Fandoms are taking over Hollywood. In fact, some could argue that they already have, what with huge franchises and brands dominating the box office every year, as studios try to transform the passion these fans have into mega bucks and endless sequels. While that approach has decidedly worked, in an era where the fan response is more vocal than ever before, it's meant that more movies are hounded and overshadowed by debates surrounding its quality.
Of course, films in general often don't help themselves, whether they're major blockbuster tentpoles trying to please everyone (and, inevitably, pleasing barely anyone) or ambitious genre films that were marketed terribly (leading to skewed expectations), there have been plenty of releases over the past year that have promised one thing and then delivered another, for better or worse.
This, along with the fact that moviegoers are eager to air their takes on a major release in an age where nobody can agree on anything, never mind movies, has meant 2018 has been home to more flicks than ever that have split audiences right down the middle.
While it might not be the best superhero film of the year, Venom is certainly the weirdest. Before release there were rumours that the project was going to be an R-rated horror, with the titular symbiote struggling as a troubled anti-hero. The trailers played this up as well, focusing on the body horror of Eddie Brock's transformation and keeping the alien mostly in the shadows.
That's not what the end result was at all though - and it was all the better for it. Instead, Venom's high points came from Tom Hardy's utterly out-there performance as both halves of the superhero, creating this weird, buddy-cop dynamic that played out exclusively in his mind. Every scene where Eddie and Venom were at each other's throats was gold - it's just a shame that energy and humour didn't make its way over to Riz Ahmed's villain or Michelle Williams' love interest.
This divide made for a movie clearly torn between two identities - and audiences were equally split down the middle on whether what they were watching was a trainwreck, or a mad spark of creative genius.