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Film: A Haunting in Venice (2023)
Plot: In post-World War II Venice, Poirot, now retired and living in his own exile, reluctantly attends a seance. But when one of the guests is murdered, it is up to the former detective to once again uncover the killer.
Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey, Kelly Reilly, and Michelle Yeoh
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Studio: 20th Century Studios
Number of Graders: 29
Average Grade: B-
Kenneth Branagh and his mustache are back with a new mystery, this time a far, far looser adaptation of an Agatha Christie Poirot story than either of his previous attempts. It’s a ghost story with a solid spooky style (plus some superior sound design and cinematography compared to, say Death on the Nile), and is a serviceable mystery. Branagh is on his usual level as Poirot, but the best things in the film, on the acting front at least, are Michelle Yeoh and Belfast’s Jude Hill, who proves his big acting debut was no fluke.
if you like mysteries you’ll probably have an ok time with The Haunting in Venice and it makes for a fun Halloween-time release.
Kenneth Branagh never fails as one of my favorite directors. A Haunting In Venice was well-written, full of twists and jumps, and definite notable performances from favorites like Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey, and Branagh. Seeing Dornan in a vulnerable performance was a beautiful first. The score was beautifully entangled to help build and release the tense moments in the film.
Based on Agatha Christie’s novel Hallowe’en Party, A Haunting in Venice is a spine-tingling, delightfully satisfying thriller that sees Hercule Poirot playing his logic against the supernatural. It is unlike its predecessors in that the mystery and tension are seasoned with a side of the paranormal. However Branagh and screenwriter Michael Green still give fans what they want– the satisfaction of watching Poirot unlock the mysteries hidden to everyone. This whodunit reawakens the genre with its well-balanced horror elements. Combine that with a stellar ensemble cast, led by Branagh who clearly loves this character as much as Christie, and this third outing as Poirot outshines the rest.
The best of the bunch so far. More willing to probe into the psyche of Hercule Poirot and given plenty of visually inventive ideas to work with thanks to the unique location, this whodunnit does well to make for a capable mystery/haunted house flick.
While the production design and cinematography get us through a somewhat slow second act, A Haunting in Venice delivers in its grand finale. The mystery is ultimately a compelling one with twists upon twists that add up. The cast is well-balanced with nobody feeling over or underutilized. Of all the Poirot movies, this is the one that warrants a rewatch come Halloween. In that sense, the film honors the source material while still turning in something unique. At this point, it’d be easy for Branagh to recycle the same formula. Even if A Haunting in Venice isn’t without its familiar beats, it stands out with a darker tone, compelling new characters, and a guessing game that’ll have you twirling your mustache with intrigue… assuming you have a mustache.
In addition to Kenneth Branagh’s admirable portrayal of Hercule Poirot, A Haunting in Venice offers a visually stunning experience with an eerie and atmospheric backdrop
Kenneth Branagh continues to shine as the iconic detective, but this newest entry is the weakest and least interesting so far. Sense of humor or sense of having fun are gone, to give way to a lackluster story that stumbles into supernatural horror territory.
Branagh returns to Poirot and to the director’s chair for a third time with A Haunting in Venice, loosely based on the 1969 Christie novel “Hallowe’en Party.” For me, the third time is definitely a charm. This take on Poirot and a Christie murder mystery feels infinitely freer with a genuinely spooky story well served by a very talented cast.
Combine Agatha Christie with a director who appreciates her brilliance, a cast that is on the same page, & high production values, & you have the ingredients of a nostalgic pleasure.
Staci Layne Wilson
Actor-director Kenneth Branagh is back as master deducer Hercule Poirot in his third big screen adaptation of a classic Agatha Christie whodunit. A Haunting in Venice veers more into horror territory, which I welcome! It’s still a classic locked room mystery, but there is an added supernatural element that makes this moody, atmospheric thriller perfect for spooky season.
Listen, maybe Agatha Christie’s book on which this movie is based was a beloved classic, I don’t know. I’ve never read it. But this adaptation was a total stinker. A HAUNTING IN VENICE is the weakest in the Hercule Poirot saga. It’s less predictable than the previous 2nd film, but that’s a low bar. And the twist reveals were also downright ludicrous. Kenneth Branagh once again charmed his way through his character’s iconic investigative mind and Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh surprisingly fired on all cylinders considering the script’s mediocrity. And thank god for the stunning cinematography which at times kept the film from being painfully chatty & mind-numbing. Trust me, if you skip A HAUNTING IN VENICE, you will not miss a single thing.
