The story takes place in 1947, post-World War II Venice, Italy, during a celebration of Halloween. Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) is retired but is invited to a séance with known writer Ariadne Oliver (Tina Fey), Dr. Leslie Ferrier (Jamie Dornan) his son Leopold (Jude Hill), the uninvited Maxime Gerard (Kyle Allen), Olga Seminoff (Camille Cottin), Desdemona Holland (Emma Laird), Nicholas Holland (Ali Khan), Vitale Portfoglio (Riccardo Scamarcio) and the hostess Rowena Drake (Kelly Reilly) who wants to summon her dead daughter Alicia (Rowan Robinson) in a home known for ghosts of children that were once held captive and tortured to death. When during the séance conducted by a known psychic Mrs. Reynolds (Michelle Yeoh) something goes wrong exposing several truths from within the walls of this torturous dwelling.
It is now up to Poirot to use his mind and skills to come up with who killed one of the house guests. Experiencing visions, sounds, and someone who attempted to kill him Poirot is in search of answers before someone else turns up dead. Too late, they already do with a knife to the back. Locked in the house, Poirot will not let anyone leave until he solves this murder and the motive for Alicia’s death and now in present time who is killing others within the house. Is it ghosts, a real person or the Cockatoo that loved Alicia so!
I found the story to be a bit lack luster and definitely not scary. Overall, it is more of a mystery thriller that tends to lack excitement. The writing leaves a bit of a few holes or objects to mis-lead you that don’t have a meaning or very little of one. As for the direction it definitely was a flat-line throughout most of the film. Albeit, the cinematography was astounding and makes me want to visit Italy even more so then before. It has a good score and takes place in a mansion that should have been scary but overall wasn’t but rather mediocre and unrevealing. Throughout the story I never felt like I was on the edge of my seat but rather comfortable and following some clues that helps Poirot solve his mystery all by himself. Branagh does a nice job acting but maybe should have handed the directing duties to someone else on this one. Fey was my delight she was not only forceful but whimsical. I did not know that was Dornan but he also does his role well. I only wish Yeoh had more exposure than she did! The kid is a bit creepy in a grown-up way and Reilley looks the part of a 40’s gal. As for all the others they help to create moments that lead up to closure for Poirot.