Set in 1947, former Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, who is retired and residing in Venice, Italy, must investigate the year-old murder of a visitor at a séance to which he has been invited at the behest of his old friend and mystery writer Ariadne Oliver.

The events unfold on the evening of Halloween in a palazzo that used to be an orphanage that was abandoned, including the children inside during the Black Death.


The American supernatural mystery movie produced, directed by, and starring Kenneth Branagh from a screenplay by Michael Green, ‘A Haunting in Venice’ is based on the 1969 novel ‘Hallowe’en Party’ by Agatha Christie.

The mystery/crime is a sequel to ‘Death on the Nile’ (2022) and is the third film in which Branagh plays the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot onscreen, with the first one being ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (2017).

Bringing the magic of the iconic works of Christie to life and portraying that onscreen is a challenging job. It also includes the risk of the readers not finding it up to the mark, but it also comes with the reward of excitement the fans have, which keeps up the hype.

However, the movie might not meet up to everyone’s expectations. It starts with enticing, distorted viewpoints of the city and concludes with a few outdoor sequences. Most of it takes place in the dismal palazzo, which is more stereotypical than terrifying, with shadowy stairwells within and a canal ideally positioned for drowning. The interiors are essentially a Pinewood Studios set, with a production design of dull hues and a murky aspect.

The mystery unfolds at a steady gait from the outset. While there is a sense of suspense, the narrative is screams predictable. This does not detract from the experience, but the plot points are not as thrilling as the movie would ideally like them to be.

On the other hand, ‘A Haunting in Venice’ finds a maturity in tone that both of its predecessors may have been short on.

While it is entertaining, the gradual downtrend pace and verbose style of the screenplay alternates between fear-inducing jumpscares and yawn-inducing moments with too much verbal exchange between the characters. Also, the movie seems to be way more like Christie’s style when compared to its prequels.

Kenneth Branagh plays the character of Hercule Poirot on screen, and the rest of the ensemble cast includes Kyle Allen, Camille Cottin, Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey, Jude Hill, Ali Khan, Emma Laird, Kelly Reilly, Riccardo Scamarcio, and Michelle Yeoh.

Haris Zambarloukos was in charge of the cinematography, with Hildur Guðnadóttir serving as the music composer.

The acting and cinematography do not add to the list of complaints, and neither does the music. However, the predictability of the plot, which had some loose ends, prevents it from being exceptional.

Rating: 3.5/5

In conclusion, the movie might not be worth a lot of anticipation or excitement, but it does bring chills and thrills, especially with respect to its fascinating characters. The movie’s 1 hour 40 minutes running time comes as a boon as it does not make it a drag. If you are a fan of Agatha Christie or even a detective stories fan, it may be a little too cliche for you. A newer audience might find it more interesting. However, the movie falls short of brilliance as it does not possess the additional edge needed to be genuinely exceptional. Considering all these factors, ‘A Haunting in Venice’ receives a three-and-a-half-star rating out of five.

Written By : Indori Nerd

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