Venom: Let There Be Carnage Ending Explained: It's A Nice Day For A Red Wedding

"Venom: Let There Be Carnage" is out now, and it's already looking like a big hit. If want to know where the "Venom" franchise and this delightfully goofy bromance between man and space goop might be headed, we're going to take a deep dive into the ending and what it all means. Let's talk all about the climax of this sometimes-gonzo movie. And if you're looking for a detailed explainer about that wild credits scene, we've also got you covered

In case it's not clear, there will be major spoilers for "Venom: Let There Be Carnage," so proceed at your own risk.

The Set-Up

In "Venom: Let There Be Carnage," serial killer Cletus Kasady is ordered to be executed by lethal injection after the bodies of some of his victims are found, thanks to Venom's photographic memory piecing clues together from a wall of insane scribblings inside Kasady's prison cell. When Eddie Brock visits Kasady in San Quentin Prison one last time before he's executed, Kasady takes personal digs at Brock, hitting him right in that sweet spot of being a loser who not only let his life go down the drain but was also responsible for the death of his mother when he was born. This prompts Venom to attack Kasady, inadvertently ingesting some of Venom into his body.

When Kasady's lethal injection is carried out, the chemical combination is pushed back out of his bloodstream by the symbiote, and Kasady transforms into the villain who comes to be known as Carnage. Kasady breaks out of prison and immediately tries to track down a woman named Frances Barrison. But why?

As illustrated in the opening flashback of "Venom: Let There Be Carnage," Kasady was sent to St. Estes Home for Unwanted Children (what a terrible name for an orphanage!). For some reason, this flashback opted to have Woody Harrelson dub the younger actor's lines as Cletus Kasady, and it's a rather odd choice. Anyway, in this scene, we see that Cletus Kasady has bonded with Frances Barrison, and she's the only thing keeping him sane in his captivity. Unfortunately, she's about to be hauled away elsewhere. 

A Revenge Mission

During the transfer, Frances Barrison is being escorted by Patrick Mulligan, who will become more important to the story later. As they leave St. Estes, Frances doesn't waste any time unleashing a superhuman ability in an attempt to make an escape. She screams like a banshee (she's known as Shriek in the comics), which not only bursts Mulligan's ear drums, making him bleed from the ears, but it crashes the van they're in. After the van has crashed, Mulligan manages to get a shot off from his gun, leaving Frances with a scarred face and an eye with a bright blue pigment.

Though it's been made to look as if she is dead, Frances (played by Naomie Harris as an adult) was actually secretly taken to Ravencroft Institute to be held in a soundproof prison. Why? We're not really sure. It's never really explained whether she's being experimented on or anything like that. In the comics, Ravencroft is like the Arkham Asylum of the Spider-Man universe, but we're not sure exactly why they're holding on to such dangerous people in this big screen universe. But the "Venom" franchise hasn't exactly been flush with sound logic, so whatever.

When Kasady breaks out of prison in back in the present day, the first thing he does is try to track down Frances. Thanks to some computer hacking done by Carnage (apparently symbiote tentacles can conveniently connect to computers in order to break into secret databases), Kasady figures out where Frances is. After another spectacular prison break, the two decide to not only have a red wedding (*WINK FACE*), but their wedding gifts set up the climax of the movie. Frances ends up grabbing Eddie's ex-girlfriend Anne (Michelle Williams), and Cletus gets ahold of Mulligan while he was out trying to find Eddie. Frances can finally pay back Mulligan for shooting her in the face, and Kasady can get revenge on Brock for fast-tracking his death sentence. Who says there's no such thing as happy endings?

Venom: Let There Be Carnage Ending Explained

In the film's climax, there's a big battle between Venom and Carnage in the church where Cletus and Frances are getting married. Venom is scared of fighting Carnage at first, specifically because he's a red symbiote, which are apparently much more powerful than Venom's kind of symbiote. It seems weird that Carnage is a red symbiote despite coming from Venom, so much that Carnage refers to Venom as his father, but whatever. Maybe it has something to do with Kasady's murderous tendencies changing Venom's make-up into something more vicious.

Thankfully, Carnage isn't quite as powerful as Venom thinks. As the fight goes on, they realize that Carnage and Cletus aren't actually bonded as strongly as Venom and Eddie. That's mostly because Carnage is at odds with Cletus because his new wife and her supersonic scream hurts symbiotes, and Carnage isn't having it. Carnage even goes so far as to hit Frances. That doesn't sit well with Cletus, and it's clear that the two don't have the same agenda.

In some ways, this turns Cletus Kasady into a somewhat more sympathetic character. Kasady genuinely loves Frances, and even though they're both totally insane, he's not willing to let this symbiote push her around, no matter how powerful it makes him. Kasady may be a serial killer, but at least he's not a domestic abuser. At the last minute, the film tries to pull some sympathy for Kasady, who reveals that the reason he pushed his grandmother down the stairs and killed his parents is because they all abused him. But even with that detail, it's hard to deny that Kasady is still a psychopath, and even after dispatching with those who abused him, he still killed a bunch more people for no good reason, and he seemingly had no remorse for it. That makes it all the more rewarding when Kasady tries to manipulate Eddie by telling the reporter that he just wanted to be his friend, and Venom simply says, "F*ck this guy," and bites his head off, giving him delicious brain to munch on. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. 

