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Venom 2: 5 Things To Know About The Mysterious Ravencroft Institute

The Ravencroft front gate in Venom: Let There Be Carnage
(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

Spoiler Alert: Be warned, there are spoilers for Venom: Let There Be Carnage sprinkled throughout this story. Stop now if you don’t want anything ruined.

Like a lot of modern superhero movies, there is a great deal of world-building throughout Venom: Let There Be Carnage. There is the obvious with the game-changer end credits scene that saw Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and the Venom symbiote seemingly transported to another universe, and there’s even the introduction of Detective Patrick Mulligan (Stephen Graham), a Marvel Comics character who could end up playing a larger role moving forward. But for now, let’s talk about the mysterious Ravencroft Institute For The Criminally Insane that is home to some of Venom 2’s most pivotal scenes, specifically its history in Marvel Comics.  There’s a lot to go over here, so let’s get this show on the road.

Naomie Harris screaming while in captivity in Venom: Let There Be Carnage

(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

What We Learned About The Ravencroft Institute In Venom: Let There Be Carnage

We get our first glimpse of the Ravencroft Institute For The Criminally Insane early on in Venom: Let There Be Carnage when a young Frances Barrison, a.k.a. Shriek (Naomie Harris), is removed from St. Estes and taken away from Cletus Kasasdy (Woody Harrelson) to undergo various experiments at the mysterious facility. After a failed attempt to escape her captors by emitting a supersonic frequency (which partially deafens Patrick Mulligan), Barrison is shot and taken to the secretive facility, where she is placed in a soundproof enclosure isolating her from the world.

We briefly visit Ravencroft a few times throughout Venom: Let There Be Carnage, but the action of the movie eventually heads there after Cletus Kasady has fully transformed into Carnage. During this pivotal sequence, we see other, unnamed prisoners being held at the facility who all appear to be battling some sort of psychosis. But before we can learn more about the facility and its staff, Carnage and Shriek kill them and escape out into the world.

A doctor walking through Ravencroft in Venom: Let There Be Carnage

(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

The Ravencroft Institute Is Essentially The Marvel Version Of DC’s Arkham Asylum

A secretive prison for the criminally insane that is ran by a medical staff with a lot of moral ambiguities sounds a lot like Arkham Asylum, right? Well, that’s because Ravencroft is essentially Marvel Comics’ answer to DC’s prison for Gotham’s most notorious and unhinged villain, and it has been that way for quite some time. 

First introduced in Marvel Comics back in 1993, the Ravencroft Institute For The Criminally Insane has long been the home of some of the biggest and baddest supervillains, not to mention many crazy incidents happening there (like Spider-Man being put on trial with Carnage serving as the prosecution). Speaking of Carnage…

Carnage escaping prison in Venom: Let There Be Carnage

(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

Ravencroft Is The Birthplace Of Cletus Kasady In Marvel Comics

There have been multiple Marvel Comics series that have revolved around the shared history of Cletus Kasady and the Ravencroft Institute, including Spider-Man Unlimited #1 in 1993, when the red-headed stranger came to the facility and befriended Shriek before escaping in deadly and destructive fashion. And there’s the aforementioned trial of Spider-Man. But one of the craziest stories involving the iconic baddie and infamous institute came in the Web of Venom: Carnage Born series introduced in 2018.

In that line of comics, Cletus Kasady, who would become Carnage, was born at the Ravencroft Institute, where he choked on his mother’s umbilical cord and died before being brought back to life (Woody Harrelson’s character briefly mentions a similar situation in Venom: Let There Be Carnage). The incident would have a detrimental effect on Kasady’s psyche and helped turn him into the unhinged psychopathic murderer Marvel fans know and fear today.

The Sinister Six attacking Spider-Man

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Multiple Members Of The Sinister Six Have Called Ravencroft Home Over The Years

Just like Batman’s rogues gallery spending a considerable amount of time at Arkham Asylum over the years, several members of the Sinister Six, Spider-Man’s collection of villains, have called the Ravencroft Institute For The Criminally Insane home at one point or another. Over the years, Doctor Octopus, Electro, Mysterio, and Vulture have all been some of the more prominent patients at Ravencroft in the comics. This leaves Kraven the Hunter and Sandman as the only two members of the baddie group who haven’t been committed to the secretive institute throughout their respective runs in Marvel Comics.

With the Ravencroft Institute being such a major part of the story in Venom: Let There Be Carnage, maybe, just maybe, the facility will play some kind of role in the upcoming Kraven the Hunter movie currently in development for the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters. It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen a Marvel character played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson show up in some kind of clandestine facility.

Jamie Foxx undergoing tests in The Amazing Spider-Man 2

(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

Ravencroft Previously Appeared In The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Venom: Let There Be Carnage wasn’t the first time the Ravencroft Institute For The Criminally Insane appeared in a live-action Marvel movie. The mysterious facility first appeared in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 after Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), a.k.a. Electro’s, first fight with Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) in the middle of Times Square and was put under the supervision of the facility’s founder and lead doctor Ashley Kafka (Marton Csokas). The Sinister Six member eventually breaks out with the help Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), who he then helps get back into Oscorp headquarters.

Ravencroft is seen once more near the end of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, when Harry Osborn is taken to the secretive institute after transforming into the Green Goblin. With Andrew Garfield’s version of Peter Parker possibly showing up in the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home, who knows what’s in store for Ravencroft and its various patients and medical staff?

Hopefully this all sheds more light on the mysterious Ravencroft Institute For The Criminally Insane that played such a large role in Venom: Let There Be Carnage despite not answering too much questions.

Philip Sledge

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.