Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 09/15/2023
Production Company: 20th Century Studios

Kyle Allen, Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Yeoh, Camille Cottin, Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey, Jude Hill, Ali Khan, Emma Laird, Kelly Reilly and Riccardo Scamarcio.

Director: Kenneth Branagh. Producers: Kenneth Branagh, Ridley Scott, Enrico Ballarin, Martin Curry, Judy Hofflund and Simon Kinberg. Executive Producers: Mark Gordon, Louise Killin and James Richard. Screenwriters: Michael Green and Agatha Christie. Cinematographer: Haris Zambarloukos.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

The supernatural, murder mystery "A Haunting in Venice" is a stirring, dramatic tale produced, directed, and starring Kenneth Branagh as the debonair Belgian sleuth, Hercule Poirot.

"A Haunting in Venice" is based on the 1969 novel "Hallowe'en Party" by Agatha Christie and follows "Murder on the Orient Express" (2017) and last year's "Death on the Nile."

Set in 1947, "A Haunting in Venice" finds Poirot living in self-imposed exile. The former detective's days are now filled with gardening, enjoying fine pastries, and thanks to his bodyguard Vitale Portfoglio (Riccardo Scamarcio, "John Wick: Chapter 2"), ignoring the numerous clients who still want his services.

Poirot's tranquility is short-lived when he is approached by longtime friendly rival and novelist, Ariadne Oliver (a terrific Tina Fey, Upcoming "Mean Girls Musical").

Ariadne is on to something big and needs Poirot's help. Normally, she's pretty savvy and can crack cases on her own, but this one has her stumped. It involves a palazzo/orphanage that supposedly was haunted by the ghosts of kids who died from the plague. This "haunted mansion" is owned by a famous opera singer named Rowena Drake (another star turn for Kelly Reilly, TV's "Yellowstone").

Rowena's heartbroken daughter Alicia (Rowan Robinson, Upcoming "Passenger") committed suicide by jumping from the mansion into a canal. Now, Rowena has hired renowned psychic, Joyce Reynolds (Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh, "Everything Everywhere All At Once") to hold a seance with hopes of communicating with her daughter and others.

Ariadne believes Joyce is a phony and hopes that Poirot can determine if she can actually speak to the dead. Poirot reluctantly agrees to attend and play along, but the dark and stormy night turns into far more than he or anyone expected.

The bad weather has everyone trapped inside the mansion and soon weird things began to happen. Notably, one of the guests winds up dead and this forces Poirot back into detective mode to find out whodunit.

Everyone is a suspect including Dr. Leslie Ferrier (Jamie Dornan, "Belfast" and TV's "The Tourist") and even his precocious son, Leopold (Jude Hill, "Belfast").

“A Haunting in Venice,” from screenwriter Michael Green ("Blade Runner 2099" and TV's "The Last Man"), doesn't have all the bloody gore and wicked jump scares that horror fans are accustomed to, and the film's plodding pace is challenging at times.

However, the eerie, dark and claustrophobic feel of the movie, which is punctuated by composer Hildur Gudnadottir's ("Joker") ominous score, and the winning cast, makes "A Haunting in Venice" a straightforward and spooky, little treat.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 5:17 p.m. and 6:47 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Look At This Trailer For "A HAUNTING IN VENICE"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


<b> That Man Bolt</b> Title: That Man Bolt
Year Released: 1973
Running Time: 103
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Director: Henry Levin and David Lowell Rich
Director of Photography: Gerald Perry Finnerman
Screenwriter: Charles Johnson and Ranald MacDougall
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: Updated Feature--2023

After Fred "The Hammer" Williamson carved out a stellar career as a defensive back in the National Football League with teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs (Williamson played in Super Bowl I), The Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers, Williamson tackled Hollywood and became an...
Which one of the following TV shows was re-made into a big screen movie and starred Fred "The Hammer" Williamson?
"Starsky & Hutch"
"Charlie's Angels"
"Hawaii Five-O"