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1991 1h 26m Drama List
80% Tomatometer 25 Reviews 68% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings
Three stories: "Hero," about a boy who kills his father; "Horror," black-and-white sci-fi; and "Homo," set in prison. Read More Read Less

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Rent Poison on Apple TV, or buy it on Apple TV.


What to Know

Critics Consensus

Claustrophobic and quirky horror, this is a decently dirty debut for director Todd Haynes.

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Critics Reviews

View All (25) Critics Reviews
Jonathan Rosenbaum Chicago Reader I could have done without the designer prison, but most of the other stylistic conceits work. Nov 9, 2010 Full Review Rob Nelson Village Voice Arguably the strongest American debut feature of the '90s. Nov 9, 2010 Full Review Variety Staff Variety Todd Haynes' Poison is a conceptually bold, stylistically audacious first feature, a compelling study of different forms of deviance. Mar 26, 2009 Full Review Terry Francis Southern Voice (Atlanta) Todd Haynes has talent. The failures of his film are those of a director reaching high above the usual Hollywood product. And I would unhesitatingly declare him an artist if only on the basis of Poison's opening sequence. Rated: 2.5/4 May 9, 2023 Full Review Michael Bronski Gay Community News (Boston) Haynes is able to able to actually subvert the science fiction/horror genre—at worst socially conservative, at best a sympathetic cautionary tale. Sep 8, 2022 Full Review David Ehrenstein The Advocate Haynes demonstrates an understanding of Genet’s centrality to gay culture while suggesting ways that Genet’s works can be used as a tool for exploring personal and political awareness. Apr 5, 2022 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (100) audience reviews
PridePosterStudios Just a bit much really, isn’t it. Need a nice cup of tea now. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 04/26/24 Full Review martin f There are three segments here, each of theme having their very own concept. They are all mixed together in the sense that is not one segment after one is all of them in the same time cutting each other. It's kind of unclear what theme links them all together, especially since you seem to miss important points by badly delivered dialogues making everything more confusing. If it was only the directing choices that were disjointed but the quality is not the same for every segment though. The best one (by far) is Horror (reminding me a Twilight Zone episode) and the two others are mediocre. One of them doesn't even have a proper ending. It's also pretty hard to stomach with how trash the movie can be. There is this never-ending scene with spits... that was ruff to watch. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review georgan g This is a very odd movie with scary scenes mixed with goofy ones. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review edmund p Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member An interesting movie from Todd Haynes with beautiful cinematography and great performances all around. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/19/23 Full Review Audience Member Poison is an elegantly produced, slightly disjointed assessment of gay life and its relationship with society at large, utilizing three different genres that appeal to gay audiences (campy sci-fi/horror, documentary, romantic drama) in order to convey messages about the AIDS crisis, the feeling of being poisoned by ones sexuality, the difficulty of expressing love in a world that hates you, and the assertion of gay love as natural. Although its themes are occasionally expressed heavy-handedly, its existence was absolutely revolutionary in a time when LGBT people were dying left and right only to be met with contempt by their own government, and though Haynes would go on to direct greater works dealing with these ideas, his first feature remains a vital piece of gay history and a testament to the power of independent filmmaking. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/10/23 Full Review Read all reviews

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis Three stories: "Hero," about a boy who kills his father; "Horror," black-and-white sci-fi; and "Homo," set in prison.
Todd Haynes
Christine Vachon
Jean Genet
Production Co
Killer Films, Bronze Eye Productions, Poison L.P.
Original Language
Release Date (Streaming)
Mar 13, 2017
1h 26m
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