and to Carnage, and while annoyed, Eddie doesn't find Mulligan's suspicions unfair.
  • Just Desserts: Venom devours the Carnage symbiote and bites off Cletus' head at the end of the climax.
  • Juxtaposed Halves Shot: One of the movie posters shows the faces of Venom and Carnage, Venom on left and Carnage on right, and bits of each intertwining over the dividing line.
  • Kinda Busy Here: Eddie takes a phone call from Anne as he dangling off the side of a building.
  • Knight of Cerebus: While the movie basically feels like a comedy due to the banter between Eddie and Venom, the tone quickly changes to horror once Cletus is involved, especially after he bonds with Carnage.
  • Large Ham: Venom notably sounds more amped up and energetic than the previous film, even trying (keyword: trying) to sing while making breakfast for Eddie. And Tom Hardy now has the company of two other actors going nuts and having fun with their roles, Woody Harrelson as Cletus/Carnage and Naomie Harris as Frances/Shriek.
  • Last-Minute Reprieve: On Death Row, when Cletus is set for execution via lethal injection, the Carnage symbiote blocks the flow of drugs in the tube just as it's about to enter his bloodstream, which saves Cletus' life and allows him to transform and escape.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Implied; upon seeing Carnage, Venom flees back into Eddie's body, and initially refuses to come out, explaining "that's a red one!" when Eddie tries to force him out.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the first movie, this one has a lot more comedy. Even Venom's voice is less threatening.
  • Lethal Chef: Venom is seen making some breakfast for Eddie. The resulting mess is not only anything but edible, it leaves the kitchen just as nasty-looking.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Frances Barrison can absorb sonic energy and unleash it as a shockwave-generating scream, which she uses several times over the course of the film, starting with deafening Mulligan in a flashback.
  • Mic Drop: Venom interrupts the singer at a party to make an impromptu speech about freedom, acceptance, and aliens, ending by dropping the microphone on the ground.
  • Monster Roommate: Venom to Eddie. Eddie's apartment is a mess, with food, wrappers, and other debris strewn on the floor, two chickens walking around freely, and holes in the ceiling, all caused by the symbiote. There's a pizza box sign saying "No eating people", a rule that irritates Venom because he's starving, and chicken brains don't cut it. After the two decide that they can't stand living with each other and Venom is kicked out, Eddie lies on his apartment floor with a look of relief... until he hears Venom destroying his motorcycle.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: An (anti-)heroic example: Venom kills Carnage by eating him.
  • Mood Whiplash: The Stinger has major ramifications for the future of Sony's Spider-Man films, as Eddie and Venom end up in the MCU and witness their historical nemesis being framed for murder. Not long after that, however, is a guy walking into the hotel room and asking, in a deadpan manner, what Eddie is doing in his room.
  • Mouth Cam: The teaser poster is framed this waym with Carnage's mouth about to bite down on Venom.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Once out of prison, Cletus murders a man in an alley and steals his clothes.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: One shot during the fight in the church shows Carnage suspended by tendrils in front of a stained glass window with four arms, two transformed into blades and crossed over his chest in preparation to attack.
  • My Skull Runneth Over: In the post-credits scene, Venom tells Eddie that the knowledge he possesses from the symbiote hive mind would break Eddie's brain were he exposed to the full scope of it.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • One shot of Cletus' prison cell shows a teddy bear carved into the wall, a nod to the comic book Cletus Kasady's short-lived teddy bear Binky.
    • The Ravencroft Institute where Cletus is normally kept in the comics is seen throughout the film, with it being where Shriek is kept instead.
    • The film shows Detective Mulligan reading a newspaper article from The Daily Bugle. It has a partially-obscured headline alluding to a certain superhero team.
    • During the film, there is a quick shot of Kasady’s hand crushing a spider crawling around on his desk, while he's narrating that every hero has an origin story.
    • During the church fight, Carnage sprouts six arms, giving him a resemblance to his adopted "child", the Doppelganger.
    • Carnage suffocating a San Quentin guard with his tongue during his breakout is a direct reference to issue #11 of Daniel Way's Venom run, in which Venom attempted to suffocate the Thing by ramming his tongue down Ben Grimm's throat before being stopped by the Human Torch.
    • During Eddie's interview with Cletus, Cletus brings up Eddie’s strained relationship with his father due to his mother having died while giving birth to him, which was part of his Dark and Troubled Past in the comics.
