A Haunting in Venice is a Halloween movie and also sees the return of the detective Hercule Poirot to the screen, as most recently played by Kenneth Branagh, who directed this film. The story is lifted from Hallowe’en Party, a 1969 Christie novel set in Britain, although here it is moved to 1949 Venice. Little of the original story remains, although bobbing for apples is retained as the staging of an attempted murder. Since this is Venice, floods rage outside, and a past drowning adds to the haunted setting. It all fits. (more…)
Tag: murder mysteries
There’s a reason why Agatha Christie is the world’s best-selling author. Her whodunnits are cleverly crafted, well-written, and highly entertaining. I also find them wholesomely Eurocentric, which is problematic these days.
Death on the Nile (1937) is one of her best novels. A shot rings out onboard a luxurious Nile steamer. It is clearly a case of foul play. But the two prime suspects have airtight alibis. Moreover, practically everybody else on the ship had means, motive, and opportunity to do the deed. Even Hercule Poirot’s famous gray cells are baffled . . . for a time. (more…)
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, which was released on Netflix on Friday, is the sequel to Rian Johnson’s 2019 mystery film Knives Out (reviewed by the author here). It is even worse than its overhyped predecessor: predictable, unfunny, and not nearly as clever as Johnson wants it to be.
The film is set on the private island of tech billionaire Miles Bron, who co-founded the company Alpha. Miles invites five friends to a murder mystery-themed party: (more…)
It seems ironic that Tom George’s 2022 film See How They Run was released in England a day before Queen Elizabeth’s death. The film, a whodunit that follows the genre’s steps like following footprints in the snow, wants to be funny and breathe life into the old form. But, like recent events with the monarchy, this film is a kind of death watch on England and English culture, especially that middlebrow artifact known as the murder mystery. (more…)
Twentieth Century Studios is threatening to release a remake of Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile (1937). And if Kenneth Branaugh’s previous outing as the Hercule Poirot character in 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express was anything to go by, best to avoid it. (more…)