The student news site of University of North Dakota

Dakota Student

The student news site of University of North Dakota

Dakota Student

The student news site of University of North Dakota

Dakota Student

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Redeeming Myself

A Movie Review of “A Haunting in Venice”
Redeeming+Myself
Aspen Jewkes

The first article I ever wrote for the Dakota Student was a movie review on Death on the Nile. As someone who had never read Agatha Christie, I went in with basic expectations for any murder mystery. That first article was my break, and it had gotten a large amount of views when it was live. As I reveled in my first article being published, I received my first and only piece of “hate mail.” I say hate mail, because the individual that emailed me was not exactly mean, but they were not sugar coating it either. They wrote, “Poirot would hate you. He’s Belgian, not French. But thanks for the review.” Now I will say, I responded to this email and made sure to change the mistake on the website, but it definitely turned me away from writing a Agatha Christie movie review again. As I am set to graduate this fall and my research and spelling skills have somewhat improved, or at least I hope, I have decided to redeem myself for all of the Agatha Christie and Kenneth Branagh fans and write one last review for the series at the Dakota Student.  

“A Haunting in Venice” was released in theaters on September 15th, 2023. Branagh comes back to direct and reprise his role as Hercule Poirot, a Belgian detective who has taken a break from solving crimes in the beautiful setting of Venice, Italy. He is interrupted as Ariadne Oliver (Tina Fey) a renowned mystery writer, convinces him to attend a seance at an old home. There we encounter the main characters of the film, also the ones who happen to be on the movie’s poster.. Rowena Drake (Kelly Reilly) the owner of the home, and a mother grieving her daughter who committed suicide, Dr. Leslie Ferrier (Jamie Dorian) a doctor who suffers with PTSD from the war, and Ms. Reynolds (Michelle Yeoh) a medium who leads the seance.  

As the cast tries to make contact with the dead daughter of Rowena Drake, Poirot quickly disproves and shakes off some of  Ms. Reynolds parlor tricks. However, when someone ends up dead under mysterious circumstances, he too may start to become a believer. As murders are happening left and right, does Poirot put back on his detective hat and rejoin society?  

The film goes down a rabbit hole of thrill with a lot more jump scares than I was expecting. I was practically jumping out of my seat at some of the most simplistic scares. A lot of critics call this movie a mystery with just a little bit of horror, but I argue that it is the opposite. I have not truly been scared from a film in a long time and the fact that this seemingly tame movie contained such a punch had me pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Although the ending is a little predictable, the horror littered throughout made up for it.  

I hope I have redeemed myself from my initial review of these modern twists on the murder classics. If you would like to read my past review, you cannot because I took it down, but I highly reccomend going to the theatre and seeing “A Haunting in Venice.”  

  

Claire Arneson is a Dakota Student Section Editor. She can be reached at [email protected]. 

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