venice at night

Thoughts on A Haunting in Venice

The teaser trailer for A Haunting in Venice, the new Hercule Poirot movie based on Agatha Christie’s novel Hallowe’en Party, is out and I have some thoughts. Of course I do! I’m a Christie fan, after all!

Why is Ariadne Oliver American?
Why, I ask you? Why? The fact that she opens the trailer with her American accent (Oliver is portrayed by Tina Fey) is even more upsetting. Of course, there’s no reason she has to be English…well, besides the fact that she’s basically a fictional version of Christie…who was English. I’m also very attached to Zoë Wanamaker’s excellent portrayal and am not a Fey fan – so there’s that.

Yes to Michelle Yeoh!
On the note of casting, I’m ecstatic to see Michelle Yeoh in the cast (whom I loved before Everything Everywhere All at Once, thank you very much) and Kelly Reilly, whom I like too, and no, not because she’s in Yellowstone, I do not watch Yellowstone. I’ve already mentioned I’m not a fan of Fey, neither am I of Kenneth Branagh’s portrayal of Poirot (his acting is too serious and his moustache too silly). Judging by the mood of the trailer and the title, I thought this was an original story and was hoping there’d be a new Poirot. Instead, it looks as if we’ll be subjected to more of Poirot’s back story, which I really don’t care for. Poirot being such a mystery himself is part of what makes him so enigmatic.

Mood! Here. For. It.
Speaking of the mood: it’s giving off serious horror movie vibes and I’m loving it. This is (again) directed by Branagh but looks and feels like it could have been directed by James Wan. I’m far more interested in seeing what Branagh does as a director than an actor here. Of course, it’ll be interesting to see how the audience reacts to this change in pace, but any true Christie fan will know she often included the eerie, esoteric, magical, and mystical in her writing.

Séance season!
And there looks to be plenty of it in this spooky rendition, with séances, dark and stormy nights, and Ring-like apparitions. Since this is based on Hallowe’en Party, I fail to understand why it’s being released in September, especially because this year’s October contains a Friday the 13th.

Venice … meh.
The shots of Venice look gloriously glossy – like the CGI sucked the soul right out of the city – and the costumes beautifully dramatic and dramatically beautiful. Perhaps if Branagh worried less about sweeping his camera across panoramic vistas and making his pretty stars look prettier and focused more on plotting (à la Christie), his adaptations would be far more gripping.

I have griped my last gripe. Watch the teaser trailer and judge for yourself because CGI, stupid moustache, and all, I’ll still be watching. Probably on Friday the 13th.

Image credit.

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