A Haunting in Venice (2023) Movie Script

Signore Poirot, your pastries.
The eggs came, signore.
Monsieur Poirot, you must help me.
My parents both
mysteriously died last year.
My brother, soon after.
Our doctor can't explain it.
Please, Monsieur. I fear for my life.
They say we're cursed.
What did I tell you?
Touch him again and I keep your hand.
Excuse me, sir.
Signore Poirot, I need to speak to you
urgently, please.
Monsieur Poirot...
there is a lady here.
She says she's in Venice
on urgent business.
She says she's a friend of yours.
I don't have any friends.
She said you would say that...
so I should give you this.
The authoress.
Hello, young man. Is your mother at home?
You must forgive my bodyguard.
His instructions are mine.
No one may pass but the pastry man,
twice a day.
Twice a day?
-You know me. Apples only till supper.
Oh, gosh, I like this so much.
Oh, the little chochy-chochy-late.
Hercule Poirot really has gone silent.
Walled himself up into retirement.
Cakes for cases.
I am much satisfied.
This is happiness, not satisfaction.
A writer knows the difference.
Even picked Venice to hide in.
A gorgeous relic,
slowly sinking into the sea...
just like your mind without a challenge.
Don't underestimate me
for a clever turn of phrase.
I am the world's number one
mystery writer.
Or was, anyway.
Bestsellers, 27 of 30 books.
Damn the critics on the last three.
Called them all small beer.
Ariadne Oliver, it is good to see you.
You're coming with me.
Time to put some life back into your life.
Well, then.
Did you not hear? This is urgent.
You are not the first who has come
to seduce me with some irresistible case.
Not a case. It's much spiffier than that.
You really are cut off from the world.
Do you not know what today is?
What is "spiffier"?
Happy Halloween! Yeah!
We Americans imported loud music
and terrible chocolate...
but we also brought back Halloween.
There's a party tonight for the children.
Hey, kids! America says,
"Happy Halloween!"
Hey! Happy Halloween! Let's go!
Poirot, I've found something. Someone.
I can't explain it.
I've looked at it from every which way,
and I can't figure it out.
You are up to something, my friend.
"The Unholy Ms. Reynolds."
She's a spiritualist or a medium,
according to the papers...
"Joyce Reynolds,
recently released from jail...
"was the last woman
on record imprisoned...
"under the terms
of the Witchcraft Act of 1735."
I've seen a million of these
so-called psychics, each one a flimflam fake.
Then, there's that one.
I tell you, this Ms Reynolds,
I sat at a sance...
things happened.
I am the smartest person I ever met,
and I can't figure it out.
So, I came to the second.
I need Detective Poirot
to pop this balloon...
or God help me, I will end up a believer.
Spot the con I can't.
Come with me to the orphans' Halloween party.
Then, afterwards, we're invited to a sance.
-Hey, boys, there's a Halloween party.
-You're taking her on a date?
Enjoy the party, kids.
Don't get too scared now.
There it is.
Palazzo Lacrime dei Giovani.
In Venice, we say...
"Every house is haunted...
"or cursed."
Are you ready, children?
Long ago...
this palazzo was an orphanage.
Good doctors and good nurses
took care of good children.
Until the Plague.
Plagues make people afraid...
and fear makes people do terrible things.
Is it not too frightening for the children?
Scary stories make life less scary.
The children soon realized they were alone.
Locked inside to die...
starving, calling, clawing.
Some say the children
are still hiding in this palazzo...
and they want more children to join them.
So, you be careful...
for they want revenge
on the doctors and nurses...
who left them here to die.
Watch out for the mark
of the Children's Vendetta.
No one here is a doctor, are they?
Or a nurse?
Then, I guess it's safe to start the party!
Don't! Stop running.
There's an actual, literal party
and you're hiding in a book.
I thought you might play
with other children for once.
Games are frivolous.
The Halloween calls for horror stories.
Don't you think so, Miss Olga?
Don't you at least want some cake?
That's for the orphans.
I'll check on father.
He's no good at parties.
Nun alert.
Ms. Oliver, it's a thrill to have you here.
You're my favorite author.
Your mysteries give me faith
the wicked will meet justice.
Sadly, life doesn't round out so well
as detective fiction.
Yes. Bonsoir.
Are you all right?
It's so high.
I understand.
It's very dark up here, isn't it?
And this is our hostess?
-This is my house.
-The soprano, Rowena Drake.
A diva's life of glamor.
But she lives here.
Where did all the money go?
Everyone who ever lived here
falls victim to some tragedy.
That's the legend, anyway.
The Children's Vendetta.
Someone sees a child's shadow on the wall,
and then darkness comes.
Like her daughter a year ago.
That's who we're to hear from tonight.
The lost girl from beyond.
I will not believe in such things.
We'll see.