    • Venom and Eddie embracing the "lethal protector" title before lifting the church debris off themselves is reminiscent of the famous If This Be My Destiny Spider-Man comic storyline.
    • At the end of the movie, Venom separates the Carnage symbiote from Cletus Kasady and eats it, much like what happened in Peter Parker: Spider-Man #10, though unlike in the comic he eats Cletus as well. Also unlike the comic, Venom isn't burping constantly afterwards, instead saying "He did not taste good!".
    • In The Stinger, it looks like Venom is set to go after Spider-Man because of the latter being framed for a crime. And just like in Spider-Man (2000), Mysterio is the one who's responsible.
    • Someone tells Eddie Brock/Venom that he couldn’t get a job doing menial tasks. In the Neversoft game, it’s Jameson telling Brock in a hallucination that once he’s done with him, he won’t be able to get a job taking wedding pictures in Siberia. Here, it’s Eddie telling Venom that it wouldn’t be able to get a job cleaning toilets.
    • When Cletus kills a store clerk and uses his computer to locate Shriek, he uses the Carnage symbiote to hack it, much like how he did in the comics.
    • At the start of the film, Shriek mentions her mutations growing out of control, stating she's being sent to "A place for people like me." Shriek in the comics is a mutant.
    • The final showdown takes place in a church, which is where Eddie first acquired the Venom symbiote in the comics. As such, a ringing church bell is one of the major factors in the battle.
    • During said showdown, Venom grabs on to Anne’s hand as she dangles off the edge of the church tower, and she is reflected in Venom’s eye, much like how Peter Parker tried to save Gwen Stacy.
    • The way Frances falls down from the bell tower in slow motion also resembles Gwen Stacy's death in the same movie.
    • While Venom and Eddie are arguing, the latter mentions the alias "Lethal Protector", which is a reference to a nickname of the character on the comics as well as a mini-series from the 90s.
    • A closing scene has Eddie and Venom on an island together. This appears to be a tribute to a 1990 storyline where Venom, wrongly believing he'd killed Spider-Man, briefly lives on a deserted island.
    • Cletus tells Eddie that he's "a cancer to everyone who ever loved you" during his "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Eddie actually had cancer in the comics, which he was cured of shortly before he bonded to the Anti-Venom symbiote.
    • In a deleted scene, the Carnage symbiote claims that him, Cletus and Shriek would unleash "Maximum carnage" to the world, referencing the comic book storyline from the 90s of the same name.
  • Near-Villain Victory: In the final battle, Venom's fight with Carnage is a Curb Stomp Cushion in the latter's favor that ends with Eddie being beaten to a pulp by Cletus and buried under rubble by Carnage, who declares his intent to make Eddie watch him eat Anne. Venom gets a second wind after seeing Cletus struggle to stop Carnage from killing Frances when the red symbiote decides she's outlived her usefulness, and saves Anne by stabbing Carnage through the head with a chunk of pipe, but Carnage quickly recovers and returns the favor with interest by repeatedly stabbing and impaling Venom with its bladed tentacles. With Venom exhausted and wounded, Carnage prepares to devour him, only for Venom to knock Frances down the bell tower in a Hail Mary plan to exploit her Make Me Wanna Shout powers. Frances' sonic scream separates them both from their symbiotes, and Venom rebonds to Eddie before Carnage can rebond to Cletus, enabling Venom to devour both of them.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: Eddie and Venom discuss this principle as they make their way through San Quentin. Venom wants to eat some of the inmates, reasoning that they must be bad people to end up in prison, but Eddie refuses, saying they may have been framed, falsely accused, made to take a plea deal, etc.
  • Next Stall Shenanigans: At the police station, Eddie scolds Venom for wanting to eat Detective Mulligan, they get in a fight, and Eddie heads into a bathroom stall in what turns out to be the women's' washroom. As they continue to argue, the woman in the next stall looks frightened at first, and then peeks under the wall to see what's happening.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Eddie and Venom both have shades of this in regards to their visit to Cletus in prison before his execution:
    • Despite Venom rather sensibly advising that visiting Cletus is a bad idea, and pointing out that it's his own fault he's about to be executed, Eddie still feels that he should be there and disregards Venom's warning. If he'd listened and hadn't gone to see Cletus, the latter would have been executed as planned and the chain of events that led to Carnage's creation never would've happened.
