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How scary is ‘A Haunting In Venice’?

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Kenneth Branagh is back as detective Hercule Poirot in A Haunting In Venice.

Based on the 1969 novel Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie, the supernatural mystery film marks Branagh’s third turn as the mustachioed detective following Murder On The Orient Express and 2022’s Death On The Nile.

Along with a compelling mystery, each film is propped up by its ensemble cast. For A Haunting In Venice, the cast includes Kyle Allen, Camille Cottin, Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey, Jude Hill, Emma Laird, Ali Khan, Kelly Reilly, Riccardo Scamarcio and Michelle Yeoh.

Is A Haunting In Venice scary?

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While a film’s power to scare is largely subjective, A Haunting In Venice has received a 12A rating in the UK for moderate threat, violence and suicide references.

As noted by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the film involves “a supernatural context”, “a darker tone” and themes that “may be challenging for younger children”.

The film also received a 3/5 on the threat and horror scale, noting that it includes “jump scares” and other elements of supernatural horror.

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What have critics said about A Haunting In Venice?

In a two-star review on the Guardian, the film’s scary elements are noted as not having the “investment” a true horror film would have.

A Haunting In Venice takes the story at a pretty even pace, and its jump-scare moments, sometimes accompanied by a close-up of Poirot looking dramatically to his left, do not have the investment that a true horror film would have given them, and so feel just like a hiccup,” the review reads.

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In a more positive review on The New York Times, titled “a whodunit with a splash of horror”, the film’s scary elements are  described as “perfunctory”.

“Branagh is pushing into ghostly new territory, leaning on scary-movie tropes such as scurrying rats, jump scares and that old standby, a face popping up in the mirror,” it reads.

At the time of writing, A Haunting In Venice has a critics rating of 60 on review aggregate site Metacritic.

A Haunting In Venice is released in cinemas on September 15.

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