Oh, sweetheart, you're gonna be all right.
Ms Rowena, it's leaking again.
Are you all right, Dad?
Do you need a pill?
Take some punch, then?
We could go, if you'd prefer.
It's all right.
I promised Rowena I'd stay.
I was looking forward to the sance.
You do the children a great kindness, madame.
Adults, too.
You care to bob for an apple, Mr. Poirot?
It looks like fun.
The fun is not for me.
I am glad for it.
It's been far too long
since there was laughter in this house.
Well, it is a remarkable palazzo.
You can have it.
See, I can't afford to fix it
and I can't stand to look at it.
And no one will buy it at any price.
Not after...
Please, oh, God, no!
Forgive me.
I had hoped that seeing all these faces
might make it hurt less.
Mrs. Rowena?
Your guest is here.
God, I'm actually nervous.
You believe in psychics?
This house made me believe.
It holds voices.
My daughter used to stay up at night talking.
I thought it was with her dolls.
My daughter...
to hear her voice again.
A word.
I would give that Ms. Reynolds all I have.
This one will be very sad.
Ms. Reynolds.
Everything is prepared for you in the salon.
As your assistant specified.
So noisy, your home.
The children will be gone before we begin.
So many...
Horrible memories.
Your daughter's room is on the third floor.
How did you...?
May we do it there?
Of course.
Ariadne Oliver.
My nemesis.
We meet again. The unholy Ms. Joyce Reynolds.
The press coined that one.
Not sure if I like it.
Bonsoir, madame, I must say
that I expected someone more...
Dramatic? Ridiculous?
An old crone?
Yes, this is the perfect word.
The croney. The old croney.
I didn't ask to be what I am.
Why I like the term "medium,"
sort of middling.
I'm not big or small.
I'm not interesting at all.
But I can talk to the dead.
And you?
I am Hercule Poirot.
You were Hercule Poirot.
The detective.
You're anything but medium.
You're quite famous.
Am I your next quite famous case?
I am retired from cases.
But you are here to discredit me.
Isn't that why the great writer brought you?
I am here as a favor to Ms. Oliver...
who is eager
to divine your means of divination.
I must tell you, madame...
I have been all my life,
uncharmed by your kind.
My kind?
Opportunists who prey on the vulnerable, no?
You don't believe in the soul's endurance
after death?
I have lost my faith.
How sad for you.
Yes, it is most sad. The truth is sad.
Please understand, madame...
I would welcome with open arms...
any honest sign of devil or demon or ghost...
for if there is a ghost, there is a soul.
If there is a soul,
there is a God who made it...
and if we have God, then we have everything.
Meaning, order, justice.
But I have seen too much of the world.
Countless crime, two wars...
the bitter evil of human indifference,
and I conclude, no.
No God, no ghosts.
With respect, no mediums
who can speak to them.
You were saying?
As if I didn't have enough to clean.
Shouldn't even be here past dark.
I don't think they'll bother us.
What happens past dark?
Well, still a charlatan?
A ceiling weakened by water damage,
unused to rollicking footsteps.
No credit for theatrical timing.
Ms. Alicia's room is up here.
When the lights go on again
All over the world
And the
If I may, please, how did the girl die?
The balcony. The canal.
-A suicide.
It wasn't her fault. They pushed her to it.
Mrs. Seminoff, please.
What then, Doctor?
You cared for her. You saw.
Wait, please.
Who has been inside here tonight?
Ms. Reynolds, her assistant?
No one. I have the only key.
No one's stepped foot here
since Ms. Alicia passed but me.
To dust a bit and to check on Harry.
Who is Harry?
Her friend.
She told him everything.
He used to speak before she died.
Now, he just cries.
Everything is just as she left it.
Ms. Rowena wouldn't let me move a thing.
Alicia and her were inseparable.
-Can't catch me!
-Yes, I can!
This palazzo was their oasis.
Only a week at a time
between travel for the opera.
But Alicia had the children's ghosts
for company.
She grew so beautiful.
Then she met her chef, Maxime.
They were engaged so fast.
So in love.
Then, she and her fianc quarreled.
She moved back here to the palazzo.
That's when she started to see the children.
They wanted her for themselves.
She suffered her last weeks in that bed...
seeing things.
The children are calling her, she said.
"They want you here with them."
They drove her mad.
Ms. Rowena didn't leave her side...
begging the spirits to let her be.
They didn't.
They left the mark...
of the Children's Vendetta.
The police said the cuts were from the fall.
The police...
Now, this woman,
she wants to disturb Alicia's soul.
And I am telling you, monsieur,
this is not right.
This is against nature and the Good Lord.
Somebody will have to pay.
So much pain here.
Baba the Rabbit.
Maxime, no.
"Maxime, be at Palazzo, 10 p.m.
Important news about Alicia Drake."
