John Maguire on film: Kenneth Branagh’s latest flick fails to conjure spirit of Poirot

A Haunting In Venice doesn’t generate a thrill, a shiver or even curiosity about whodunnit

Kenneth Brannagh: glues on Hercule Poirot’s twirly moustache once more

A Haunting In Venice

Directed by: Kenneth Branagh

Nationwide, 12A

Rating: **


Kenneth Branagh glues on Hercule Poirot’s famous twirly moustache for a third time in A Haunting in Venice, which has Agatha Christie’s great detective come out of peaceful retirement in the Italian city to investigate a potentially crooked medium preying on a bereaved mother in a haunted palazzo.

Adapted by Branagh and screenwriter Michael Green (who scripted the director’s previous two Poirot instalments) from Christie’s Hallowe’en Party, with the action relocated from a pre-war English country garden to the titular watery city in 1947, the tone is more supernatural thriller than puzzling whodunnit but the shift in emphasis cannot disguise how threadbare and tired this material feels.