A HAUNTING IN VENICE opens September 15th
What makes a good, old fashioned whodunit especially thrilling is its grounded subject matter. The concept of one intrepid gumshoe suspecting whom, out of the colorful characters around him, is a potential murderer, is practically pulled straight from real life. However, it is never a bad thing to add some otherworldly elements to make things more interesting, much like the story of A HAUNTING IN VENICE.
In this new thriller, its familiar main hero and supporting characters are forced, not only to question if there is a killer among them, but also if that killer is someone — or something — from beyond the realm of the living. It is coming to AMC Theatres just a few weeks shy of the Halloween season, but don’t be afraid. We will let you in on all the most essential facts you should know about A HAUNTING IN VENICE in our guide below.
Poirot’s Latest Mystery
One of the iconic and influential names in the murder mystery genre is Agatha Christie — the author of several whodunits and the creator of one of the most esteemed characters in detective Hercule Poirot. For the first time in decades, the character was brought back to the big screen in 2017’s MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS and would return five years later for DEATH ON THE NILE. The renowned Belgian private eye is back on another case in A HAUNTING IN VENICE.
Loosely inspired by Christie’s 1969 novel, “Hallowe’en Party,” the story — taking place after World War II — involves Poirot being invited to a seance, where he ends up bearing witness to a mysterious death. However, unlike his previous cases, this is one he finds particularly difficult to explain, especially when bizarre things begin to happen to him and the other guests. Will Poirot be able to find a rational explanation to crack this case, or will it leave him with a cracked mind?
Kenneth Branagh Returns
Portraying Poirot in his third Christie adaptation is Kenneth Branagh, who first came to prominence performing in theater and, most notably, with productions of Shakespeare plays that he would also bring to the big screen — such as 1989’s HENRY V. He is only the latest of many, many actors who have portrayed the detective, such as Albert Finney, Ian Holm, Orson Welles, and John Malkovich, to name a few better known examples.
In addition to featuring his third performance as Poirot, A HAUNTING IN VENICE marks Branagh’s third time directing a movie based on one of Christie’s novels that is, once again, being adapted by screenwriter Michael Green. Some of the filmmaker’s best-known credits from behind the camera also include the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first THOR movie from 2011, Disney’s live-remake of CINDERELLA from 2015, and his 2021 autobiographical drama, BELFAST, for which he won an Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay.
An Eclectic, All-Star Cast
Speaking of BELFAST, a few stars from that acclaimed period film are reuniting with Branagh here — namely Jamie Dornan and Jude Hill. The film also marks the actor and filmmaker’s first collaboration with many of the A-list cast members — including former “SNL” star Tina Fey, “Yellowstone’s” Kelly Reilly and Michelle Yeoh, who recently won an Oscar® for EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE.
The cast also features Kyle Allen from Steven Spielberg’s WEST SIDE STORY, French actor Camille Cottin of 2021’s HOUSE OF GUCCI fame, and Ali Khan from Netflix movies 6 UNDERGROUND and THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL. Emma Laird, who previously broke out on the Paramount+ series, “Mayor of Kingstonwn,” makes her feature film debut in the thriller, alongside Italian actor Riccardo Scamarcio, whom American audiences should recognize from JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2.
Watch The Trailer
It is quite common to see mystery stories and the horror genre crossing over, such as with the whodunit-style slashers in the SCREAM franchise. However, if there were any horror fans who skipped Branagh’s last two Christie adaptations believing that it would not be “spooky” enough for them, there is a good chance they will get just what they are looking for with A HAUNTING IN VENICE. See what we mean by checking out the official trailer below:
One of the most intriguing things about the teaser is how it shows the cast members in roles different from what they are best known for, such as comedy icon Fey as the one who enlists Poirot’s help in debunking the supposed abilities of a psychic played by Yeoh, who was primarily an action star until more recently. Reilly’s character – a woman desperate to contact a loved one during the seance – is also a far cry from her acclaimed role on “Yellowstone” as the ruthless Beth Dutton. However, the one person diverting furthest from their reputation is Branagh’s Poirot, who is normally the savviest, most competent person in the room, but the strange visions he is witnessing suddenly have him spooked beyond belief.
This looks like one of the most intriguing and, even more likely, scariest Agatha Christie adaptations we have ever seen. In that case, perhaps you should make sure you’re not alone when you head to see A HAUNTING IN VENICE at an AMC Theatres location near you!
A HAUNTING IN VENICE opens September 15th