-I was invited.
-Not by me.
You're always trying to kick me out, Rowena.
It's never worked before.
If there's something to hear, I'll hear it.
Well, tell that to your new fiance.
Waited a whole six months after Alicia died.
I hear she's insensibly rich.
Land-grants-from-King-George rich.
Bought me my own bistro on Madison Avenue.
I'm gonna be a New Yorker and a rich one...
which is the only kind to be.
You should come visit.
I'll buy you a hot dog.
Should I throw him out?
Try it.
Give me the excuse.
Do whatever you want, Maxime. You always do.
I lost too, Rowena.
How many are we? Nine or 10?
Oh, I don't know.
Take 12 chairs, I think.
A full house.
A sance? Christ in a hat!
Is that what this is?
A typewriter.
No Ouija board? Crystal ball?
I think myself more secretary than anything.
The voices speak...
and I take dictation.
Leopold, perhaps go and read in the library.
I want to see Alicia.
She was my friend too.
You're not scared of ghosts?
I talk to ghosts here all the time.
Do you?
They say you're a fake.
No one touch me
until the trance has ended.
Alicia Drake...
I believe it was you who called to me.
Too many spirits.
This house is spilling with the dead.
Some souls can't let go.
Do we stop, Ms. Reynolds?
If someone wants to be heard, we are here.
Spirits, you scream and shout
and no one hears.
We do now.
Alicia Drake...
find your voice.
It just got cold.
Does anyone else feel a chill?
Is someone there?
She didn't touch the key, I swear.
She must have. You can't all be such fools.
This is wrong. This is very wrong.
Who is there? Alicia Drake.
We are here.
It is the hallow tide.
We are close.
Your spirit is close...
your voice is loud.
"A." Alicia.
Alicia, I feel you are in pain.
Does it hurt? Please, tell me.
Did someone hurt you?
Poirot, let her finish!
No! First, let us meet
a secret confederate...
in the chimney.
Nicholas, are you hurt?
I'm all right.
Nicholas. The second assistant.
I am pleased to meet you.
By your similar and piercing green eyes...
I take you
for the first assistant's half-brother.
A magnetic switch.
Et voil, the talking typewriter.
A fake?
Mrs. Seminoff, your dedication
to housekeeping could be improved.
No one had been in this room except you...
yet my new friend
left his footstep in the fireplace.
The bright scratch at the keyhole
indicates a lock recently picked.
Ms. Oliver, you must find a new subject
for your book.
Ms. Drake, I am sorry for your loss...
but this oracle is a fake.
Where's Baba?
Did someone take him?
Did you?
I didn't touch anything.
So thirsty.
Why would you leave me?
I don't want...
I don't want to die.
What is happening?
showing me.
I see her...
on the balcony.
Not alone.
She didn't jump.
You killed me. You killed me.
Show me. Who?
You killed me! You killed me!
-You killed me!
-Who hurt you?
You killed me!
-You killed me!
-Show me!
You killed me!
Who hurt you?
What happened?
She truly is unholy.
It was Alicia's voice.
Someone must have killed her.
We can't prove any of it was real.
-Then, what was it?
Theater. Catching us in a group hysteria.
That wasn't War of the Worlds on the radio.
The damn doors blew open. I can't explain it.
I can.
That was my daughter.
Oh, no.
Don't you dare leave without saying it.
You saw what I saw, and what you saw was...
Was fake.
Real. That woman is proof. Living proof.
There's a title.
Sure as hell, she's my next book
and sure as hell, it's a hit.
A big beer book.
Good God, I have to start writing right away.
The woman who stumped Hercule Poirot.
I admit I cannot solve all of her methods
in this moment, but of course I will.
You won't.
Come on, you should be relieved.
And how incredible to believe,
to know the world has mystery.
A God who cares enough to make abiding souls.
-After death comes...
If there was a God,
he would not break his rule for her.
You're all right.
I hope you'll be back tomorrow.
Rowena made me promise to sit for her again.
And Miss Oliver says I should prepare
to be quite famous.
-Dottore, I'll find us a boat.
These spirits were particularly savage.
Sittings always exact a price.
As I'm sure do you.
You are amongst frauds, the gifted one.
I wish I was a fraud.
Be less painful.
I think you know something of this, monsieur.
Someone dies and we comfort the grieving...
with secrets plain to us.
Both creatures who speak for the dead...
who know the dead too well, I think.
Imagine a war nurse who hears ghosts...
surrounded by screaming.
On her ward...
inside her mind.
Wave after wave of the dying and the dead.
And the only thing that stopped the pain...
was telling the mourners what I heard.
Ease their suffering as only I can.
You'd begrudge that?
You made a mother believe
her daughter's soul is in torment.
This is not generous.
Not gentle, not humble.
I felt pain.
