>> It’s October, which means white girls everywhere are posting pics of their pumpkin spiced lattes and trying to find the best witty yet slutty costume out there. It’s easy to get wrapped up in these important festivities, but let’s not forget what’s really important: Halloween movies. The horror genre is huge, like a vast body of bloody water filled with chainsaws, demonic dolls, and everything that nightmares are made of. October is a great month because it encourages Halloweenies to devote a month of their life to the horror genre. This year has delivered some really stellar scares—including Hereditary, Mandy, and Upgrade—but let's talk about Venom. Yeah, the thriller/sci-fi/Marvel movie that’s trying to reap the benefits of Halloween.

Venom is a Spiderman spin-off produced by Columbia Pictures in association with Marvel (which means this quaint production couldn’t even sport the legendary three minute Marvel Entertainment title card). Directed by Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, Gangster Squad), Venom follows journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) after the alien Venom (again, Hardy) merges with his body, and together they work to take down the Life Foundation, an evil corporation conducting inhumane experiments.

The Spiderman franchise has seen multiple directors, spin-offs, and numerous iterations of the same plot lines and character arcs. Interestingly enough, Venom is the first film that solely focuses on a villain sans Spiderman. Sounds interesting right? A full two hours of one man merging bodies with an alien and reeking bloodsoaked havoc across San Francisco—well, sorry to break it to you, but Venom is one massive missed opportunity. Instead of showcasing Venom as the ruthless villain he is, the film’s plot actually turns the villain into a superhero. A superhero that's so bland and cheesy that he’s reminiscent of the 2003 superhero films most of us are trying to forget. I get it, this film’s aim was to be a pre-Halloween PG-13 blockbuster so it could sell seats and costumes. If Venom took the R rating route, this film could’ve gone from “possible cult classic” to “legendary”. If it went for a more serious and dark script instead of cheap and comedic and mixed that in with some Game of Thrones level violence, then we would have the first and greatest villain film of all time. Sure, kids wouldn’t be able to see the film, but maybe if Venom added a level of sophistication Marvel would have actually helped with the film distribution.

Venom is cringy, its dialogue is very similar to what we saw in Upgrade—so much so that it almost feels like a cheap rip off. The CGI is not the best, even an untrained eye can find its weakest points. It’s sloppy, a seven-minute car chase scene is filmed so poorly viewers can’t tell what is even happening. We are living in the era of superhero films, and there’s a very small margin for error. Venom had all the right components but unfortunately took the wrong direction. While this film may receive cult status, just know it would be receiving it in the same light as films like Showgirls. Also, Michelle Williams you are better than this, please don’t sign on for a shitty sequel. 3/10 <<