After a big pop culture release, The Ringer normally enlists enthusiastic staffers to participate in an exit survey. That was originally the plan for Venom’s highly anticipated sequel, Let There Be Carnage, but then something strange happened. Staff writer Miles Surrey, an avowed fan of the franchise, entered the office declaring that he’d been taken over by a symbiote. We thought he was joking until he coughed up the bones of what appeared to be a full chicken. Miles said the symbiote calls himself Surge. “Wait, like that soft drink from the ’90s?” an editor snickered before the symbiote emerged from Miles’s body and bit their head off. (That got our attention.) Surge had only two requests: that all the chocolates in the break room be surrendered, and that he and his human host be the only ones allowed to participate in the Let There Be Carnage exit survey. To avoid further carnage, we obliged.
1. What is your tweet-length review of Venom: Let There Be Carnage?
Miles Surrey: All the chaotic energy of the lobster tank scene from the first movie stretched out into 90 delirious minutes. A very good time at the theater; it’s of the utmost importance that Sony makes at least 10 more sequels.
Surge: THAT WAS THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER MADE.
2. What was the best moment in the movie?
Surrey: To witness Michelle Williams, one of the most talented actresses of her generation, have one-sided conversations with an alien inside the body of Tom Hardy that requires her to say “Venom” several times is an absolutely transcendent experience. Whatever they’re paying her to participate in this franchise, double it.
Surge: WHEN VENOM ASSERTED HIS DOMINANCE OVER THAT LOSER EDDIE BY DESTROYING HIS EXPENSIVE TELEVISION AND MOTORCYCLE. OH AND ALSO WHEN VENOM MADE EDDIE TYPE “DIK DIK DIK DIK DIK DIK” ON HIS LAPTOP.
3. What was your least favorite part of the film?
Surrey: Whenever Let There Be Carnage left Eddie and/or Venom’s orbit, the film really suffered, which is mostly a testament to how magnetic(ally weird) the two of them are on-screen. Do you know how hard it is to make Woody Harrelson seem like the actor who’s dialing it back in a movie?
Surge: THIS IMPLIES THAT THERE ARE FLAWS IN THIS MOVIE. WHO IS THE EDITOR THAT CAME UP WITH THIS QUESTION? I WOULD LIKE TO PICK THEIR BRAIN.
4. Who is Venom: Let There Be Carnage’s MVP?
Surrey: As the flesh-and-blood star, the voice of an alien that sounds like Cookie Monster on a cocaine bender, one of the producers, and someone with a shared story credit on the sequel, this is Tom Hardy’s world—we’re just living in 90 completely unhinged minutes of it.
Surge: THE ONLY CORRECT ANSWER IS VENOM FOR BRINGING SUCH WONDERFUL AND AUTHENTIC SYMBIOTE REPRESENTATION TO THE BIG SCREEN. HE IS TAKING OVER HOLLYWOOD BUT THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING—WHEN MORE OF OUR SPECIES ARRIVE ON EARTH OUR NEXT TARGET IS WALL STREET. BUT I’M GETTING OFF TRACK: I ALSO LIKED THE PART WHERE VENOM ATTENDED A RAVE AND CALLED EVERYONE WHO WAS THERE A WEIRDO LIKE HIM.
5. Finish the sentence: “Woody Harrelson as Carnage was …”
Surrey: Such a dick, fuck that guy!
Surge: SUCH A DICK, FUCK THAT GUY!
6. Did Eddie improve as a journalist in the sequel?
Surrey: With his journalistic reputation restored at the end of the first film, Eddie decided that he wanted to focus on the written word—which, LOL, good luck with that. But it seems like the only work he’s published since then are bizarre conversations with a convicted serial killer, and while I can’t speak on the quality of the reporting, the fact that he hasn’t been able to move out of his beat-up apartment isn’t an encouraging sign. Then again, maybe that’s because Venom has trashed his place so badly that Eddie can’t get his security deposit back.
Surge: IF IT WASN’T FOR VENOM AND HIS INCREDIBLE MEMORY, EDDIE WOULD HAVE NEVER HELPED THE POLICE FIND THE BODIES OF CLETUS KASADY’S VICTIMS. AT THE VERY LEAST HE DESERVES A SHARED BYLINE.
7. Is Eddie and Venom’s relationship a friendship, or something more?
Surrey: When he attends a rave by himself, Venom, incredibly, says, “I AM OUT OF THE EDDIE CLOSET.” Sony knows exactly what it’s doing, which is making the Eddie-Venom dynamic as queer as possible while still passing Chinese censorship codes because it needs that international market.
Surge: IT REMINDS ME A LOT OF PHANTOM THREAD.
8. Eddie aside, who was your favorite Venom host?
Surrey: The obvious answer is the return of Michelle Williams as She-Venom; the sneaky best pick is Venom taking over Mrs. Chen and calling Dan a “PUSSY.”
Surge: I HAVE TO AGREE WITH MILES ON THIS ONE. WHEN VENOM ENTERED MRS. CHEN’S STORE IN THE BODY OF SOME DUDE WHOSE INTERNAL ORGANS WERE DEFINITELY FAILING, SHE EXPRESSED MORE CONCERN FOR VENOM’S WELL-BEING. TO SEE THE DIFFICULTIES OF SYMBIOTES FINDING A PERFECT HUMAN HOST BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES. AND YES, IT WAS SO FUNNY WHEN DAN WAS CALLED A PUSSY.
9. Let’s talk about that post-credits scene with Spider-Man.
Surrey: As a franchise, I would much rather have Venom continue to thrive in its own weird little corner of the Sony-Marvel partnership, doubling down on all the unapologetically goofy (and sometimes, genuinely touching?) banter between Eddie and Venom. Still, I can’t deny that a small part of me is curious about what’s gonna happen when Tom Hardy’s Venom and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man are put in the same room.
Surge: THAT PUNY SHRIMP ISN’T GOING TO STAND A CHANCE.