Let me start by throwing my cards on the table. I didn’t like Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express when I watched it the first time. But then, a few months later, it happened to be on TV and I found myself watching it. And enjoying it. The same thing happened again a few months later. And when I found out he was making a second Poirot movie I was startled to feel a thrill of anticipation for it, and even had a vague plan to go see it in the theater this time. As Death on the Nile began its ad campaign, I was fascinated/horrified by each new wrench thrown at the film, from the most cursed cast in history to CGI weirdness to, finally, COVID delays. When I finally watched the movie, at home for safety reasons, I was so bowled over by the decision to give Poirot’s mustache its own gritty origin story (!!!!!) that the rest of the film had my heart no matter what it did—and then what it did was make Gal Gadot say they had “enough champagne to fill the Nile.”
I’ve watched it twice since it came out and enjoyed the hell out of it each time.
This is all to say: I might be the ideal audience for A Haunting in Venice. I love spooky stories, I love haunted houses, I love horror movies set in Venice, and apparently I love these weird, inexplicable movies.
So how did Venice stack up?