Review: 'A Haunting in Venice' is elevated mix of mystery, murder and horror

BySandy Kenyon OTRC logo
Friday, September 15, 2023
Review: 'A Haunting in Venice' is a mix of mystery, murder and horror
The new film is currently in theaters, and Eyewitness News' own Sandy Kenyon shares his review.

NEW YORK -- It's a mix of mystery, murder, and horror.

"A Haunting in Venice" arrives Friday, and you'll have to go to a theater and see it. This marks the third time Kenneth Branagh has played the famous, fictional detective Hercule Poirot, and it's third time he has directed himself in the role.

Discovering whodunit, that is finding out who committed murder in this story, is only part of the fun, which mostly takes place in a Venetian palazzo where voices of the dead are heard along with whispers and sobbing.

The film is spooky enough to be a good fit for the Halloween season, said one young viewer.

Entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon asked her to go and see the movie because the picture was inspired by a book written more than half a century ago, and he wondered how it would play for a younger generation.

Detective Poirot, who's been lured out of retirement by a world-famous writer, Tina Fey, doesn't believe in ghosts and the supernatural. He is especially suspicious of a psychic played by Michelle Yeoh.

"I must tell you, Madame, I have been all my life un-charmed by your kind," Poirot tells her in the film.

"My kind," she asks innocently.

"Opportunists who prey on the vulnerable," he then replies.

The seance conducted by the medium leaves Poirot unsure about what's real and what isn't.

"And that's kinda how you feel in the audience," 17-year-old Mireille Lee observed about the film. "You're kind of wondering whether this could be possible."

Mireille and her sister Elodie have 282,000+ followers on TikTok, where they review books under the bale, "A Life of Literature." Mireille knows the book that inspired this movie and went to an early screening in London.

"Considering the time of year and the fact that we're going into Halloween season, it's the perfect film to watch with your friends," she said.

Perfect because the director and star has "elevated" the murder mystery, made it quite different than the source material, and given it a "modern twist."

When asked if Branagh had succeeded in making the picture relevant for her generation, Lee said, "he certainly has. By using these otherworldly forces, it makes the audience genuinely on the edge of the seats for the whole time."

The whodunit is a genre born in Britain, but our teen critic from Brighton confesses it's not her favorite genre. Nevertheless, Mireille praises "A Haunting in Venice" for mixing the mystery with supernatural elements, and the result kept her engaged. She also appreciated the star power on screen.

The movie, which is in theaters now, is distributed by Walt Disney Studios.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of 20th Century Fox and this ABC Station