A strong third showing for Branagh as Poirot and behind the director’s chair thanks to strong performances and even stronger below-the-line aesthetics
A Haunting in Venice is a serviceable yet predictable adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Novel. Actor/director Kenneth Branagh delivers another solid performance as Hercule Poirot, but the movie falters with a predictable outcome to the central mystery.
The best outing in the Kenneth Branagh Poirot series thus far. The cinematography, score, and production design stand out in this well-crafted, atmospheric whodunnit. I for one would love plenty more of these Agatha Christie adaptations.
Part of it may also be that the back story of a bunch of murdered children tends to put a damper on things. If A Haunting in Venince were actually a horror movie or even a darker kind of crime drama, this might work. In an all-star Agatha Christie piece, even Branagh’s directorial assurance can’t wholly bridge the tonal dissonance. We can tell the filmmakers are going for character depth, but they’re up against the required interrogations, flashbacks, confessions, and everything else that’s part of the recipe. A Haunting in Venice is well-made and broadly fits the mandate of what it’s supposed to be. It’s just not as much fun as its predecessors.
As a review, this film feels like a detective film from days past; younger audiences might want more, but those who enjoy a slow reveal will have a good time. It gets a B grade from me.
As deeply reverent as he has long been to the works of William Shakespeare and Agatha Christie across his sensational career as an actor and filmmaker, Branagh is his own gilded and celebrated artist. With A Haunting in Venice, he and Logan screenwriter Michael Green have taken a meandering, humdrum book with a drab surroundings and loose ends and given it style and sizzle, as only they can.
This third entry in actor-director Kenneth Branagh’s revival of Agatha Christie adaptations feels very different from the previous films. Set in a haunted palazzo, it perfectly fits the bill as a spooky mystery and takes place on Halloween. Based on Christie’s novel Halloween Party, it’s an adaptation that stands out. Not only because it’s a more unfamiliar story, but because it’s a film that works as a testament to Poirot’s legacy and his struggle to come to terms with the fact that his life has been closely tied to death for so many years. He’s lost all faith, and behind the film’s whodunnit is a journey for him to get it back.
A Haunting in Venice is the third adaptation of an Agatha Christie novel with Kenneth Branagh taking on famed detective Hercule Poirot. Unlike “Murder on the Orient Express” and Death on the Nile, this offering has a much more Gothic tone and manipulates the original material to a larger extent.
A Haunting in Venice is a dull, ho-hum who dun it packed with super stars. Despite a non-predictable conclusion, the overall pacing of the film is a slower-than-slow burn with little payoff. The acting is stellar, but the story itself leaves much to be desired.
A Haunting in Venice shines when Tina Fey and Kenneth Branagh get to banter back and forth as the author and detective, respectively. The murder mystery features a haunted twist, however, it is lacking in an engaging plot and characters. Michelle Yeoh felt more like a glorified cameo.
Michelle Yeoh gives her most scary performances. Tina Fey adds so much humor. Love the cinematography and set designs. Traditional haunted house story meets murder mystery. Good for Halloween. Surely keeps people guessing. Jamie Dornan’s character feels odd.
A Haunting In Venice may be a predictable spooky murder mystery with some basic jump scares but it’s still a pretty entertaining whodunit thanks to some solid performances from a great cast. It’s more of a technical film since the camera work & editing keep you guessing & disoriented.
Hildur Guðnadóttir’s score is outstandingly chilling and really sets the tone for A Haunting In Venice . At times, it feels like an actual character in the film.
Effective, moody, and dark, Kenneth Branagh’s latest Agatha Christie outing is his most fun yet. By making Poirot question reality and his own skills, the character is given new perception on how to solve a mystery. The darkness is disorienting and used in an elegant way.
Lupe Rodriguez Haas
Kenneth Branagh rounds out his Hercule Poirot trilogy with A HAUNTING IN VENICE, the best of the three. The film is aesthetically pleasing and combines a murder mystery with supernatural elements. However, like the previous two, the story is a bit convoluted, and the finale is rushed.
Well, well, well. Consider me spooked and surprised! As someone who hated the first two, A HAUNTING IN VENICE is my favorite of Kenneth Branagh’s three Agatha Christie adaptations. The horror helps the cinematography, production design & sound work shine in a way the previous films didn’t & allows Branagh to dive deeper into Poirot, making this the most captivating examination of the character yet.