I saw a murder...
Did you see who killed Alicia Drake?
It was not revealed. Maybe tomorrow.
A lucrative convenience.
-Why is this...?
-Terrors for children, Ms. Reynolds.
You might learn from them.
Children can suffer...
as much as those orphans...
and still laugh and play and bob for apples.
They're alive.
But you...
Death everywhere you went.
All your life.
We shall not meet again.
You persist that you are real.
And if I'm not, who's getting hurt?
Magic won't come unless you call it in...
unless it really is all true.
Lighten up, pal.
You might have fun.
I'd say to remember me...
but you will.
"Lighten up."
Monsieur Poirot!
Monsieur Poirot!
Monsieur Poirot, can you hear me?
Who did this?
I left Ms. Reynolds...
I stopped by the apples. Silly.
I lifted my mask.
It was her mask.
Where is Ms. Reynolds?
What was that?
-What's going on?
-What was that?
-Was that her?
-What's happening?
I will call my old station.
I should know the man on duty.
I thought my cupboards were bare.
No, I scrounged up some tea
left from the party.
Found your honey in the linen closet.
Vitale Portfoglio.
What do we do?
She was our ticket.
We'll get there without her.
I promise.
None of you saw anyone on the stairs?
Some things can't be seen.
Maybe she jumped.
She seemed the type.
No. Not Ms. Reynolds. Never.
She talked about a murder.
She could have known something.
You still think she's real?
Please. She made up that murder idea
to impress a famous author...
and to bait the hook on a new income stream.
-Then, why is she dead?
She spoke in Alicia's voice.
Don't look at me. I was being interrogated
by your lady writer.
Ask her. Then, ask the doctor where he was.
Sick bastard already killed here once.
It wasn't either of them.
You know what it was.
Hateful things live in this house.
That woman called to them and they answered.
In the war, before she did sittings.
Ms. Reynolds was in the British Army.
She served with the camps at Malta.
-She was a nurse.
-A nurse.
The Children's Vendetta.
The canals are not safe.
We can't get a boat here
until the storm clears.
When will that be?
It's out of police control, signora.
Well, I won't sit here and wait.
I never spent the night in this house before
and I won't now.
-What's going on?
-Sir, you can't do this.
-You can't lock us in here.
What are you doing?
You can't trap us here.
A medium boasts of having a vision of murder.
Now, she is dead.
One of you felt her eyes upon you.
Killed her, tried to kill me.
No one should leave this place
until I know who.
Commissario, stand here
and see these gates do not open.
Monsieur Gerard, stand here
and watch the commissario.
You suspect me? I was a cop.
All the more reason to suspect you.
They already killed tonight.
You will all have your chance to speak.
And call back the police.
Tell them Hercule Poirot is on the case.
Is this where she...?
The attempt on my life occurred...
at approximately two minutes
after the chime of midnight.
You were the first to find the body at...?
Don't you dare look at me
like a murder suspect.
We're old friends.
Every murderer is somebody's old friend.
But you have written too many clever murders
to fall at the foot of your first victim.
And you are so far viably alibied
by the chef for the time...
which is why I shall now ask you to assist me
in my investigation.
When do we start?
When you collect for me our host.
I knew you were in there somewhere.
All it took was a corpse and look at you.
Hercule Poirot all over again.
Baba the Rabbit?
How the hell?
Baba the Rabbit?
Are you sure?
Under that mess of paintings?
Where were you when Ms. Reynolds...?
We were in the music room.
And when was that?
Midnight, just before.
And then you came running?
If I may ask,
what is directly above this balcony?
The garden was our secret hideaway.
It was my daughter's favorite place.
I let it all die.
Our bees.
We made honey.
My daughter, she used to tease me.
"All this effort
for a teaspoon of wildflower honey...
"that we can buy for six lira."
I held hope they'd survive, but...
Poor things.
How did you come to invite Ms. Reynolds
to your home?
Couldn't we get out of the rain for this?
Oh, mais non,
let us enjoy this secret garden.
Well, I read about her in a magazine.
I didn't think much of it.
And then, out of the blue one day,
she wrote to me.
A letter from a stranger.
But she would know you from the opera, no?
But it was the name she used.
She said that she heard a message
from Aspasia.
That was a pet name that
she used to use for me.
Aspasia, the great love
of the King of Pontus...
from Mitridate.
It was Mozart's first opera.
It was my first starring role.
Alicia was born two months before, and...
I found my voice because of her.
And ever since...
I can't sing without knowing that she's
waiting in my dressing room.
I still can't.
You will never perform again?
There is no music without her.
I turned down marriage proposals
without even a thought.
She said yes to her first.
To the charming chef Maxime Gerard.
He is a pompous ass out
to marry the biggest purse he can find.
When they got engaged...
I tore out every flower in the garden...
and I got on a boat to Istanbul.
