A Haunting in Venice

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A Haunting in Venice

A Haunting in Venice

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About A Haunting in Venice

A Haunting in Venice is a 2023 American mystery film produced and directed by Kenneth Branagh from a screenplay by Michael Green, loosely based on the 1969 Agatha Christie novel Hallowe'en Party. It serves as a sequel to Death on the Nile (2022) and is the third film in which Branagh reprises his role as the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.[5] The ensemble cast includes Kyle Allen, Camille Cottin, Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey, Jude Hill, Ali Khan, Emma Laird, Kelly Reilly, Riccardo Scamarcio, and Michelle Yeoh.

A Haunting in Venice was released in the United States on September 15, 2023, by 20th Century Studios. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and has grossed $122 million worldwide.


In 1947, Hercule Poirot lives in retirement in Venice, having lost his faith in God and humanity, while employing ex–police officer Vitale Portfoglio to act as a bodyguard. On Halloween, mystery writer Ariadne Oliver convinces Poirot to attend a Halloween party and séance at the palazzo of famed opera singer Rowena Drake and to expose Joyce Reynolds, a World War I army nurse turned medium, as a fraud. The palazzo itself is claimed to be haunted by the spirits of children who, when the palazzo was an orphanage, were locked up and left to die when a plague swept through the city, with rumors that the spirits torment any nurses and doctors who dare to enter.

Rowena has hired Joyce to help her commune with her daughter Alicia, who reportedly died by suicide after her fiancé, chef Maxime Gerard, broke off their engagement. Among the guests in attendance are Maxime, Rowena's housekeeper Olga Seminoff, Drake family doctor Leslie Ferrier and his son Leopold, and Joyce's Romani assistant Desdemona Holland.

During the séance, Poirot deduces that Joyce has two assistants, revealing Desdemona's half-brother Nicholas hiding in the chimney. Joyce suddenly speaks in Alicia's voice and reveals she was murdered by one of the guests. Poirot attempts to confront Joyce, who tells him to lighten up and gives him her mask and robe. Seconds after an unknown assailant nearly drowns Poirot when he is apple bobbing, Joyce is found impaled on a statue in the courtyard.

With a storm cutting off the palazzo, Poirot interviews the guests, during which he witnesses manifestations of Alicia's ghost and hears a young girl humming a tune. The investigation yields perplexing results:

Leslie, severely traumatized by his experiences at the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, is in love with Rowena.
Maxime, who was not initially invited, broke off his engagement because Rowena did not approve of him, and Alicia was obsessed with keeping her mother happy.
Nicholas and Desdemona have been stealing from Joyce and intend to use the money to travel to St. Louis, Missouri, which they fell in love with after seeing half of Meet Me in St. Louis at a displaced persons camp.
Leopold claims to hear voices from the spirits of children which are the same voices Poirot has been hearing ever since he was nearly drowned.
When the guests come across an underground chamber containing the skeletal remains of the dead children, Leslie suffers a panic attack and nearly kills Maxime. He is locked inside the music room to recover, Rowena giving Poirot the only key. After examining Maxime's invitation, Poirot deduces Ariadne sent it and is conspiring with Vitale. Vitale, who investigated Alicia's death and resigned from the police as a result of the case, gave Joyce private details, while Ariadne had hoped to use Poirot's incapability of explaining the supernatural as a plot for her next book. Leslie is then found stabbed to death.

Gathering the remaining guests together, Poirot reveals Rowena is the murderer. Obsessed with keeping Alicia for herself, she cut her off from contact with Maxime after learning they planned to reconcile, and then used small amounts of poisonous, hallucinogenic honey extracted from rhododendrons to weaken and then care for Alicia; the same honey was seemingly the cause of Poirot's visions. One night, Olga unknowingly gave Alicia tea containing a fatal dose. Rowena, fearful of exposure, staged Alicia's suicide.

When she began receiving blackmail threats, Rowena suspected either Joyce or Leslie. She attempted to drown Poirot, realized that she'd mistaken him for Joyce, and then pushed Joyce to her death. Later, over the palazzo's internal phone line, she forced Leslie to stab himself by threatening to kill Leopold. She hoped to pass off both deaths as part of the children's curse. When Poirot confronts Rowena on the roof, Alicia's ghost seems to appear to them both, pulling Rowena down off the building and into the canal where she drowns.

As dawn breaks, Poirot parts ways with Ariadne and elects not to report Vitale for fraud. Later, Poirot privately confronts Leopold, the true blackmailer. Leopold explains he identified the poisoning signs his father missed, making the connection after realizing Rowena's first starring role was in an opera whose lead character is the "king of poisons". Poirot suggests Leopold and Olga clear their consciences by using the money to help the Hollands start a new life in the United States. His faith mostly restored, Poirot then returns home to accept new cases.


Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot, a retired world-renowned Belgian detective
Kyle Allen as Maxime Gerard, Alicia Drake's ex-fiancé
Camille Cottin as Olga Seminoff, Rowena's housekeeper
Jamie Dornan as Dr. Leslie Ferrier, a doctor suffering from psychological trauma
Tina Fey as Ariadne Oliver, Poirot's friend and a crime novelist
Jude Hill as Leopold Ferrier, Dr. Ferrier's precocious son
Ali Khan as Nicholas Holland, Reynolds' assistant and Desdemona's half-brother
Emma Laird as Desdemona Holland, Reynolds' assistant and Nicholas' half-sister
Kelly Reilly as Rowena Drake, a retired opera singer and Alicia's mother
Riccardo Scamarcio as Vitale Portfoglio, Poirot's bodyguard and a former police officer
Michelle Yeoh as Joyce Reynolds, a supposed psychic medium
Rowan Robinson as Alicia Drake, Rowena's deceased daughter
Amir El-Masry as Alessandro Longo, a young man seeking Poirot's help
Vanessa Ifediora as Sister Maria Felicitas