Jim Gillespie’s horror begins with an old woman digging in the middle of the night. She uncovers a case which she frantically puts in the back of her car before driving away. It’s very much a case of wrong place and wrong time with what follows. Eden (Agnes Bruckner) is cycling home when her ex-boyfriend Eric (Jonathan Jackson) catches up and parks his car on a bridge. A local loner Ray (Rick Cramer) appears and asks after Eden. While they’re on the bridge, the old woman comes driving along and loses control of her car, leaving it hanging precariously over the bridge. Ray saves her then goes after her case only for the car to fall into the lake with Ray inside. The case opens to reveal a cluster of snakes that kill Ray. The old woman later dies as well but Ray comes back to life, now possessed, and keen on slaughtering the locals.
There’s some interesting back stories in Venom. Eden and Eric are no longer speaking with some confusion about who has ended the relationship. Eden wants to go to New York to study and Eric wants them to stay where they are. Though they care for one another it’s clear that romance is no longer on the cards. Ray is something of a loner who few have dealings with though it emerges he is the father of Eric’s friend, Sean (D.J. Cotrona) who has np dealings with him, insisting Ray got his mother drunk and took advantage. Eden’s friend CeCe (Meagan Good) is the granddaughter of the old woman that dug up the cursed snakes and she becomes integral to the survival of her friends. With Ray wandering around killing everyone in sight we’re soon left with only a small group to try and stop him.
Venom is an average horror effort with some effort put into the storyline. After the introductions to the characters and Ray rising from the dead this descends into fairly standard slasher fare but there’s plenty of gruesome denouements to keep gore fans happy. The ending is something of a let down though lacking in any real resolution but as a whole this is okay rather than appalling.
(Film source: reviewer’s own copy)