But he must have found
that I wasn't as rich as he'd thought.
One of the best days of my life was when
he said that he had met someone else.
And that he called the whole thing off.
But that's when the worst days started.
Her illness.
Her mind was on fire.
She was like a little girl again.
Thank you, Ms. Drake.
Ms. Oliver.
I'm a terrible housekeeper.
I'm all she could get.
Superstitious city.
But you are superstitious, too.
This palazzo you believe is haunted, yes?
Ms. Rowena may own it,
but the spirits possess it.
And where were you, Madame Seminoff...
when these murderous ghosts
turned Joyce Reynolds into one of their own?
Make light, go on.
Why do you ask all these questions?
I did nothing wrong.
It's what he does. Or used to do.
I'm helping him, you know,
he's back at it for the moment.
It's going well.
What is it that you do?
What is it that I do?
When a crime has been committed...
I can, by application of order and method...
and the slow extinguishing of my own soul...
find without fail or doubt, whodunit.
Like in your books...
your silly detective from Finland...
he's making lists.
Do you base yourself on her writing?
Would you mind telling us
where you were at midnight?
For the lists.
In the music room with Ms. Rowena.
And she joined you there at midnight.
You are absolutely sure of this?
I was watching the clock
and was grateful that she did.
But you did not approve
of the fortune teller.
I believe you called her "satanic."
Your mind goes, perhaps to Exodus...
"Do not suffer a sorceress to live."
The Bible warns against it with reason.
A witch on her Sabbath?
To be drowned or burned...
or thrown off a high balcony?
No, I am no vigilante.
But your scripture is keen.
No less than a strict Vulgate Latin.
Not the product of a parochial school...
but perhaps a convent.
I found my call to be a nun
before I could read.
I wore the habit nine years
at Ospedale della Piet.
And then I met Mr. Seminoff.
He came to fix the roof.
God sets challenges.
You fell in love and forgot God.
No, it's not that simple.
One final question.
For the lists, of course.
Pardon, I believed I heard something.
You who fear the dark arts so...
why would you even attend a sance?
An abominated act here at night,
when you are loath to remain?
There's only one to whom I must answer.
And that is not you.
Mrs. Olga Seminoff, as a nun,
what was your saint's name?
You won't get far on a broken leg.
Jagged weapon. Not too sharp.
Nails, maybe.
And no other marks on her.
Other than the obvious.
Nothing else unusual about her condition?
Impaled on classical art might be enough.
But what of the left wrist?
You ignore an injury...
as well as the precise time of death.
Missed that.
You're staring at me.
You think I'm a loony?
I'm not!
Are you all right?
Just up here if you need me.
Really wish you hadn't asked me.
Battle scars are not always of the body.
You served?
15th of April, '45.
It was all supposed to be over.
We crossed the Rhine...
east in the push for Berlin.
Found the gates at the camp at Bergen-Belsen.
Oh, God.
Nursing skeletons back to life.
We killed two the first day with milk.
We didn't know.
Then typhus.
All we had was aspirin and opium.
We burned down the huts.
I wrote Leo a letter.
And then shot myself through the chest.
I was told to stop practicing
when I got home.
Except for one patient last year.
Alicia Drake.
A favor to Rowena.
Nobody else would see her.
Not here.
I'd been her family doctor so long,
I should have said no.
But you were at a disadvantage there.
Because you are in love with Rowena Drake.
Lucky to be in her life at all.
I know this has been...
I know this has been difficult,
but in your opinion...
could Alicia Drake have been murdered?
Alicia told me what she saw.
She said the children were taunting her.
I didn't listen.
I wrote it off as a broken heart
when she was going mad.
She needed help.
I gave her sedatives...
like milk to the starving.
There is no such thing as psychic phenomena.
There is psychic pain.
A loony like me should have known.
Are we through?
Merci, Doctor Ferrier.
I suppose I'm nowhere on your list.
Of who to interview.
I'll wait, sir.
The terrifying Edgar Allan Poe.
For a boy your age, it is not better...
perhaps, Charles Dickens?
He's a bit silly. Don't you think?
My father's jumpy like you.
They call it war neurosis. Battle fatigue.
I think that's unfair.
He's not tired.
He's broken.
He was with me at midnight,
if you were wondering.
I was wondering, I admit.
With you at midnight, yes?
In the kitchen, waiting for Ms. Rowena.
He wanted to say good night.
Of course.
Her assistants came in just after,
so they're still on your list.
Everyone is on my list.
You left on the taps.
I am afraid, I do not know myself tonight.
You're feeling things.
It's All Hallows' Eve.
The dead are as close as they can be.
You were dead, too, sir.
Even if only for a moment.
They see you as one of their own.
One with something to say
would be wise to come to you.
You talk like Ms. Reynolds.
