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.


Year Released: 1975
Running Time: 109
Production Company: Paramount Pictures
Director: Berry Gordy, Tony Richardson and Jack Wormser
Director of Photography: David Watkin
Screenwriter: John Byrum and Toni Amber
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs


Do you know where you're going to?
Do you like the things that life is showing you? Where are you going to?
Do you know?
Do you get what you're hoping for? When you look behind you, there's no open doors. What are you hoping for? Do you know? "Theme from Mahogany...
The "Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" was sung by Diana Ross in the 1975 movie "Mahogany." But, who initially recorded the song in 1973?
"Roberta Flack"
"Natalie Cole"
"Deniece Williams"
"Thelma Houston"