Rent A Haunting in Venice (2023)

3.0 of 5 from 200 ratings
1h 39min
Rent A Haunting in Venice Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
Kenneth Branagh stars as celebrated sleuth Hercule Poirot in this terrifying mystery set after World War II. Retired and living in Venice, Italy, Poirot reluctantly attends a seance where a murdered guest thrusts the detective into a sinister, shadowy world.
Actors:
, , , Dylan Corbett-Bader, , , Fernando Piloni, , , , , , , , , Rowan Robinson, , Stella Harris, ,
Directors:
Producers:
Kenneth Branagh, Mark Gordon, Judy Hofflund
Writers:
Michael Green, Agatha Christie
Studio:
Walt Disney
Genres:
Drama, Thrillers
Collections:
Top 10 Films Set in Venice, Top Films
BBFC:
Release Date:
04/12/2023
Run Time:
99 minutes
Languages:
Castilian Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, English Audio Description Dolby Digital 2.0, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
Castillian, Danish, English Hard of Hearing, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
DVD Regions:
Region 0 (All)
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
BBFC:
Release Date:
04/12/2023
Run Time:
103 minutes
Languages:
English Audio Description Dolby Digital 2.0, English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, German Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
Subtitles:
Danish, English Hard of Hearing, Finnish, German, Norwegian, Swedish
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
(0) All
Bonus:
  • Murder, Death, and Haunting
  • Deleted Scenes

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Reviews (3) of A Haunting in Venice

Gothic - A Haunting in Venice review by sb

Spoiler Alert
05/12/2023

FILM & REVIEW Enjoyed the first Branagh/Poriot outing far more than i expected but hated Nile - shot during Covid restrictions they used CGI for everything and it all looked really fake. This is much more like it - set in a out of season Venice where Poriot lives in retirement but is enticed by a friend and mystery author (Fey) to attend a seance where she intends to expose a fake medium (Yeoh) but ends up with an impossible murder which is followed by others. It’s got all the usual sleight of hand that you expect from Agatha Christie but Branagh adds a deeper level of characters including himself being haunted by ghosts from their own pasts. Set in a gloomy palazzzo over a single storm tossed night its as much a haunted house film as a whodunnet with lashings of gothic atmosphere and looks terrific. Ok the denouement at the finale is a little less than convincing but that aside there is much to enjoy with each character hiding secrets and the use of the Venice locations is splendid. - 4/5

0 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Ponderous and slow - A Haunting in Venice review by CD

Spoiler Alert
28/12/2023

I am a big fan of Kenneth Branagh but this film does not come to life for me at all. There is the usual challenge in an Agatha Christie novel about casting the array of characters in a believable and interesting way, but added to this is the choice of an extremely gothic set with lots of night shots that makes it hard to see what is going on (despite picture adjustments on my TV). It was hard going to get even to half-way and I struggled with the storyline. There is some good acting and innovative camera work but sadly this is not enough to compensate for a film that seems slow and ponderous.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Passable, watchable, VERY loose adaptation of Christie's HALLOWEEN PARTY (1990sTV version is better) - A Haunting in Venice review by PV

Spoiler Alert
08/01/2024

This is VERY loosely based on Agatha Christie's HALLOWEEN PARTY - there is a more authentic version with David Suchet as Poirot from the 1990s.

I do not mind such loose adaptations but the shoehorning of ISHOOS into plots and colourblind casting annoys me a lot. This is set in 1947, remember.. There WAS a woman convicted of witchcraft in the UK during WWII; and no, she was not OF COLOUR because at that time there were only 6000 black people in the UK of a population of 44 million and hardly any Chinese people (so few in fact that 1950s film THE INN OF THE SIXTH HAPPINESS had to cast the children of Chinese diplomats as they could not find any native Brit ones).