One Last Shriek

During the battle, Carnage grows in strength after chomping off the church priest's head. Carnage starts to take over the church with his red tentacles, but not before grabbing Anne, who he intends to kill after leaving Venom stuck under a pile of stone rubble. Eddie and Venom have a heart-to-heart about being stronger together, and they regain their composure, climb to the top of the church, and stab a pipe through Carnage's head. But it's only temporary, and Carnage starts stabbing the hell out of Venom. As a last ditch effort to save Anne, Venom grabs her and lowers her into the church, taking deadly blows from Carnage at the same time.

Meanwhile, Frances has seen that Carnage will not let her and Cletus be together as long as the symbiote is inside her betrothed. Venom and Eddie use that to their advantage and coerce her into unleashing her scream one last time, even though they know it will hurt them too. Both Venom and Carnage are separated from Eddie and Cletus, and they both go tumbling into the church. Frances falls too, and she's crushed by the church's bell. But Venom is able to grab onto Anne, which allows them to grab Eddie as he falls, and he reunites with Eddie's body before hitting the ground, keeping him safe and sound. As for Cletus, he falls onto a pile of rubble, and though Carnage tries to reunite with his host, Venom merely grabs the red symbiote and eats him. Then we get that whole head-munching moment we talked about earlier. Ya know, for a movie that's only around 90 minutes, there's a lot going on. Speaking of which, we forgot about someone.

A Mulligan for Venom 3?

During the climactic final battle of "Venom: Let There Be Carnage," Frances gets a moment where she gets to enact revenge on Mulligan. Since Carnage tries to keep her from screaming, Frances tries another tactic to get back at Mulligan. Taking a cue from the Bible verse that says, "An eye for an eye," Frances uses her thumb in an attempt to gouge out Mulligan's left eye, since he's responsible for damaging her own left eye. After this, we don't see Mulligan again until the fight between Venom and Carnage is over.

Still sitting on one of the church's construction scaffoldings on the roof, Mulligan can be seen alive, but something isn't right about him. His eyes are now glowing blue, and he's mumbling the word "monsters" to himself. This would seem to indicate that whatever is happening with Mulligan, he's probably going to have a vendetta of some kind, especially if he knows that Eddie is Venom now. Mulligan didn't trust Brock at all, and he was pretty pissed when the journalist didn't tip him off about the location of Kasady's victims. Combine that with the fact that Eddie is somewhat responsible for what just happened to him, it wouldn't be surprising if he has an axe to grind. 

A Comic-Related Tangent

However, what's weird about this cliffhanger moment is that it doesn't quite jibe with what happens to Mulligan in Marvel Comics. There's actually nothing in the comics that finds Frances/Shriek doing anything to transform Mulligan. Instead, Mulligan is taken over by a symbiote created by Carnage, and he comes to be known as Toxin. However, since Mulligan is a cop, Toxin actually becomes a symbiote hero, rather than a villain like Carnage or even an anti-hero like Venom. In fact, Carnage and Venom both see that Toxin has the potential to become stronger than them both, so they try to destroy him but fail.

While it's possible that this could be setting Mulligan up to become Toxin, why does the movie have Shriek be the one who transforms him? Is it possible that Mulligan will have the powers of Shriek and then he'll be taken over by a symbiote, making him even stronger? We're not even sure where Shriek's ability comes from since it's never explained in the movie, so we have no idea what she could have done in order to transform Mulligan like this. In the comics, Shriek did have the ability to turn characters evil, so maybe it's just as simple as that. We'll likely have to wait until "Venom 3" comes along to know for sure.

Venom: Let There Be Love

Even though Carnage has been destroyed, Eddie and Venom aren't problem-free. Yet again they find themselves at the center of another seemingly inexplicable disaster, and there's no way they'll be able to stay off the FBI's radar this time. So the two decide to go rogue and leave San Francisco behind in favor of something a little more low-key and tropical. 

We see Eddie sitting on a beach as the sun sets. Though his top half is still in human form, his feet are Venom's, and he curls his toes into the sand. The two have not only come to embrace each other, but as Eddie points out, Venom basically says that he loves Eddie, no matter how much he tries to deny it. This is the ultimate bromance. In fact, it might just be more of a straight-up romance, especially the way Venom celebrates coming out of "Eddie Brock's closet" earlier in the movie when he becomes separated from his host and heads to an underground blacklight party. At that party, he also happens to give a speech about being accepted for who he is, which only further solidifies Venom as a queer icon, especially when he gets sad that Eddie wasn't able to be there to see Venom's triumphant moment.

On the beach, Eddie and Venom contemplate where they'll go next. Eddie says, "Anywhere that needs a little protection, I suppose." So it appears the two will become the "Lethal Protector" that Venom wants to be, making his comic book nickname a reality. However, there's that "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" mid-credits scene that would seem to indicate that he might get distracted by tangling with a certain friendly neighborhood webslinger, so we're not sure if Venom will be doing much protecting when we see him again. He may just end up being straight-up lethal.