As we gear up for fall and people prep their Halloween movie watch lists, this new Kenneth Branagh film should be added to any mystery lover’s agenda. The memorable thrill and anticipation elicited by any of Agatha Christie’s adaptations – this film takes inspiration from “Hallowe’en Party” (1969) – is quite classic.
Set in the late 1940s during Halloween, “A Haunting in Venice” takes place in the famed city of canals, which is used as a gothic backdrop for the film’s ominous tone. It’s no surprise the choppy waterways play a very important role throughout the story. Numerous shots of the city’s glorious architecture and motifs of the Venetian masquerade can be seen throughout the film, adding cultural appeal to the movie as well.
The famed detective from “Murder on the Orient Express” and “Death on the Nile,” Hercule Poirot, is found in reclusive retirement in this historic aquatic city. After being invited to a midnight séance at a notoriously haunted palazzo, Poirot finds himself and his wit back on the job. When comparing this film to other Agatha Christie film adaptations, one can find many differences in “A Haunting in Venice.” Of course, there’s no shortage of signature third-act plot twists, but the supernatural hallucinations present haven’t been seen before in an adaptation of Christie’s work.
However, to some this new creative route wasn’t their cup of tea (those who watch the movie will understand this reference!). A movie goer said afterward, “It was essentially an older version of ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Story.’ I was not too intrigued by the new approach.”
Deception, blackmail, and detective movie clichés are all wrapped up to create a supernatural film that makes the viewer question all the events that unfolded in the film’s timeline of less than twenty-four hours. In summary, it’s a great film to escape modern times and immerse oneself in the shockingly investigative world of Poirot and company.
Movie Times: click here
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Tina Fey, Michelle Yeoh, Kelly Reilly, Kyle Allen, Emma Laird, James Dornan, Camille Cottin, Jude Hill, Ali Khan, Riccardo Scamarcio
Run Time: 1 hour, 43 minutes
Rating: PG-13 for violence and gore