Honestly, TV drama and the film industry needs to GET A GRIP and DEWOKE itself. Would that cast a white guy as a Zulu warrior? No, and nor should they. SO why the reverse then? I tend to turn off or over when I smell the wokey stench of colourblind casting or pc/metoo sermonising/preaching in drama and films. BUT we still have the archive to enjoy, thank goodness.

Venice looks lovely. Not sure I buy the spiritual guff - my eyes roll out of my skull at such stuff, frankly.

It is all a bit silly but watchable. I do prefer the old TV Poirot from 1990s on though (see now often on ITV3). David Suchet IS Poirot.

3/5

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

A Haunting in Venice review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

Having never been a fan of Kenneth Branagh’s interpretation of the mystery-solving Hercule Poirot, A Haunting in Venice is easily the best of his three films. It feels as though the director/actor improves a little more with each entry. Murder on the Orient Express was far too stuffy and low-key to appreciate the original story. Death on the Nile had its moments, but also messy aspects of casting and shot choices. A Haunting in Venice is the first of the Branagh films that feels like he’s come into his own with Christie’s character.

It helps that Branagh dares to assemble a more original story, this one loosely based on Halloween Party. Instead of a Halloween murder occurring at an estate, it happens in a creepy old manner in Venice. Hercule Poirot (Branagh) is called out of retirement when the novelist Ariadne Oliver (Tina Fey) challenges him to dispel a seance on Halloween night. He indulges the debunking by attending a grieving family having lost a daughter to suicide one year ago, believed to be part of a curse of the former owners. Trying to speak with the dead girl’s spirit is Joyce Reynolds (Michelle Yeoh), a medium that Poirot doesn’t buy for one moment. That is until Joyce dies, and Poirot starts seeing strange things around the creepy Venice residence as a storm rages outside.

The look and feel of this film work well for Branagh’s keen choice of a decaying Venice building that becomes flooded with water and offers no escape. The many shots range from Dutch angles to creepy close-ups to disorienting angles from the floor. Branagh nails it in terms of setting up an eerie setting for Poirot’s case, even if he does go for a jumpscare too many. That said, if a jumpscare is for something genuinely scary, I don’t feel as cheated, and there’s plenty to be terrified about in this house. On the other hand, there are some questionable choices in the soundtrack, as with an odd tonal choice for the dark scene of Poirot unearthing the home’s catacombs.

The investigation proceeds quickly enough with slick editing and prompt assertions by Poirot that keep the running time at a relatively crisp 100 minutes. After all the bells and whistles of a spooky puppet show and the horror movie hallmarks, the mystery of who is killing people and staging a curse becomes compelling. The horror angle is maintained by Poirot doubting his abilities when he starts noticing himself slowly losing his mind. He starts seeing ghosts in strange places and forgets himself when leaving the water on in the bathroom. It makes the character more compelling that his faith is questioned as he struggles to find a killer amid the party guests.

The supporting cast works well enough for this type of story. Fey doesn’t overdo Oliver and has plenty of chances to go over the top with her scheming character. She resonates well with this Poirot, and they play off each other decently. Camille Cottin does an apt job displaying her fear for this night of death, Jamie Dornan oozes paranoia as a doctor still haunted by his past, and the young Jude Hill plays almost like a stern, straight man as the youngest and most collected person in the room. The suspects are colorful and reactive, and it never feels like one of them is passive in this murder mystery. How could they be? There’s roaring waters and thunder outside with a killer (or killers) cavorting about a home without escape. That’s enough to put even the most jaded of killers on edge.

A Haunting in Venice feels like Branagh has learned enough from his other Poirot movies to make his version work. Even the mustache feels less enlarged and silly than when Branagh first stepped into the role. More importantly, this film plays with the material rather than sticking to the strict word-for-word adaptation like a stuffy play. If Branagh wants to keep playing with this material, he should at least take more creative liberties like this to make his Poirot more his creation than a rusty rendition. Thankfully, he does just that with this solid murder mystery.

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