Kenneth Branagh reprises his role as Hercule Poirot in A Haunting in Venice. Based on the book Hallowe’en Party by Dame Agatha Christie, this story incorporates elements of the supernatural and is one of the stronger takes on the Dame’s books by writer/director/actor Branagh.
The tale begins with Poirot in self-exile in Venice. He is retired and turning down all requests for his sleuthing services. Even though he is highly sceptical he attends a séance at the behest of his friend the famous writer Ariadne Oliver (Tina Fey). When a murder happens during the event he is pulled back into service.
There is much to like about this film, it looks fantastic with an old-school approach to showing the actors in full-frame close-ups. Branagh’s double moustache is a wonder to behold and the lighting and set design fully sells the creepy aspects of the story. It’s classic who done it stuff.
With source material as rich as Christie’s books it would seem a certainty to provide the basis for a quality product. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and there are quite a few film versions of her books that just don’t excite. An accomplished talent like Branagh side-step this dilemma and was a perfect choice to bring this seductive story to life.