Why audiences love 'Venom' and critics don't

Brooke Nicholson | Arts & Entertainment Editor

Courtesy Sony

Oct. 5 was a huge weekend for the movies, as highly anticipated flicks like "A Star is Born" and Sony's "Venom" finally hit theaters. As the October date quickly began to approach, fans eagerly awaited what critics had to say before deciding whether or not the movies would be worth it.

Just a few days before their release date, both movies were scored by Rotten Tomatoes critics, and they had a lot to say. While "A Star is Born," starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, was well received with critics and scored a whooping 90 percent on the official Tomato meter. "Venom," the anti-hero tale starring Tom Hardy, however, scored a mere 33 percent.

But when Friday, Oct. 5 finally came around, audiences ignored the critics, and "Venom" set a record-breaking $80 million on its opening weekend. When it was projected to earn about $50 million, while "A Star is Born" earned about $42 million.

So why did a movie that scored such a low rating do so well, while a movie that earned a higher rating did not?

For one, audiences have been waiting for movies that are different than the typical algorithm we've been seeing for the past few years now. Remakes, sequels and poorly executed one-off films don't do the theaters justice anymore. Audiences want more. They want to see what they already enjoy in other forms of media, up on the big screen.

Critics and audiences alike have seen this kind of thing happen before. "Suicide Squad" also earned bad reviews, but still did well at the box office on its opening weekend. The theme of 'anti-hero' has been a trend as far as movies that do well goes, audiences just want to see more of it. Whether the movies turn out bad or not, and it shows how desperate people are for something different.

While "Suicide Squad" got bad reviews and bad audience scores, "Venom" received amazing audience reviews. But is "Venom" actually a bad movie? Most people don't think so.

Tom Hardy leads the movie as Eddie Brock, a reporter who loses his job after trying to expose the inhumane, dangerous scientific practices going on at the Life Foundation. After an employee reaches out to Eddie for help in exposing Carlton Drake, the founder of the Life Foundation, she lets him into the laboratory, only to become infected from one of the people being experimented on.

Courtesy Sony

Eddie returns home, but quickly realizing that something is wrong. With a ravenous appetite for raw chicken, hearing voices in his head and not being able to stand loud noises, Eddie must learn to live with this alien life-form, or 'symbiote' that has attached itself to him.

Once audiences got past the seemingly slow 20-30 minute start of the movie, people found themselves laughing at a few jokes here and there, and enjoying this strange human-monster relationship unfold. Tom Hardy does a good job playing this confused, emotionally exhausted guy who tries to keep his cool throughout the whole movie.

The playful banter between Eddie and Venom was a very interesting dynamic, making it very entertaining to watch. The special effects in the movie were actually pretty decent, and having the studio try and get all of the technical terms correct this time ("We are Venom," 'symbiote' pronounced correctly), audiences found that as something worth appreciating.

Critics argued more about the technical terms that make the movie, such as certain camera shots that weren't done well, or that the movie was seemingly 'noisy,' and had a 'sloppy and formulaic script.' But for those who were simply looking at the story, how different it was, and if it would turn out to be less-cringy than expected, most people liked it. In the end, audiences had fun with it, and that was all that mattered.

"Venom" is in theaters now.