A Haunting In Venice: A killer whodunit that stays with you
A Haunting In Venice (PG13)
103 minutes, opens on Thursday
An ensemble cast, solid source material, an elaborate set shrouded in creepiness, and masterful cinematography that ramps up the spook factor – A Haunting To Venice has all the ingredients to succeed. And it does.
Based on the 1969 novel Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie, the film sees renowned detective Hercule Poirot reluctantly leaving retirement and springing back into action after attending a seance gone awry. What follows is a menacing tale of murder and mystery, set within the confines of a foreboding mansion filled with potential suspects.
The movie showcases serene and picturesque glimpses of Venice, before seamlessly transitioning into the gothic and ominous palazzo. This shift in tone is both striking and artful, effectively immersing the audience into the dark and unsettling world of the story.
Director-actor Kenneth Branagh reprises his iconic role as Poirot, thrust into a race against time to unravel a web of deceit and seemingly impossible deaths. Joining him is a star-studded cast featuring Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey, Kelly Reilly and Michelle Yeoh. Everyone delivers compelling performances, with Yeoh's portrayal of a medium standing out as particularly exceptional.
Taut with tension and suspense, A Haunting To Venice expertly navigates the classic whodunit formula with a vibrant cast of suspects, each harbouring their own secrets. The audience is kept on the edge of their seats and theories abound as the plot unfolds and stakes get higher. Alongside the gripping mystery are poignant emotional moments, demonstrating Branagh's ability to capture the human essence within a thrilling narrative.
Is there truly a killer on the loose or is something far more sinister at play? That’s the central question that lingers throughout. The film goes beyond being a mere murder conundrum; it also skilfully paints a haunting portrait of grief, loss, fear, love, the ghosts we cannot hide from, and all the fine lines in between.
A Haunting in Venice is Branagh's third Hercule Poirot movie after Death on the Nile (2022) and Murder on the Orient Express (2017) – and also the best. A captivating whodunit boosted by an evocative setting and stellar cast performances, it is a cinematic experience that not only keeps viewers guessing until the very end, but also leaves us haunted by its themes long after the credits roll.