Boasting an all-star cast, it’s widely considered the best movie in its franchise.
A follow-up to 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express and 2022’s Death on the Nile, Branagh also stars in the franchise as Belgian detective Hercule Poirot – with this latest sequel adapting Christie’s novel Hallowe’en Party but shifting the action to the titular Italian city.
The plot synopsis reads:
“A Haunting in Venice is set in eerie, post-World War II Venice on All Hallows’ Eve and 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.”
Also featuring amongst its ensemble cast Camille Cottin, Jamie Dornan, Jude Hill, Kelly Reilly, Michelle Yeoh and Tina Fey, A Haunting in Venice stands out from Branagh’s previous adaptations of Christie’s work thanks to the possible supernatural elements of its story and the movie’s strong horror tone.
Kenneth Branagh in A Haunting in Venice
This surprise shake-up to the franchise was well-received, with the sequel earning much better reviews then its predecessors.
Praising the film’s style and tone, JOE said in its review of A Haunting in Venice upon its release:
“Likely sensing the already waining interest in the brand, director and leading man Kenneth Branagh has done something quite unique with A Haunting In Venice, and has pitched the murder-mystery sequel in the middle of a new genre, bringing in a supernatural element to proceedings.
“Ironically, the threat of the undead actually zips some life into this third go-around for Branagh’s take on the stories of Hercules Poirot.”
Disney+ has just added one of 2023’s spookiest movies – A Haunting in Venice
Meanwhile, here is a sample of some other positive reviews of the movie.
FilmWeek: “There is a specter of trauma that hangs over the whole movie, turning it from a good classic detective story into something more ghostly and spiritual.”
Inverse: “With the moody, borderline gothic Haunting in Venice, Branagh and screenwriter Michael Green add a little haunted house horror into the murder mystery, while retaining the satisfying joys of seeing Poirot solve the case.”
New Yorker: “Branagh’s film has the charm of ridiculous excess: stylistic flourishes are piled high into a treasury of gothic camp, and the camera is tilted, regardless of provocation, at the most alarming angles.”
RogerEbert.com: “A Haunting in Venice is the best of Kenneth Branagh’s Hercule Poirot movies. It’s also one of Branagh’s best, period.”
Times (UK): “A Haunting in Venice knows exactly what it’s doing. More Christie, played by A-listers having fun in a cosy-as-a-cushion, teatime ITV-drama-on-the-big-screen way — catering for a cinema audience left behind by superheroes.”
Vulture: “I hope [Branagh] makes ten more of these.”
A Haunting in Venice is streaming on Disney+ in Ireland and the UK. Check out its trailer right here:
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