After making his big screen debut in 2017 and returning in 2022, Kenneth Branagh returns as the famous Agatha Christie Poirot detective. In A Haunting in Venice, he finds the case in an unusual way, but is nonetheless thrust into another mystery.

A Haunting in Venice (2023) Film Review

Living in Italy may not have been what Hercule Poirot (Branagh) once had in mind, but if he learned anything during his last case, it’s that thinking too highly of his skills ends in tragedy. Now he’s retired with a garden, but what he cannot shed is his need for perfection. When he’s invited to a séance by an American author (Tina Fey) with the promise of a mystery that’s really a murder, he accepts assuming the night to be one of foolishness. When there’s a murder, everything changes…

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I’ve seen it said that A Haunting in Venice isn’t anything like the novel on which this is a supposed adaptation of. I don’t doubt this given how cavalier modern culture tends to be with source material. Even reading the synopsis on Goodreads for this novel, Hallowe’en Party, reveals this script is nothing like Christie’s story. Nonetheless, all three of the Kenneth Branagh adaptations are titles I do find entertaining.


What I think these scripts have done well is the way Hercule evolves. Each plot is its own story, but it’s more impacting seeing it as a trio and watching Poirot’s character challenges has been compelling. I think the people who enter his life do treat him unfairly. Some of their conclusions about him are fair, however saying he has no skills or heart is untrue.

This story isn’t my favorite and is, like its peers, not unsolvable, but it’s a mystery story that entertains. The cast, like usual, stacks up with impressive names including Kyle Allen, Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey and Kelly Reilly. Everyone turns in a good performance and some even surprise. It’s kind of funny to watch Fey’s character claim credit for who Poirot is, perhaps in a kind ode to Agatha Christie.

Imperfect and not at all what the author likely had in mind, A Haunting in Venice is a good time if nothing else. Plus, Branagh, as director also has a knack for creating the right kind of “look” to tell this story.

You can stream, at publication, this film with Hulu


🕯️‘A HAUNTING IN VENICE’: KENNETH BRANAGH’S PIOROT IS BACK 🕯️ Review of the lose 2023 Agatha Christie adaptation. © RissiWrites.com

Content: Surrounding the film are themes of supernatural. There’s creepy happenings like doors opening unexpectedly and ghosts floating in the air. Deaths include an impaling, stabbing and drowning. There’s memories of someone in the water and them drowning. Mentions are made about poisoning. The film is PG-13.

Photos: 20th Century Fox

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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