A Haunting in Venice Review: Part Whodunit Part Mystery No Horror

A Haunting in Venice Review: Part Whodunit Part Mystery No Horror

A Haunting in Venice Review: Part Whodunit Part Mystery No Horror

What: The first impression of the title of this flick insinuates towards traditional horror, creepy mansion, eerie setting, and chills. But it is not quite true.

A Haunting in Venice synopsis

There is a murder under mysterious circumstances and the protagonist, detective Hercule Poirot (played by Kenneth Branagh) is called to the sprawling, decaying palazzo that harbours sinister secrets.

The plots ticks with a Halloween party at the palazzo, a nod to its source material, Agatha Christie's celebrated novel - The Hallowe’en Party, where a girl, Alicia Drake, had committed suicide following a breakup with her beau. Poirot reluctantly agrees to the invitation from his friend and novelist Olivier (Tina Fey) attend a seance to be conducted by Mrs. Reynolds (Michelle Yeoh) who he tries to expose as a fake.

A Haunting in Venice Review

Branagh who doubles up as the director of the venture that is the 3rd in the trilogy of Agatha Christie whodunits – A Murder on the oriental express and Death on the Nile, conjures up an intriguing start to the scheme of things with the entry of the dubious Mrs. Reynolds – the séance does evoke a sense of dread and doom with the presence of evil spirit but slowly and steadily it leans towards a slow burn and template-based  investigation where the needle of suspicion point to many – Nicholas, Desdemona (Emma Laird), Dr Ferrier (Jamie Dornan).

Considering that films of this genre are a rarity these days, it’s a praiseworthy effort from Branagh for its mood building and recreating the tenets of gothic horror. A Haunting in Venice is steeped in an unusual history and some interesting characters – the most noteworthy of them all is the little boy (Alicia’s brother) who says, “Games are frivolous. I see ghosts all the time.”

His subconscious mind assembles facts before he looked for the rational – as the prolific sleuth, Branagh has a cocksure attitude which he borrows from the predecessor flicks, and he is fun to watch. But the rest of the characters add on to the slog due to imperfect development and the plot’s bizarre positioning – was the Palazzo really haunted? Can a rational mind make room for the supernatural? 


A Haunting in Venice - Final Words

I go with 3 stars out of 5 for A Haunting in Venice. Barring the inventive atmosphere building, it leaves a lot to be desired when it straddles between the genres and particularly running in deficit of jump scares and thrills. It is running at theatres near you.




Rating : 3/5

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About Ahwaan Padhee

Ahwaan Padhee

Ahwaan Padhee, is an IT Techie/Business Consultant by profession and a film critic/cinephile by passion, is also associated with Radio Playback as well, loves writing and conducting movie quizzes. More By Ahwaan Padhee

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