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Parents' Guide to

A Haunting in Venice

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Stark, spooky Hercule Poirot murder mystery has violence.

Movie PG-13 2023 103 minutes
A Haunting in Venice Movie Poster: Five people stand in a circle against a black background, looking down

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+

Boring and Dark

I liked the first two movies in the modern series, but I found this one really boring. The whole movie is dark in both appearance and theme. The suspense was more of jump-scare type elements than through the story. By the end, I didn't really care who was guilty; I just wanted the movie over. When I left I told my wife, "There was not one thing about that movie that I really enjoyed." Semi- spoiler alert - Because you know this is a Hercule Poirot movie, you know that he will uncover how the "spiritual/ghost/haunting" things are really being done, but there is still a bunch of those elements that have a scary/dark/spiritual theme. Just note that if you have young or sensitive kids.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

Stark and spooky, Branagh's third Poirot movie successfully adopts a whole new atmosphere. It's less exotic and edgier, more haunted; it's a tense, thoughtful, and satisfying mystery. Murder on the Orient Express had a fluid use of space aboard a cramped, moving train, while Death on the Nile used bright, open spaces. A Haunting in Venice, which is mainly set indoors, during a storm, and in the late hours of Halloween night -- when the barrier between the living and the dead is said to be at its thinnest -- plays with more shadowy, angular, and even hallucinogenic filmmaking.

Author Agatha Christie published the source novel, Hallowe'en Party, in 1969, more than 30 years after the Orient Express and Nile novels, perhaps suggesting a hard-earned fatalism, which Branagh attaches to this movie's fabric. He seems freshly inspired, and his direction flourishes through Christie's material. As ever, he's equally adept with his actors, himself giving an appealingly wounded performance while slowly stripping away the other characters' veneers of protection, revealing their painful pasts. The mystery itself is clever and effective, though it comes almost with a sense of resignation; there's no joy in solving this murder. Even so, A Haunting in Venice leaves off with a sense of promise.

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