The Paw Print

The Paw Print

The Paw Print

Movie Review: A Haunting in Venice


A Haunting in Venice‘ directed by Kenneth Branagh, is a film take on mystery queen Agatha Christie’s 1969 novel Hallowe’en Party. This PG-13 mystery takes a classic detective film base, and adds a scary paranormal element perfect for the spooky season. This movie takes what we love most about the popular Hercule Poirot movie series, and adds a subplot of ghosts and haunts that makes this movie almost impossible to take your eyes away from.

Previous to A Haunting in Venice, there had been two installments to the Hercule Poirot film franchise; Murder on The Orient Express, and Death on The Nile. While Murder on The Orient Express was wildly successful and rabidly enjoyable, it’s successor Death on The Nile fell rather flat. Many viewers had been disheartened by Death on The Nile’s flop and had low expectations for the new movie, but I’m glad to say A Haunting in Venice proved to be a hearty redemption.

The movie takes place in a Venice palazzo, rumoured to be haunted by the orphans that once lived there. The owner of the palazzo, Mrs Rowena Drake, suffered deeply from the recent loss of her daughter. Mrs Drake hires a medium, along with a small group of friends, to awaken the spirit of her daughter. As in any Hercule Poirot movie, a murder occurs and he is tasked with solving it before the unrest starts to unravel further.

From the beginning it was easy to tell this movie’s cinematography was going to be outstanding, and it certainly stayed true. The maroon low light added a haunting element to the already gothic palazzo that truly set the appropriate mood. On top of this, the amazing casting created a wide array of characters that kept the story a thrilling and entertaining mystery. Perhaps the most notable of these characters was Mr. Ferrier, played by Jamie Dornan, whose fantastic skill and beautiful dynamic with his on screen son; Leopold Ferrier, played by Jude Hill, made this straightforward whodunit have a side of raw emotion and comfort. Dornan and Hill were able to portray a heartache that furthered the plot beautifully and created an even deeper theme to the already intense plot. One of the most commonly overdone and unfulfilling tropes of a whodunit is the big reveal, due to the difficulty finding a balance between easy to comprehend and hard to guess. This movie was able to tie in symbolism and whitty callbacks that made for a surprisingly obvious, and yet intricate reveal that will leave you thinking hours after the movies end.

All and all, this movie gave us everything a murder mystery should; beautiful set, cinematography, incredible acting, intriguing plot, and a terrific final. I strongly recommend going to watch A Haunting in Venice, you won’t be disappointed!

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About the Contributor
Oliver Stoltz
Oliver Stoltz, Staff Writer
Oliver is a Junior at Heritage, this is his first year in Journalism. He transferred from THS and is very excited to start at a new school. When he is not writing he listens to music, watches movies, and works as a barista. Oliver is very excited to write articles for the Paw Print as he connects with the HHS 25' class!