A HAUNTING IN VENICE is out in theaters and this time the Hercule Poirot movie is made as a crime-horror genre movie. As always, there are plenty of familiar faces in the cast. Read our full A Haunting in Venice movie review here!
A HAUNTING IN VENICE is being released in movie theaters worldwide. If you’re a fan of the Hercule Poirot crime stories, you’ll obviously be ready to go watch it. If you’re also a fan of the horror genre, there’ll be something extra to look forward to. This time the whodunnit story is storytelling in the vein of crime-horror.
And yes, you can clearly sense this shift. The vibe is much darker and the sinister camera angles are meant to keep us suspecting everyone as well. The latter is almost to a fault, for me, but it is a classic horror trick. Also, there are quite a few jump scares. Personally, I found the jump scares less effective, while the sinister and dark atmosphere is much more efficient.
Continue reading our A Haunting in Venice movie review below. The movie opens exclusively in US theaters on September 15, 2023.
Unfortunately, not that big a rush
Although Kenneth Branagh should be praised for creating a very eerie and sinister atmosphere in A Haunting in Venice, the movie as a whole isn’t much of a rush. In fact, parts of it seem decidedly clumsy or even forced. I didn’t feel this way with the two previous Hercule Poirot movies so that was a change for the worse.
Overall, it does also result in a crime-horror movie that just isn’t all that great. And it could’ve been so much better than the sum of its parts.
Normally, the viewer (or reader of the original book) is shocked and impressed – even dumbfounded – by Hercule Poirot’s ability to discover and deduce his way to all the answers. However, this time around, a few of the important clues seem to almost have a spotlight pointed at them. Now, not only Poirot will notice the clues. We all will.
This results in the viewer being neither surprised nor terribly impressed when Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) reveals all the connections that lead to finding the culprit.
One shouldn’t be this relaxed during a crime-horror
Despite a really wonderful cast, where Tina Fey especially delivers a biting portrayal of a tough crime writer, who constantly pokes fun at Hercule Poirot, it feels a bit like a TV movie. A good TV movie, admittedly, but something is missing to really make this movie into something bigger and bolder.
In fact, it was such a relaxing viewing experience for HorrorDiva that her FitBit registered over an hour of its runtime as a solid nap. And no, she wasn’t asleep or even dosing off. She was just very relaxed. I’m sure most will agree that no one should be that relaxed while watching a whodunnit story made as a crime-horror movie.
I mean, if that doesn’t say something about how ineffective many of the jump scares were, I don’t know what does.
Watch A Haunting in Venice in theaters
As always, these Hercule Poirot crime novels are based on stories by the iconic Agatha Christie. The screenplay (or adaptation, if you will) was written by Michael Green, who also wrote the previous two films.
Michael Green has also been nominated for an Oscar for Logan and co-authored the Blade Runner 2049 screenplay, so he knows how to build stories that get under your skin.
However, this is very much a Kenneth Branagh film. As always – one is tempted to say – that means he both directs and plays the lead role. Whether you like him or not, you have to admit that he is incredibly good at staging himself. Maybe not always good at getting the best result, but he’s definitely with skills. I’m not trying to suggest he isn’t a very capable filmmaker because he clearly is.
I just can’t help but think that other directors could’ve made the jump scares more efficient – and less repetitive!
In addition to Tina Fey, I must also highlight Michelle Yeoh, who made a really good impression with her performance. As always! Unfortunately, she doesn’t get a hell of a lot of screen time. This is due to the nature of the story and the rather large cast with many characters to cover. And yet, Michelle Yeoh was the one who really managed to deliver some sinister horror in that deliciously terrifying way we crave.
We give it 3 small blood splatters as we don’t give half stars but it’s probably more around 2½ out of 5.
A HAUNTING IN VENICE Opens Exclusively in Theaters on September 15, 2023.
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Kelly Reilly, Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey, Michelle Yeoh, Kenneth Branagh, Emma Laird
Set in eerie, post-World War II Venice on All Hallows’ Eve, A Haunting in Venice is a terrifying mystery featuring the return of the celebrated sleuth, Hercule Poirot. Now retired and living in self-imposed exile in the world’s most glamorous city, Poirot reluctantly attends a séance at a decaying, haunted palazzo. When one of the guests is murdered, the detective is thrust into a sinister world of shadows and secrets.