Agatha Christie fans unite! I’m sure you’ve seen the trailers and some reviews of the mystery thriller A Haunting in Venice. Having read (devoured) Ms. Christie’s work as a child, I was more than excited to see this latest film from Kenneth Branagh and 20th Century Studios. Although it’s loosely based on the book Hallowe’en Party, the third installment is as deliciously captivating as the written work itself.
Set in a haunted palazzo in old Venice, the story begins with a Halloween Party where orphans are dressed up to celebrate the day of the dead. Earlier that same day, retired detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) is invited to a seance by his mystery writer friend Ariadne Oliver (Tina Fey). He is skeptical (of course!) but agrees to go anyway to expose the renowned mystic Joyce Reynolds (Michelle Yeoh) for the farce he is most certain she is. The order of the night — Reynolds will call on the spirit of the departed daughter of the palazzo’s owner. However, all hell breaks loose when the possessed Reynolds starts identifying the murderer . A second death soon follows after…. and a third.
Moviegoers are kept at the edge of their seats as the story unravels and each character is questioned by Poirot. A raging storm keeps them all trapped in the mansion as the detective vows to name the killer before sunrise. The story builds up until the final reveal is made —Whodunnit?
This movie has all the elements of a good mystery. Gather characters that all have motives, add haunting scenarios (even the palazzo feels like a character), and have twists and turns that will confuse the spectators. Kenneth Branagh, as actor and director, succeeds in coming up with a film that does justice to Christie’s masterpieces. With powerful performances by its cast which includes Kyle Allen, Jamie Dornan, Jude Hill, Ali Khan, Emma Laird and more, this is a must-watch movie that will bring chills and thrills to the entire family.
Looking forward to more Agatha Christie adaptation in the future. Bravo!
With a pocketful of glitter,