A Haunting In Venice Movie Review & Summary: You Will Scream, But No Nightmares

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A Haunting In Venice Movie Review & Summary: You Will Scream, But No Nightmares - The Movie Culture

Directed and Starring Kenneth Branagh, the movie is based on Agatha Christie’s Hallowe’en Party. It has a run time of 1 hour 55 minutes and is a horror crime thriller. The screenwriting is by Michael Green. 

A Haunting in Venice Cast

  1. Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot
  2. Kelly Reilley as Rowena Drake
  3. Tina Fey as Ariadne Oliver
  4. Jamie Dornan as Dr. Leslie 

A Haunting in Venice Plot

In the third movie of the Poirot franchise, Hercule finds himself in Venice trying to figure out a death that happened a year ago and a death that happened in his presence. Hercule had retired but was invited to a seance by Ariadne, a celebrated writer and his friend. The seance was in an old and “haunted” palazzo that mysteries called home. Hercule is challenged to find the killer and his own beliefs. 

A Haunting in Venice Review

Horror, a genre I will never understand. People willingly go to watch a movie to get scared. No, they pay to get absolutely shaken. To get nightmares. Why? Then, there are people who can predict a jump scare. One word: therapy. I am the kind of person who knows when the jump scare is and still gets scared. Ghosts, dolls, and paranormal beings are not my thing. In my whole life, I have watched 5 horror movies, and one of them had a ghost as comic relief, but yes, I was still scared.

The fifth horror movie is A Haunting in Venice. I didn’t know I was going in for Horror. Yes, the name has “Haunting” in it, but Poirot doesn’t deal with ghosts, so why should I be worried? Turns out, Poirot was as surprised as I was. Ghosts are up his alley, too. He must have a great Resume. 

A Haunting in Venice is the third movie in the Poirot Franchise. It is better than Death on The Nile but the latter was so bad that it is not much of a comparison. Poirot’s Murder on the Orient Express was such a perfect debut that it is a difficult movie to beat. A Haunting in Venice is definitely a good successor. 

Branagh has been consistently great. I love how he defines Hercule. I can’t imagine anyone else adorn this role. And even if they do, I doubt they can strike the balance between funny and grave as well as he does. He is so captivating as a detective. In this movie, his character is certainly delving into things he hasn’t before and thus his performance mirrors these challenges. Like Hercule, he rises above it. I loved the freshness of the story as it brought out more depths of Poirot which otherwise would become very plain.

Tina Fey is so refreshing in the movie. Unlike her usual comic characters, she got a poised and smart writer. A powerful writer. The calculating and sarcastic character arc was written in a manner that didn’t give her any room to bring humor in so seeing her ace this role was so satisfying. She is truly great in everything.

Jude Hill played the son of Dr. Leslie was another actor who gave a remarkable performance. His role was of an eerie and iconoclastic child. He was someone who just seemed to be looming and saying the most concerning and scary things. Definitely gave me goosebumps. 

Jamie Dornan and Kelly Reilley were also great in their role, and Reilley truly shines as her character grows. I wish Dornan had been given some more time or a little more plot, but that is simply because he was really convincing in his portrayal of a doctor suffering from severe PTSD. He was also such a caring father. I am not projecting anything.

Even though she had limited screen time, Michelle Yeoh gave me goosebumps. She played the role of the ghost medium. She was hired by Rowena to connect with her daughter, who had died a year before. Yeoh has absolutely nailed the paranormal talking and being possessed roles. Hercule does not believe in ghosts and so finds all of this extremely suspicious and is able to reveal all the tools and tricks the medium is using. Including her two assistants, Desdemona and Nicholas Holland (Emma Laird and Ali Khan). They are also so eerie. I love the casting.

If spectacular casting wasn’t enough, the sets added to the eerieness. Set in Venice, the palazzo was grim and there were multiple shots of furious crashing water. That and many, many, many jump scares. I pity everyone who was sitting beside me.  Initially, it might feel that they are going to great lengths to sell the horror of the movie, but it is done so intentionally. The random cut and back of water and the grim halls. A random shot of a rat running across the house. But the over-the-top setting contrasts the otherwise slow-paced story. Unlike the previous movies, the story isn’t packed with storylines. The dark sets and the spooky effects help in masking the crime. Which is perfect for people who can’t handle horror. I went into denial of many of the scary moments, which made the “killer” extremely easy to guess.

Here is where smart writing comes in. Even if you figure out “whodunit,” you will never see the other twists. There is always something else up the sleeve, and in this movie, there were plenty. The movie is much more than the story, so it truly gives you a Christie experience. There are close-ups, there are intense sound scores, and there are some dramatic flashbacks. It is a murder mystery experience. It is so reminiscent of how early black-and-white movies used to be that it draws you in and ensures you are intoxicated with the visuals. 

In conclusion, Hercule Poirot is back, and Death on the Nile was the only mistake.

The Movie Culture Synopsis

I love smart movies that are genius in every aspect. Visually captivating, convincing, and phenomenal performances and an engaging plot. The movie had it all. The star cast was definitely a bonus, and for people of faint heart, you will be fine. If I survived it, anyone can. You will scream, but no nightmares.