She only pretended to know.
No wonder they got cross with her.
You have much sympathy with the dead.
Some of them are my friends.
Excuse me.
Merci, Monsieur Leopold.
You're welcome.
Nicholas and Desdemona are ready.
We can wait for the police.
I am Hercule Poirot, no?
-No. Yes.
If the police can succeed where I cannot...
I will be the next one off the balcony
into the canal.
Back to his old self.
What do you think so far?
My money's on the housekeeper.
Good taste in books,
but brimstone fire burns hot.
And Rowena Drake needed the victim alive.
Although that little boy...
all the charm of chewing tinfoil.
Perhaps, perhaps.
Every theory aspires to fact
before the information is gathered.
Order and method.
-And lists.
-And lists.
We continue to those who knew her best,
her assistants.
Do you really think the help had motive?
The help always have motive...
first having to endure
to be called "the help."
Him again.
Those two criminals are not to be trusted.
Criminals? Those children?
You might have mentioned that.
I'm telling you now.
Couldn't I do this with my sister?
She waits for you comfortably.
Where is my brother?
He waits for you comfortably.
Desdemona and Nicholas Holland.
Our passports are forgeries.
Yes. And not very good ones.
Horvt Nipkin and Dorenia before.
Born in Hungary.
Village burned out of existence.
Of all our family...
somehow we were still alive.
We took care of each other.
At midnight, we snuck a drink in the kitchen.
The creepy kid was there.
He has you coming in just after the hour.
He is mistaken.
And how long were you in Ms. Reynolds employ?
-Just over a year.
-You sure?
The best year we ever had.
We haven't been hungry
since we started fronting for her.
I don't know what we'll do without her.
-We managed before her.
-Oh, yes, you stole.
We were thieves, not murderers.
We did what we had to survive the war.
She just knew things.
And if she says Alicia Drake was murdered...
Pure phony.
She was magic.
So, all of these sance
in which you participated...
It was fake. Fake.
-Fake? They were fake, the spirit meetings?
-It was all fake.
-All of the sances?
-It was all a show.
All a show, a fake. Strange.
And is this magic too?
The control for your talking typewriter?
I mean, we'd set some tricks.
Only to drive home the reality
of her visions.
She ordered me around like a duchess...
and flirted with Nicholas
to keep him in line.
We have put up with worse.
"We'll get there without her."
Where were you running off to?
-We're going to Missouri.
We were hiding in the Murrhardt Forest.
Living on weeds and mice.
The American trucks,
they came through Heilbronn...
and I thought we're dead when they caught us.
They taught us the Lindy Hop.
We'd never seen anything like them before.
This mix of men,
their colors and their voices.
One of them tacked up this sheet.
They had a film projector,
but only half a movie.
We used to watch
half of Meet Me in St. Louis...
every night on an army sheet for a month.
We watched it over and over.
I still don't how it ends.
It ends happily.
"St. Louis, Missouri."
Just saying those words
could get my sister to fall asleep.
It was the color.
It was the beautiful people.
You know, it was, no one was sick.
No one was starving or dying.
5135 Kensington Avenue.
That's where we decided to live.
It's her dream so it's mine too.
We only had to endure the duchess
until we had enough to buy our way in.
And start over.
Stupid to have a dream.
But impatient with your dream, you
grew brazen and skimmed from her proceeds.
"Clang, clang, clang, went the trolley."
What? No, we didn't.
Your brother already admits that you did.
Your sister already admits that you did.
Not from Ms. Reynolds. We wouldn't.
Perhaps she discovered your theft
and made threats.
Perhaps you had had enough experience...
of the police's cruel treatment
of stateless Romani urchins...
and, wishing to avoid deportation,
or worse, killed her.
You, the trusted help.
Nicholas, where are you?
If I'm trapped here, so are you.
Doesn't mean that I killed her.
Damn well ran like she did.
Clear motive,
both unaccounted for at her time of death.
I'm changing my guess.
It is certainly possible. Yes. Yes.
You're doing that thing where you pretend
to know more than everyone else in the world.
I as yet know nothing. The truth
does not come without a tax of effort.
You woke the bear from his sleep.
You cannot cry when he tangos.
That's not an expression in any language.
We continue.
Can you hear this?
All around us.
I heard nothing.
Your investigator has poached his egg.
Poirot. A bang to the head
might be your limit for tonight.
Someone else is in this house.
Did you hear it?
Me and you, then.
Still dead.
It is all right. You can come out now.
You're not in any trouble.
There is nothing to fear.
You came with the other children, yes?
And you have been hiding here all this time.
Did you hear the woman fall?
Did you see?
Did someone push her?
Who are you talking to?
A child.
You must have heard.
That I heard.
Let us go!
Untie us, you pig!
You can't leave us here!
-You heard that. You all...