    • Then, once they're at the prison, Cletus's Breaking Speech to Eddie causes Venom to lose his temper and attack him, which brings Eddie close enough to the cell, and Eddie and Cletus close enough to each other, for Cletus to be able to bite Eddie's hand and ingest a small part of the symbiote, which eventually becomes Carnage. Even Venom himself knows he messed up on this, and apologizes multiple times to Eddie.
  • Not Even Bothering with an Excuse: Eddie's in the middle of an argument with Venom on the way into Cletus's execution. At first he claims he's rehearsing lines when one guard wonders why he's talking to himself. When he snaps "You suck!" at Venom and a different guard says "Excuse me?" he just gives up. "Yeah, I have no excuse for that."
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Cletus states that he and Eddie Brock are akin to one another, such as both having abusive fathers and being responsible for their mothers' deaths, causing Eddie to protest at first and then quietly seethe.
  • Not Quite Dead: It seems Detective Mulligan might be a goner by the end of the movie after a struggle with Carnage, but a brief shot of him shows his eyes glowing blue.
  • Offing the Offspring: After being separated from Cletus, Venom devours Carnage whole.
  • Off with His Head!:
    • Venom finishes off Cletus by biting his head off.
    • Carnage kills the warden this way right before escaping from the prison.
    • Both to Venom and Cletus’ protests, Carnage kills the priest by biting off his head.
  • Oh, Crap!: Venom has this reaction to seeing Carnage in the church, and even retreats back into Eddie.
    Venom: Oh, SHIT!
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Mozart's Lacrimosa is played in the climax as the wedding between Cletus and Frances ensues.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Stephen Graham's native Scouse accent bursts through his American accent once or twice.
  • Orphanage of Fear: St. Estes Home for Unwanted Children, the orphanage Cletus and Frances grew up at, was a hellhole for the both of them. Cletus claims he was bullied by other children there, and based on the intro, the children's rooms look more like prison cells. After reuniting, Cletus and Frances return to their former home and burn it to the ground.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: A few steps down the political chain, but news voiceover explains that the unnamed governor of California has made an exception to his moratorium on the death penalty, allowing Cletus Kasady to be executed. This is a clear reference to current real-life Governor Gavin Newsom; the death penalty is still technically legal in California, but no executions have occurred since 2006, and Newsom announced a moratorium shortly after taking office in 2019.
  • Out of the Inferno: Frances Barrison and Cletus Kasady burn St. Estes down and are shown walking away from the blaze.
  • The Pig-Pen: Thanks to Venom's sloppy ways, Eddie's apartment is always filthy, as Venom uses a blender without the lid on, leaves candy wrappers all over the floor, and has two live chickens living there, defecating and shedding feathers. It isn't until the two have a fallout leading to Venom getting kicked out that Eddie can clean up his apartment and make it stay clean.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Eddie and Venom have a falling out after a fight in their apartment around the third act of the movie due to the latter's constant whining about wanting to eat more people.
  • Police Are Useless: Zigzagged. Their weapons and squads are ineffective against the likes of Carnage and Shriek, but they at the very least implement a successful lockdown and curfew to prevent civilian deaths. Detective Mulligan, while not a formidable fighter by any means, is able to buy Venom and Eddie enough time to deal with Carnage and Cletus while he distracts Shriek.
  • Possession Burn Out: Venom's new hosts fall to the ground dead or unconscious after a while, and he has to move on to somebody else.
  • Power High: Venom bonds with Anne, and they break Eddie out of police custody. Once Venom is back with Eddie, she mutters that like last time, she enjoyed the powers the symbiote granted her.
  • The Precious, Precious Car: With their relationship having turned hostile, Eddie and Venom try kicking each other out of the apartment, with both claiming ownership of it. Eddie wins by setting off the smoke alarm, causing Venom to vacate his body and leap out the window, but Venom gets away with breaking Eddie's prized possessions (his TV and motorcycle) just to spite him some more, plus a middle finger.
  • Precision F-Strike: The movie's "one F-bomb quota" is used when Venom declares “Fuck this guy!” before eating Cletus’s head, which doubles as a Pre-Mortem One-Liner.
  • Prepare to Die: Venom says "Time to die" during his battle against Carnage. Eddie cheers him on, before Venom corrects him as "I mean us. We are going to die."
  • Prison Riot: Carnage instigates one when it is "born" as it breaks Cletus out of death row starts a fight with the prison security. It easily wins, and the prisoners cheer for it thinking it's come to liberate them, before Carnage sucks them into its tornado, likely exterminating them along with their jailers.
  • Product Placement:
    • Eddie's apartment has piles of M&M's Candy Bar wrappers all over the floor.
