“A HAUNTING IN VENICE” A Halloween Horror Night

20th Century Studios' A HAUNTING IN VENICE.


In most cases if you follow sequels of a favorite genre or storyline, you are anxious to find out what happens next. This is a case for Agatha Cristie fans who cannot get enough of Hercule Poirot. This latest follow-up to Death on the Nile and Murder on the Orient Express called A Haunting in Venice is however, a rather tame horror flick with Poirot trying to solve a crime when his biggest contender is sorcery. It may seem like a very cool idea, but even though Kenneth Branagh pulls of his usual best performance of the famous detective, this little ditty becomes a bit silly and runs into a wall of early predictability.

(L-R): Tina Fey as Ariadne Oliver, Michelle Yeoh as Mrs. Reynolds, and Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot in 20th Century Studios’ A HAUNTING IN VENICE. Photo by Rob Youngson. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

It’s the late 1940’s and early 1940’s with World War II in Europe reeling from disasters in most all of the countries Europe. When we get introduced to the characters in the film it’s Hallows Eve and Hercule Poirot has retired from his job as super sleuth. He is now living in his new haunts as a citizen of gorgeous city Venice Italy that was untouched by the war. What a better thing to do on Halloween than to attend a séance at a spooky old palazzo surrounded by water. Captive at the old mansion, it’s a perfect time to be forced into solving a murder.

Filled with “who done it” mischief, machinations and misdirection, the movie moves along at a fast clip setting up the grand finale that’s worth the wait. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, as he did for the last two remakes, his style of bringing the old world into focus is spot on. Especially in the cinematography department that makes use of the city of Venice and all its wonderfully aged buildings and interiors.

Kelly Reilly as Rowena Drake in 20th Century Studios’ A HAUNTING IN VENICE. Photo by Rob Youngson. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

A Haunting in Venice has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some strong violence, disturbing images and thematic elements. For most movie goers that like a good mystery, my rating if 2.5 stars of 5.

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Kyle Allen, Camille Cottin, Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey, Jude Hill, Ali Khan, Emma Laird, Kelly Reilly, Riccardo Scamarcio,
and Michelle Yeoh.
Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
Genre: Crime, Drama, Horror
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some strong violence, disturbing images and thematic elements
Running Time: 1 hr. 43 min.
Opening Date: September 15, 2023
Distributed by: 20th Century Studios
Released in: Theaters

Writer, critic, film editor John Delia, Sr. has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 20 years and other publications for a total of 40 years. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association and Critics Association of Central Florida Send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com