-Must be the pipes.
Pipes? It sounds like the Blitz.
In all my years here, I've never heard this.
I have. When they're angry.
We've upset them.
How do we un-upset them?
It comes from the basement.
There is no basement in this house.
Doctor. The Children's Vendetta.
You wanna go down into that?
All over the world
-The boys are home again
They really did lock those children
in here to die.
Leave him. He's having a nerve storm.
Damn it, Ferrier. Not now!
Pull it together.
Think of your son.
-Stop it!
Stop it! Stop it!
Storm waves. Not ghosts.
-Please, stop it!
Stop it.
Dad, stop it!
Are you all right? You all right?
-Dad, please, stop!
-Stop it!
Please, stop!
Dad. Dad.
Dad. It's me.
It's me.
I'm right here.
You're here with me.
You see me?
You see me?
It's just a thing.
I know.
Shh, Dad.
It's okay. Dad.
Just needs his rest.
Don't you, Dad?
I should be taking care of you.
You do.
Rest, monsieur.
I should have listened.
I saw.
Demons, evil...
they're everywhere in this house.
You and me, we're the same.
Wherever we go...
death follows.
There must be a rational answer
for all of this.
In the basement, there are bees.
Upstairs, there is an ordinary killer.
He can rest now in my music room.
It's almost soundproof.
We should lock it. For his safety.
But please, you keep the key. For ours.
Come on, Leopold.
It's time for more cake, don't you think?
I've had too much.
Well, I haven't.
Of course, she'd say that.
From her perspective, it's true,
I did kill Alicia.
Rowena believes what she wants.
A medium saw Alicia murdered,
color me the gunman.
You do not believe Ms. Reynolds...
her typewriter with the message
from the departed of your initial...
"M" for Maxime.
A haunted house?
Humans are so desperate to shape chaos
into tidy stories...
double that in distress.
It isn't a wash of a trillion stars,
it's ol' Cassiopeia.
That blur of light in the family photo?
That must be Grandad's ghost.
Alicia was mentally ill.
It killed her.
It didn't have to.
A proper doctor would have treated her
properly. Not that twitch salad.
Honey. Good on a cut. Ancient antiseptic.
That's not wildflower.
I can't place it.
Alicia Drake.
Such sunshine happiness.
Torn in two.
Alicia tore up the photo in her room
the night I ended it.
It's the last time we spoke.
So, you did break off your engagement.
You heard. She wasn't rich enough for me.
You carry her photograph in your pocket.
You came tonight when summoned.
I believe that you loved Alicia Drake
more than the money.
And yet, you walked away.
Some women, you marry them,
you marry their mother, too.
So, the mother did not approve of you.
She wouldn't approve of the Pope.
Rowena didn't know how to exist alone.
Tore up the garden in spite,
took off abroad.
Alicia was all twisted with guilt,
wanted to chase her around the world.
And I finally realized I would never be
the most important thing in her life.
So, you broke it off and broke her heart.
All because a woman made you feel small.
I returned to Venice...
to beg her to take me back.
When I heard she was sick...
Rowena wouldn't let me see her.
Or show her my letters.
The next time I saw Alicia was in a coffin.
Maybe it was my fault.
If you will permit,
your invitation, please?
Ms. Oliver.
-A simple note.
-No distinguishing language.
The stationery is plain.
It is cleanly typewritten.
Professionally anonymous.
Well, that's it. You're done. Let's go.
His interview. We did not finish.
You were gonna expose some lie he told...
probably accuse him of being secretly Vichy.
Then, he would have threatened to deck you.
Effort spared.
Is he all right?
Guard dog, be useful, get him a chair.
A chair, yes.
It is good to have a friend in this.
How long have we known each other?
The Canning Road Municipal Baths Murder.
I bullied my way into observing you
as research for a book.
Wrote Poirot thinly veiled.
They saw through it, and you got famous.
Excuse me. Thank you.
Thank you. Not for me. For you.
You want to interview me?
Leave him be.
You turned on a cold engine,
took a few knocks to the head.
Sit this one out. Let morning come.
I almost died.
This palazzo...
it plays tricks.
It puts things in front of me
again and again.
A trick of the mind.
And then my mind wishes to tell me something.
How did you become a policeman?
I do wish you would let go of this.
It's all right. I'll answer.
My father was a cop.
Family business, basically.
Never knew anything else.
Yet, you retired early. Only last year.
The family business was no longer for me.
Perhaps never was.
I had the strength, but not the skin.
I drank when I couldn't sleep
and I never slept.
You were a policeman once.
You can understand.
Eventually, you get a case...
and you know it is the last one
you can stomach and still know your soul.
What case was it for you?
Why did you lie about never having been here
before when clearly you had?
You knew precisely where to find
the hidden telephone.
The case was such a spectacle.