    • Eddie's new TV is a Sony Bravia. Mulligan even notices and says "Nice TV."
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Lacrimosa plays as the wedding between Cletus and Frances begins.
  • Quit Your Whining: Eddie repeatedly scolds Venom for trying to eat people and generally making his life insanely difficult, leading to their falling out later in the film.
  • Quizzical Tilt: Venom believes Eddie should be using the symbiote's powers to go after bad guys and is angry that Eddie is wasting his potential, while Eddie says he just wants a peaceful life. He asks if Venom understands what he's saying, and Venom gives a confused head tilt.
  • Race Lift: While in the comics Frances Barrison is Caucasian and has unnaturally pale skin due to being a mutant, she's portrayed by Naomie Harris in this film.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • On the day he's to be executed, Cletus delivers a scathing one to Eddie:
      Cletus: I wish for you to see out your days alone, as you always have been. You are a cancer to everyone who ever loved you, Eddie. Deceived your trusting fiancée. And no wonder Daddy could never look at you again after you killed his wife, your mother, just by being born!
    • Eddie to Venom during their fight in Eddie's apartment:
      Eddie: You chose me? Buddy, I'm the only person who took you in when your friends kicked you off the planet Mingmong 'cause you are a reject! You are a pariah! "Lethal protection", my ass. You couldn't protect anything. You are useless! You couldn't get a job down here cleaning toilets!
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Carnage symbiote is blood-red with black vein-like markings, highlighting his villainy.
  • Room Full of Crazy: The film shows Cletus has "decorated" his prison cell by scratching nihilistic words and drawings into the walls.
  • Sanity Has Advantages: While Eddie and Venom can be… eccentric even at the best of times, they both take the conflict with Cletus and Carnage more seriously and intelligently. In contrast, even though both Cletus and Carnage are formidable opponents in terms of sheer creative mayhem and greater raw power, their combination of sadism, dueling priorities, and megalomania allows Eddie and Venom to keep pace with them.
  • Schrödinger's Canon: This film collapses the wave function established in the first film, showing in The Stinger that Venom's universe and the MCU are two different realities, but can cross over via multiversal shenanigans.
  • Second-Act Breakup: It happens at the end of the first act, but Eddie and Venom's break-up is entirely played like a romantic break-up. Eddie dives into his work and pretend nothing is wrong while Venom goes on an absolute bender (even going to a rave) and pretending he's fine.
  • Sequel Adaptation Iconic Villain: After the minor comic villains Carlton Drake and the Riot symbiote acted as the main antagonist in the first film, Venom's comics Arch-Enemy Carnage, with his most famous host Cletus Kasady, takes center stage here.
  • Sequel Hook: Aside from the mid-credits scene teasing the possibility of Venom facing off against Spider-Man in Spider-Man: No Way Home, it's also implied that Detective Mulligan has begun his transformation into Toxin after apparently surviving his encounter with Carnage.
  • Severed Head Sports: Venom goes into detail when fighting a mugger about how he'd use his skull as a bowling ball.
  • Shapeshifting: The Carnage symbiote takes the shapeshifting power a step further compared to Venom by being able to create holes where the host's body would be, showing that Carnage and Cletus are more fused together than Venom and Eddie.
  • Shipper on Deck: Venom still wishes for Eddie and Anne to get together. This is what clues Anne in to Mrs. Chen being its host, when she seemingly uncharacteristically goes on about Anne breaking Eddie's heart. In the end, Eddie and Venom both agree that Dan is a suitable fiancé for Anne.
  • Shooting Superman: During Carnage’s escape from San Quentin, the guards attempt to gun him down. At first, Carnage nonchalantly shrugs off the bullets, and then forms holes in his body so the bullets pass right through him and hit the guards behind him.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Among the numerous etchings on the walls of Cletus Kasady's prison cell are a couple of lines from Lord Byron's Prometheus about the Titan of myth who stole fire, and a sentence from Frankenstein where Victor Frankenstein describes his tenuous hold on morality.
    • Venom sings along to the Louis Prima and Keely Smith version of "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" while making breakfast and getting the mail for Eddie.
    • As Eddie approaches the prison, he dissuades Venom from feasting upon every prisoner in sight, name-dropping Making a Murderer when telling him that not everybody who winds up in prison is guilty.
    • As Cletus is about to be executed, he intones, "Something wicked this way comes," referring to the symbiote in him.
