Director Jim Gillespie's hit slasher film from 1997, I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER, saw four teens being stalked by a shadowy figure. In 2005, Gillespie helms VENOM, a further entry into the stalk-and-slash genre that sees the director returning to familiar ground. The plot is basic, and simply serves to allow the requisite group of dumb teens to either meet their maker, or narrowly escape the clutches of a mysterious stalker. Set in Louisiana, the voodoo that the region is notorious for has rippled through a local graveyard, and sucked up all the evil spirits of the dead who lay there, depositing them in a suitcase full of snakes. When local bad boy Ray (Rick Cramer), who is the scourge of the town's teen population, meets a grizzly demise in a car accident, the snakes are unleashed and Ray (AKA Mr. Jangles--so called because he collects keys from his dead victims) is resurrected. A few notable names, such as Bijou Phillips (ALMOST FAMOUS) and hip-hop star Method Man, feature among the cast as Mr. Jangles goes about his kill-crazy rampage, and Gillespie tweaks the minimal plot to allow a few unexpected twists and turns to unfold. Plenty of violence and bloodletting ensues, while the lack of a post modern SCREAM-style approach to the film makes for a refreshing change. Gillespie must have cursed his luck when he saw the devastation that ravaged the Louisiana region in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina--which occurred just a few weeks before the theatrical release of VENOM--but he's delivered a gratifying little shocker that contains enough base-level gore and guts to appease horror fans looking for some cheap thrills.