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A Haunting in Venice 2023 Film Review: A must for those who like speculative fiction

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Film Name: 威尼斯惊魂夜 / 威尼斯鬼魅 / 威尼斯谋杀案(港) / 威尼斯魅影谋杀案(台) / 万圣节前夜的谋杀案 / A Haunting in Venice

《A Haunting in Venice》 is a thriller-thriller directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, based on Agatha Christie’s suspense novel 《Hallowe’en Party》. Set in Venice after the Second World War, former detective Poirot lives in retirement and in exile. When a guest is murdered, Poirot is forced to unmask the killer once again.

The film has been deconstructed and redesigned from the original novel to create a clever, visually dense “old” film. The film’s story is set around a vast palace, incorporating a dark and gothic style. Unlike Agatha’s novel, each character in the film takes on a more serious tone, which can make the film feel dull at times, but it also heightens the tension from time to time and immerses the viewer in the quirky story. The eerie palace is a powerful setting with ethereal voices lurking around creepy corners. Branagh does a great job of illustrating Poirot’s disorientation and discomfort, and the atmosphere of the palace does a great job of explaining this. However this also leads to one of the film’s minor shortcomings, which is that the house is portrayed too realistically and at times is more engaging than the film’s supporting characters. The wonderful characters from Agatha’s novel are faded into the background by the horrific atmosphere of this palace, even though the original characters’ every word and action is crucial to the story.

Overall, 《A Haunting in Venice》 is a film full of suspense and thriller elements, with a unique setting and characterisation that immerses the viewer in the quirky story while provoking deep thoughts about motherhood and human nature.

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