    • After Cletus escapes from San Quentin, he sings, "And I'll walk out a wiser, stronger man. Mister Warden, you taste just like ham", a parody of Johnny Cash's song, "San Quentin", which goes, "And I'll walk out a wiser, weaker man. Mister Congressman, you can't understand."
    • Eddie references Don Quixote, quoting a line from the book and addressing Venom as the sidekick, Sancho.
    • Venom quotes the New Age guru Osho/Rajneesh to Eddie. Venom's choice of phrasing is not lost on Eddie.
      Venom: Osho says, "When you love someone, you accept the whole person, with all of their defects."
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: The priest officiating Cletus and Shriek's wedding says the line, and that is naturally the exact moment that Venom chooses to crash the wedding so he can fight Carnage and rescue Anne.
  • Stalker without a Crush: The film shows that Cletus seems a bit too obsessed with Eddie.
  • The Stinger: While in a hotel in South America, Venom offers to show Eddie some of his past... which somehow causes them both to be transported into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Venom claims that he had nothing to do with what just happened. They then see a news report of Spider-Man's secret identity being publicly revealed, which Venom takes an interest in as he licks the television...
  • Superhero Movie Villains Die: At the end of the movie, Venom eats the Carnage symbiote, and then bites off Cletus Kasady's head before contemptuously tossing his body aside. Frances is also killed when the church bell drops down and crushes her.
  • Super-Speed: Venom has super speed drawing — after studying the etchings Cletus Kasady made on the prison wall, Venom takes control of Eddie and recreates all the writing and images on paper in seconds.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: At a rave where numerous partygoers are dressed up, several people compliment Venom's "costume". After a moment pondering, Venom replies to one with a "Thanks, I made it myself".
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Turns out it's not so easy to get away with being a lethal protector; all the insane things that happened in Eddie's general vicinity in the previous film (not to mention the pile of dead bodies) have left him under deep suspicion by at least Mulligan in the police before Cletus even escapes. The events of this film force him to flee the city entirely after Carnage's very public rampage and defeat leaves the police looking for Venom too.
  • Sweetie Graffiti: Eddie finds a carving on a tree at the hospital where Cletus and Frances were held that reads "CK + FB".
  • Tailor-Made Prison: Frances Barrison's cell in Ravencroft is a soundproof box made of metal and glass, and the guards wear earplugs and headphones when they enter.
  • Tainted Veins: Done very subtly during the scene where the Carnage symbiote saves Cletus from a lethal injection, with the veins in Kasady's arm turning red when the symbiote blocks the drugs from entering his body.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Venom throws a fit in Eddie's apartment due to the latter refusing to let the former eat other people, which eventually leads to them splitting up.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Cletus and Carnage work out a deal: Cletus will help Carnage kill Venom so it can be the only symbiote on Earth, and Carnage will break Frances out of Ravencroft. Carnage immediately takes a dislike to Frances due to her sonic scream and demands that she not use it. During the climax, Carnage decides that Frances is too dangerous to let live, after her scream (directed at Venom) also harms Carnage. Cletus and Carnage being at odds is what gives Venom an opening to stab them.
  • Teeth Flying: During Eddie and Venom's fight, Eddie knocks out Venom's teeth with his motorcycle helmet, although Venom quickly grows them back.
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Venom says that imparting all the knowledge of the symbiote Hive Mind to Eddie will be too much for him. Though it might also be because it's trillions of years of information.
    Venom: Eighty billion light years of hive knowledge across universes would explode your tiny little brain.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Venom's opinion on fighting Carnage and Shriek.
    Venom: Time to die!
    Eddie: That's the spirit!
    Venom: I mean us. We are going to die.
  • Title Drop: Carnage yells out "Let there be CARNAGE!" during the final showdown.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Dan, who's spent most of the movie accompanying Anne and being a side character, shows up at the cathedral while Venom is on the losing side of a fight with Carnage and pours flaming gasoline on Carnage.
  • Tornado Move: During the prison breakout, Carnage creates a large tornado with its tendrils that sucks some of the inmates and guards in.
  • To Serve Man:
    • Venom still has a taste for human flesh. Eddie has a sign explicitly warning his cohort not to eat anyone, Venom is shown dangling a would-be mugger over his gaping maw in preparation to devour him, and when Mrs. Chen states that the chocolates Eddie ordered haven't come in yet, Venom intends to eat her. One scene shows the symbiote being frustrated and angry that Eddie isn't letting it eat anyone.
      Venom: Eddie, we should be out there snacking on bad guys! I am a predator! I need to be free...
