Friday, September 15, 2023

A Haunting In Venice

You know I never would have suspected this series of films would be day one theater attendees, but here we are again.

When I saw Murder On The Orient Express way back in 2017 I liked it a fair bit but kinda wrote it off as a one and done, then just last year (though it seems longer) Death On The Nile came around and I was fairly interested to see it, and I think at this point with A Haunting In Venice I'm just kinda here for the Poirot films. Hell the idea of a Poirot detective story set around some spooky stuff is pretty definitively up my alley, and I'm happy to say it delivers on both respects. The year is 1947 and Hercule Poirot is retired in Venice when on All Hallow's Eve is dragged into more or less debunking a famous medium but then wouldn't you know it, a murder occurs and I'll give the film a good bit of credit for this because the case is in such supernatural waters Poirot puts up his belief in God or not depending on if he can solve the case and see definite proof of spirits. I can't say I've ever heard a crisis of faith is determined on solving a murder case so points for originality. And the film gives a good bit of atmosphere, some spookiness, and mercifully not many jumpscares! The murder and investigation I'll admit is not airtight, the movie isn't quite 2 hours so we get a lot of motive and backstory in fairly quick succession almost at the drop of a hat, but it nevertheless held my attention to the end and I somehow picked the murderer out albeit about 2 seconds before it was revealed. If this was to be the last Branagh Poirot film I'd honestly have to rewatch them all to pick overall best, but this isn't bad. The style still fits previous installments, it's directed well, the editing is sharp, and the scenery of Venice is always nice to look at. The cast is solid in particular Kenneth and Jude Hill, though Michelle Yeoh is a win always and forever! And while the bevy of characters don't get much in terms of depth and background, I'm truthfully not expecting complex three dimensional characters in a murder mystery so you take it or leave it. I'm happy with it, I love the more horror edge to it, I'm always down for a mystery and when you set one on Halloween night you got me hook, line, and sinker. I give it a solid 3 stars, 7.5/10, worth viewing in the theater I think. Next week Expendables 4, please for the love of Christ let it be better than 3!!

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