It seems that the third time is the charm when it comes to the new adaptations of the Branagh movies. Not overloaded, drawn out or trying to be anything it’s not A Haunting in Venice hits screens this weekend with a good mystery that will have armchair detectives brushing off their notepads.
A Haunting in Venice is based on Agatha Christie’s novel “Hallowe’en Party”, and brings Hercule Poirot back to the case to help debunk a medium who is promising a grieving mother one last conversation with her recently departed daughter. Reluctant at first, Poirot agrees to attend but when other guests start to mysteriously die around him, he’s back on the case to figure out what is going on.
With a title like A Haunting in Venice, you would expect the movie to fall right in line with the majority of the other releases this time of year – scary and full of ghosts and gore. However, the movie is one that will actually surprise you. Yes, there are a few jump scare moments, and the talk of ghosts, and even a couple of possible apparitions seen on the screen – but it isn’t one that will have you shaking from fear. Instead, the movie is set in a supposedly haunted piazza, and the dark past sets the tone for the movie and the story. Are the hauntings real, or just the result of suggestions made to the people left in the house after midnight?
Much like Haunted Mansion, the movie talks a lot about ghosts and includes a seance scene. However, even when the dark past of the house is revealed, it doesn’t show the gore that would be associated with it. The movie leans heavily into the mystery with just a lightly Halloween-type creep feel to it over all.
A Haunting in Venice is creepy, and just a little scary. But unlike the last two Branagh adaptations of Christie’s work – it doesn’t feel stuffy. It isn’t overloaded with a giant who’s who’s cast that distracts from the actual story. While still star-studded, the movie feels slightly reigned in and the focus is more on the story and mystery aspect. And while the story twists and turns, and a sleuthly viewer may figure out “whodunnit” before the end of the movie – it’s a movie worth a watch and rewatch again. Details seem to be buried within the story and details no doubt get lost on the first watch.
Just the right level of haunting and scary, A Haunting in Venice is the perfect closed-room mystery to enjoy if you’re not up to scary movies over the next couple of months. A Haunting in Venice is in theaters everywhere this weekend.
About A Haunting in Venice:
“A Haunting in Venice,” an unsettling supernatural thriller based upon the novel “Hallowe’en Party” by Agatha Christie and directed by and starring Oscar® winner Kenneth Branagh as famed detective Hercule Poirot, will open in theaters nationwide September 15, 2023. With a screenplay by Oscar® nominee Michael Green, “A Haunting in Venice” is produced by Kenneth Branagh, Judy Hofflund, Ridley Scott, and Simon Kinberg, with Louise Killin, James Prichard, and Mark Gordon serving as executive producers. The film features a brilliant acting ensemble portraying a cast of unforgettable characters, including Kyle Allen, Camille Cottin, Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey, Jude Hill, Ali Khan, Emma Laird, Kelly Reilly, Riccardo Scamarcio, Michelle Yeoh. Set in eerie, post World War II Venice on All Hallows’ Eve, “A Haunting in Venice” is a terrifying mystery featuring the return of the celebrated sleuth, Hercule Poirot. Now retired and living in self-imposed exile in the world’s most glamorous city, Poirot reluctantly attends a séance at a decaying, haunted palazzo. When one of the guests is murdered, the detective is thrust into a sinister world of shadows and secrets. “A Haunting in Venice” opens in theaters nationwide September 15, 2023.