    • Cletus takes a bite out of Eddie's hand and once more implies that he's eaten people, saying he's 'tasted blood before' after eating part of the Venom symbiote. As Carnage he almost eats the warden before the prison alarm distracts him.
    • Eddie promises Venom he can eat Carnage and Shriek if he comes out to fight them.
  • Transformation Horror: Unlike Eddie's smooth transformation into Venom where the symbiote envelops him like a suit, Cletus' symbiote manifests from him like a tumor and physically warps him into his monstrous form.
  • Trash the Set: Venom makes a massive mess in Eddie's apartment, even destroying his TV, while throwing a rage-induced temper tantrum that would lead into the two splitting up.
  • Trash of the Titans: What we see of Eddie's apartment shows that it's even more of a dump than it was in the previous film, and now contains live chickens. It's implied from Eddie’s resignation as Venom makes a mess of the kitchen that Venom is responsible for a good amount of it.
  • Uncertain Doom: It's not clear if Venom's Possession Burn Out hosts survive or not. Mrs Chen apparently survives but he wasn't in her for long.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: Venom is much more petty and whiny here than he was in the first film.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Cletus and Frances are two equally violent psychopaths who are deeply in love with each other, with the climax of the movie taking place as they try to force a priest to marry them while also setting a trap for Eddie/Venom.
  • Unreliable Narrator: During the final battle, Cletus shouts that he didn't kill his mother and grandmother For the Evulz, but as retribution for their abuse of him. Considering how much of an Ax-Crazy psycho he's been throughout the film and his blaming Eddie for him getting the death penalty for the murders he committed, this can be taken with a grain of salt.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: When Cletus insults Eddie, this angers Venom enough to attack him. Unfortunately, this results in Eddie being close enough to the cell for Cletus to bite him, which results in the birth of Carnage.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Being vulnerable to a specific set of frequencies is ordinarily a very specific Kryptonite Factor... unless your ex-girlfriend who will end up being horrified by the monster you've become happens to be a metahuman capable of delivering sonic blasts of whatever frequency she chooses. Hot dang, that might even qualify as a Contrived Coincidence.
  • Wham Line: An interesting variation, in that it's both what's said as well as who says it, as it sets the stage for an inter-franchise showdown, as well as, from a meta perspective, a rematch 14 years in the making.
    J. Jonah Jameson: Incredibly, this shocking revelation, brought to light by yours truly, has only raised more questions about the secret life of Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man, AKA the Spider-Menace. But rest assured dear viewers, we here at the Daily Bugle will not rest until we’ve uncovered the truth behind his web of lies. I’m J. Jonah Jameson, good night, and God help us all!
    Venom: That… guy.
  • Wham Shot: In the post-credits scene, Venom slowly stalks over to the television to reveal none other than Tom Holland's Peter Parker, unmasked in his Upgraded suit, officially connecting Venom to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, at least for the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Though eagle-eyed viewers can spot the MCU's J. Jonah Jameson and his familiar green backdrop just moments prior.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Cletus is angry at Eddie for presenting a one-sided story about him killing his family for purely sadistic reasons, when in reality, they abused him and calls Eddie a terrible journalist.
  • With This Ring: The movie begins with Cletus slipping Frances an improvised ring made of fabric and her putting it on. She's still wearing it when the movie transitions into current day, although it has mostly frayed away by now.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: At one point during the climax, Venom catches Carnage by the throat and choke slams him, then immediately follows it with an Elbow Drop.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In the climax of the film, Venom is lying under a pile of rubble, having nearly given up on defeating Carnage. Eddie delivers a pep talk, providing motivation for Venom to get back up.
  • You Can Keep Her!: Venom at first tries chickening out of the fight against Carnage who is keeping Anne hostage, to which Venom declares, "We never liked her anyway!"
  • Your Costume Needs Work: After falling out with Eddie, Venom goes to a fancy dress party where he gets a lot of compliments about his costume, and goes along with it.
  • You Say Tomato: Venom, while making breakfast, tries to sing along with "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" — particularly the part about the pronunciation of either, neither, potato, and tomato.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Venom 2


Catching Up On the MCU

Like a new MCU fan, Eddie decides he needs to catch up on everything about this new universe before he can act. By the time he understands everything, the battle with the villains has already concluded and he is sent back home.

How well does it match the trope?

4.95 (43 votes)

Example of:

Main / ContinuityLockOut

Media sources: