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Lines That Mean More Than You Realize In Venom: Let There Be Carnage

There's a lot more going on in the script for "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" than you might realize. Not only is the film following up on the "Venom" movie before it, but it's laying breadcrumbs for the MCU, for potential sequels, even perhaps for Jared Leto's upcoming "Morbius" movie. The script then has to present a self-contained story that blends the horrors of two maniacs and a massive symbiote on a killing spree, but also the humor of Venom's near-ceaseless commentary on Eddie's love life, personal shortcomings, and constant pleas to eat everyone they come into contact with.

It seems only appropriate, then, that the film would also give audiences some terrific, instantly quotable lines that mean much more than you might pick up on the first time you see the film.

With that in mind, here's a breakdown of the most crucial lines in "Let There Be Carnage." From Venom's coming-out party to Eddie's new talent as a painter, the line that breaks their relationship to the line that launches it into the future, these are the (spoiler-heavy) nuggets that propel the "Carnage" craziness.

They're coming to take me away. They're sending me to a place where there are others like me

This line is delivered by Frances Barrison (aka Shriek) in the film's opening 1996 flashback, informing her demented boyfriend at St. Estes Reform School that she's being transferred to Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane. Of course, that boyfriend is Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), and the line signifies the realization that she'll likely spend the rest of her days there being poked, prodded, abused, and "rehabilitated" until the end.

Sure enough, the film picks up decades later, with Shriek residing in a Hannibal Lecter-meets-Magneto glass prison cell. To get anywhere near her, hospital aides must wear specially made ear protection, and even then she still terrifies them.

In the comics, Ravencroft provides an environment where Shriek is indeed surrounded by others like her — including Cletus, who breaks her out. In "Let There Be Carnage," however, this line begins more than 20 years of painful solitude — so it's no wonder that when Carnage comes to bust her out, Shriek is all too ready to take a revenge-fueled road trip.

I think I'm Pablo Picasso

For much of the 2018 "Venom" movie, we saw Eddie Brock fighting the symbiote for control of the body they shared. In this pivotal moment, the audience sees how effective the two can be when they work together.

After visiting Cletus Kasady behind bars, Eddie begins thinking there might be some clues amongst all the nonsensical scribblings on his cell wall. It is then that Venom unleashes a new power — telling Eddie to put a Sharpie in each hand, and then surrender control.

Seconds later, Eddie is drawing a perfect replication of everything on those walls, and Venom even uses his fingers to do an internet search that turns up the location of some bodies Cletus was hiding from the police. Sure, much of the sequence is played for laughs — as is a lot in these movies. But the bottom line is that with Eddie's body and Venom's mind, there isn't much the two can't accomplish when they work together.

Responsibility is for the mediocre

Those five words sum up Venom's mindset for much of the movie, as well as its disappointment in Eddie. It's no secret that much of the film treats their relationship as if the two are a couple breaking up — he says something mean, it throws his stuff out the window and then storms off in a huff.

But it's this line, coupled with Venom saying "I live in your body because unfortunately I don't have many options," that breaks down their conflict to its most basic elements. The spontaneity is gone, one of them wants to travel, see the world, run its toes through the sand — while the other is still hung up on his old life, his old girlfriend, and fighting the same old battles.

Of course, this moment also yields one of the most entertaining sequences in "Let There Be Carnage," as Venom heads out into San Francisco to find itself. Unfortunately, this involves a good number of dead people, as Venom keeps body-hopping and sucking the life out of unsuitable hosts. But at the end of all this is substantial character growth — in fact, it could be argued that out of all the (mostly human) characters in this film, it's the CGI star who best conveys emotion and growth.

I just wanted some space after the whole alien-biting-a-guy's head off thing

When Eddie Brock catches up with Anne (played once again by Michelle Williams), it isn't surprising that she still wants nothing to do with him. After all, she's a beautiful, successful woman, and he seems to be sweating through a new t-shirt in every scene.

But with this funny line, Williams reminds the audience that her character has more going for her than your average comic book love interest. She has been Venom, she had a front row seat for the adventure that almost killed Eddie, and try as she might to ignore them, she still has feelings for him.

At first, Anne seems to believe Eddie when he insists that Venom is no longer with him. But Anne knows Eddie, so she is soon speaking to it just as often as she's speaking to him. Showing off a big engagement ring ("That is so much bigger than the one I got you," Eddie sulks), Anne explains that she's getting married to Dr. Dan (Reid Scott), and the scene is worth the price of admission just for Venom's running commentary.

In some ways, Venom is the ultimate wingman. It seems determined to always have Eddie's back, because they're the best of friends ... or, perhaps, something more?

I am out of the Eddie closet

This is literally the definition of "line that means more than you realize," although how you interpret it may just say more about you than it does the characters involved.

Is Venom literally coming out of the closet? In a way that humans would interpret as a closeted person revealing their sexual identity to family and friends? Or is he merely comparing Eddie's controlling insistence that Venom stay quiet and refrain from public spectacle to that notion?

In the club scene, which clearly has an LGBTQ bent even if it's never directly stated, Venom turns down the advances of a woman, then appears onstage talking about getting over Eddie as if he's a bad ex-boyfriend.

Considering Venom is a gender-fluid character who reproduces through non-sexual means, does any of this really matter? What does matter is the story beats — Venom has a newfound confidence, an eagerness to work with Eddie rather than ruin his life, and it also has clearly inspired the concertgoers. Who ever thought Venom could have a side hustle as a motivational speaker?

You couldn't get a job fixing toilets

This line is the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back. During their spat, Venom and Eddie wrestle, break things, and say some things they seem to immediately regret. But it's this one line — Eddie's nonsensical argument that an alien symbiote would want or need a job, never mind one of the worst ones imaginable — that finally pushes Venom over the edge.

Within seconds, Venom is packing its stuff — okay, it doesn't really have any stuff, and it even leaves Sonny & Cher behind — and heading out into the city alone. But not before it tears Eddie's beloved motorcycle apart, and kills a few innocent bystanders while hopping from body to body.

In theory, could Venom get a job fixing toilets? It seems like it would be pretty easy for it to find a new host, have him apply for a job fixing toilets, then show up every day. But Eddie's real point goes back to one spouses have thrown at each other for years: Without me, you're nothing! Venom is most certainly good at pursuing its (often homicidal) goals, even if toilet-fixing is something it never seems to show much aptitude towards prior to this film.

This place is an all-you-can eat buffet

Those are Venom's immediate thoughts as he and Eddie visit Cletus at San Quentin State Prison, where Eddie seems on the verge of landing an exclusive interview with Kasady. In the symbiote's mind, everyone in the prison is the lowest of the low, bad people who won't be missed if Venom has a light snack. It's been a while since he's been able to chomp down on a yummy human, and chickens and chocolate just aren't cutting it any more.

Of course, Eddie disagrees, as evidenced by the "Rules: No eating people" sign he made for Venom in their apartment. The killer symbiote is now on a diet of chocolate and chickens, and as much as it would like to chow down on Mrs. Chen — or any of the inmates at San Quentin — it's trying in its own freaky way to honor Eddie's wishes.

I have tasted blood before, my friend, and that is not it

That's Cletus Kasady's reaction when he takes a bite out of Eddie Brock. It feels like Cletus has suspected for some time (likely all the way back to the end of the first film) that something supernatural is going on with Eddie, and both the jail cell provocation (Eddie/Venom snaps when Cletus compares them to his own murderous ways) and the bite itself seem like desperate attempts to uncover that secret before he's killed via lethal injection.

It works, because whatever Cletus tastes contains some tiny particle of Venom, creating a spawn of the symbiote that takes over the serial killer's body when that lethal injection opens up his bloodstream. The color of the blood, paired with Kasady's obvious affinity for the words "carnage," results in Carnage, an alien offspring that is bigger, stronger, and better armed than Venom.

Not only does the line hint at Cletus being smart enough to sense all this in Eddie the first time they met, but Woody Harrelson's line readings at times like this also go a long way. Harrelson has been harnessing his "aw, shucks" twang since his days on "Cheers," that mischievous twinkle in his eye since "White Men Can't Jump," and a darker, homicidal side since "Natural Born Killers." The role of Cletus Kasady seems to bring all three together in a way that puts lines like this on a tee for this beloved actor, who is more than ready to knock it out of the park.

Soon comes chaos. Chaos comes soon

These are the final words uttered by Cletus Kasady as he's strapped to the chair at his lethal injection, offering the circuitous promise to the warden and those present at his execution. Does he really think he's going to die? Does he really not know that by biting Eddie Brock, he has already laid the foundation for a transformation that will make him stronger than ever before? 

Although Cletus seems to have a thing for quoting literary works, the quote doesn't seem to be from any book or poem. Although Kasady can be quite crude, this line feels like a strong one to go out on.

Of course, it also helps that he isn't wrong. Within moments of delivering the line, all hell breaks loose, with Carnage making his first appearance and subsequently tearing up the prison and killing anyone who gets in his way. Next up, he's off to free his girlfriend Shriek — and prepared to bring more chaos wherever he may go.

Once I kill that thing that made me, I'll be indestructible

This line, spoken by Carnage, sums up the creature's motivation. Carnage wants Venom invited to the so-called "Red Wedding" between Cletus and Shriek because the red symbiote smartly realizes that the only being that can approach him in power (in this corner of the MCU-adjacent franchise, anyway) is Venom. Also invited to the wedding of course, is Anne, Detective Mulligan, and one terrified, very-in-over-his-head officiant.

Venom also seems to realize that Carnage could likely take him down, because when it first lays eyes on Carnage it retreats back into Eddie and says "This is much worse than I thought. That is a red one!" But ultimately, Venom seems to realize that he and Eddie are the only ones who can stop this thing — setting up an inevitable final smackdown at the under-construction church between father and son.

That is so hot

This line, delivered by Shriek, is a great one. It comes after Cletus infiltrates Ravencroft and re-introduces himself to the woman he pledged his love to all those years ago from their deep, dank cells. Without many words, the line goes a long way towards informing the viewer of Shriek's mindset.

In the scene, Cletus at first seems almost apologetic. He has changed substantially, and needs to explain his new alien friend to the woman he loves. "I don't want you to freak out, okay?" Cletus tells Shriek, sounding like he brought home a puppy. "I want you to meet Carnage."

"That is so hot," she replies.

In no time, the two of them are off on a killing spree, just two crazy kids in love. The message is that she accepts Cletus just as he is, in a world where no one else will. Of course, it also doesn't hurt that she's a homicidal maniac too, and Carnage is a massive weapons upgrade that could give them the power to get away with anything their criminal minds can consider.

Stop! You'll kill him!

This is the line that counterbalances the "That is so hot" line. As Shriek, Cletus, and Carnage go about forging their path of destruction, she just wants in on the fun. Shriek's most prominent superpower is the ability to emit piercing, brain-scrambling auditory attacks — not exactly the thing you want around a symbiote sensitive to nothing but fire and sound.

As this becomes clear, Cletus seems to make a choice: Carnage over Shriek. Although he does still go through with the Red Wedding, watch those scenes again and you might notice Cletus slowly retreating from Shriek, much like the way his physical body is retreating inside Carnage.

By screaming at Shriek, telling her not to kill his newfound toy, Cletus sacrifices the one person in the world who loved him for what he was. By the time she meets her death, Cletus barely seems to care.

Hello Anne. I just incapacitated your boyfriend

A lot was made out of poor Kirsten Dunst's perpetual status in the Sam Raimi "Spider-Man" movies as a plot-driving object to be bound, gagged, and dangled off something by villains. But that was more than a decade ago, right? We've all come so far, and Michelle Williams is an Oscar-winning actor who surely wouldn't sign up for such a thing, right?

Nope. In one of the few disappointments in the film, Williams' Anne is reduced to rag doll status in the third act. The line above, delivered by Shriek, indicates the pivotal moment when Anne goes from a complex, confident character to just another damsel in distress waiting to be rescued.

In the film's big finale, Anne is on the altar alongside Stephen Graham, being held prisoner by Carnage's tentacles. By the end of the scene, she's been freed — but for a woman who has been She-Venom twice, it must be no fun to be relegated to the sidelines.

Death to you, father

In the comic books, Carnage often calls Venom "daddy," driving home the point that they have a Luke/Darth Vader-type relationship, and it's very complicated. "Let There Be Carnage" pays tribute to that (and reminds the audience of the stakes) by including this line in the scene when Venom and Carnage finally go to-to-toe in the church. He will call Venom "father" several times during this scene, in fact, even if they aren't planning on taking in a ballgame together.

Unfortunately, the way symbiotes work is that every generation is exponentially more powerful that the one before it. As impressive as Venom may have been in the first movie, his bizarre little offspring is the latest model of iPhone, versus Venom's iPod shuffle. In other words, calling Venom "father" is not some mere family reunion. It's also a none-too-subtle message to Venom that the time has come for a new generation to supplant the old.

You never asked yourself why. That's bad journalism

This line is delivered by Cletus Kasady during his final moments in the film, revealing an extra dimension of complexity to his character. All Cletus wanted to be, it seems, is Eddie's friend. But Eddie wants a story, not a drinking buddy, so he has tried his best to keep Kasady at arm's length.

So when Cletus gets Eddie to snap in prison, perhaps he's comparing their murderous histories not to drive Eddie crazy, but to find common ground? When he decided to give the reporter all those interviews, perhaps it was to create a biographer-type bond, like Truman Capote and Perry Smith, rather than simply wanting to destroy Eddie and Venom?

"Venom" fans will likely never get more of an answer to these questions. Responding to him and the way he's treated Eddie, Venom dispatches him with three simple words: "F*** this guy."

Together, we are the lethal protector

So where does it all go from here? Well, the mid-credits scene gives you some idea of the "Carnage" connection to the MCU and Spider-Man, Detective Graham's glowing eye seems to indicate Toxin could well be on his way, and other clues might even possibly allude to Morbius, the Living Vampire.

But this line says quite a bit as well. Eddie Brock and Venom are finally on the same page — not only about responsibility vs. mediocrity, not only about who they'll eat and when — to discuss their potential together as crimefighters. A lot of this echoes "Venom: Lethal Protector," the 1993 comics storyline that kicked up the Venom tale considerably. Finally at peace, the two discuss where they'll go from here.

"Anywhere that needs a little protection, I suppose," says Eddie.

Venom shoots back: " We won't need a cape and a mask?" 

"No," Eddie replies. "I think you've got that covered."