After Homicide on the Orient Specific and Demise on the Nile, Kenneth Branagh takes on Agatha Christie’s 1969 novel Hallowe’en Occasion with A Haunting in Venice. The upcoming movie contains a star solid that features Michelle Yeoh, Kelly Reilly, Jamie Fornan, Tina Fey, Kyle Allen and others. The story sees Branagh’s Hercule Poirot return to his sleuthing methods to show a fraud seance. Earlier than he is aware of it, he’s embroiled in a homicide thriller with supernatural parts concerned.
The movie takes its liberties with the supply textual content. For starters, it’s set in Venice as a substitute of the English countryside. Earlier than filming, the crew seemed up early horror movies like The Previous Darkish Home and Black Narcissus to offer the Venetian palazzo a “haunted house” feel and look. Manufacturing designer John Paul Kelly who was tasked with recreating Venice in a London studio explains, “We spent a lot of time working out how this world should evolve, and whether it should feel like a haunted house or an actual Venetian palazzo. We needed to get the balance right in telling the story.”
Kenneth Branagh, who needed the movie to have a “sense of unease” stated, “We were there in the autumn/winter, so we were able to get Venetian mists, and we were able to bring that idea of how quickly that amazing, ornate city is masked by a mist or a fog that can make things very eerie. There’s room for so many things, and that’s the glory of Venice.”
Whereas filming came about at a number of iconic Venetian places together with gothic palazzos and gorgeous canals, it shortly turned clear that the movie’s sequences require the mobility of a set, “The story is full of tricks,” says Kelly. “It’s full of chandeliers dropping, doors swinging open, water pouring down walls, and it’s very, very specific in terms of who has to be where, and who’s in the library when somebody else is on the stairs, and so on.”
As soon as the spooky Venice palazzo-inspired set was constructed Branagh had the solid go on a haunted tour. “We had the actors with us there, rehearsing in empty rooms and doing costume fittings, but on the first occasion when we brought them all together, we took them on a tour of this haunted palazzo by candlelight. So they were all seeing it for the very first time. We made some noises to try and scare them, and we took them on a route that would possibly confuse them. So there was a level of high excitement, and everybody was exposed to it at the same time, in atmospheric conditions,” he reveals.
Jamie Dornan was floored by the set-up. Speaking concerning the eerie areas, he says, “You felt like you were in a real, enclosed building… It creates a sense of authenticity in the setting. Of course, there were lights and cameras and boom mics and all sorts of stuff, but anything that can help make the actors feel that they are actually trapped in this place where very strange things are happening, is so helpful. In fact, I’ve never been on a set like that before, and it was amazing to have it created for us because it made our job that much easier.”
Echoing the sentiment, Tina Fey explains, “The sets felt as if you’d gone into the most beautiful, expensive, perfect dark ride at Disneyland and had been allowed to get out of the car. The level of detail in them was incredible, and the fact that the sets were contiguous was so impressive. Most times when you make a movie you are in one set piece and then you go around the door and there’s nothing there, but with this set, you could really walk through the entire house. And it was very dark. I have never been on a set with more candlelight and open flames.”
A Haunting in Venice arrives in theatres on September 152.
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