The family deserved their privacy.
But you were the policeman on duty...
when Alicia Drake was found dead.
I pulled her from the water.
Retired next day.
Soon to become my excellent bodyguard,
the dragon at my gate...
who not once permitted a soul to pass.
Yet only this morning, interrupted me...
to ask if I indeed knew the woman
with the apples.
So many months, my peace undisturbed...
you resolutely guarding me
from curiosity or company...
grown men cast into the canal.
Ariadne Oliver...
waltzes through.
Because you were in league.
The authoress and the bodyguard...
working with the medium, in the cahoot.
Feigning disdain...
conspiring to bring me to this sance
to make me a fool.
I'm very worried about you.
Details of Alicia Drake's life and death...
provided by the policeman
who was present at her death.
Details of me provided not by divination...
but by letter from you.
And at the sance,
with all eyes on the medium...
your own hands were free.
The secret accomplice...
to make me believe the impossible.
Mediums and magic.
Ghosts and gods.
Fame for the medium...
a percentage to you...
your literary standing restored.
"The woman who stumped Hercule Poirot."
Not Joyce Reynolds but Ariadne Oliver.
Won't you forgive me?
Apparently, only God can forgive.
Bit of a pickle then.
So, let us discover how you did it.
-A good touch.
The personal invitation to the fianc?
Guaranteed drama with that one.
Three flops, I needed a win.
We were friends.
You don't have friends, you have admirers.
And you only have them because of me.
I wrote you up as a genius...
why shouldn't I use you to sell books?
Genius. You're a fool. An ego.
A black cloud that lures death.
And you know it, too.
That's why you quit.
Is this why you killed Joyce Reynolds?
No. I did not.
Your book an instant legend.
Come on, you're tap dancing now.
Working together...
We didn't.
...to conceal murder!
The key, come quick!
There's someone else in there!
Hurry up! Hurry up with it!
What? What happened? What's wrong with him?
I don't know.
Why did he have to be alone?
This is the only way in.
You had the only key.
Not possible.
No, I was right in front of you!
He was shouting at someone.
I hated him but I didn't want him dead.
He's got a child for Christ's sakes.
Anyways, I was outside...
trying to get in with them.
It's true.
The doctor was alone in here.
Not alone.
Not in this house.
A doctor.
A nurse and a doctor,
the Children's Vendetta.
There is no other way in.
I can't understand.
If this room wasn't safe, nowhere is safe.
None of us are safe.
Nothing human could have done this.
"It is only for us to prove
that these apparent 'impossibilities'...
"are, in reality, not such."
Come on, leave him.
Let the detective detect. He already knows.
He's gonna come to it soon enough.
Go on.
For once in your life, admit that you are up
against something bigger than you.
You asked.
You asked why I stayed
while they summoned spirits.
Alicia was wasting away as she went mad.
Ms. Rowena stayed at her side...
day and night.
One day, I pleaded with her
to take some rest.
I promised to keep watch.
She slept past nightfall.
It got to midnight.
I heard voices...
and footsteps.
Alicia was sleeping so soundly.
She must have woken after I left.
Gone to the balcony.
And you would beg her ghost's forgiveness.
I loved that girl.
She died...
because I was stupid and I was scared.
Why don't you have the answer?
You always have the answer.
-I never should have come.
You should all leave this place
and never look back.
I will not wait to be next.
we are all afraid.
There have been two impossible murders.
Each murder appears committable
only by phantom...
as if the living have been killed
by the dead.
"Appears"? You know something.
You know who killed my father?
I must consider Ms. Reynolds' assistants.
Survivors, desperate and threatened.
The ex-police-commissario,
who has been in this house before...
each time death occurs.
The authoress, determined, capable,
murderously clever.
Our avenging angel, Olga Seminoff...
so keen on justice as she prescribes it.
The former love
full of rage for the doctor...
and only the fragment of a photograph...
to remember such happiness.
There has been a third death,
which explains the other two.
The murder of Alicia Drake...
committed by...
her mother.
Her murderer.
A mother who killed her own child then
killed twice more to hide her terrible sin.
How dare you!
After all I have suffered,
to accuse me of harming my little girl!
Your little girl had grown.
You could not fathom losing her
to anyone else.
In a rage, you tore up your garden
of rainbow flowers.
Flowers? You're too far gone now.
But you replanted your garden.
Not with a rainbow, but with a single color.
The single color that could give you back
what you would not live without.
All night, I am hearing, seeing things
which are not there.
I begin to believe
in the impossible presence of ghosts.
When in fact I had been doped, drugged...
with an hallucinogenic poison.
I thought my cupboards were bare.
Found your honey in the linen closet.
There is a poison in the flowering species
of Rhododendron Ponticum.
Its highest concentration in the nectar...
that concentrates further
when processed by bees into honey.
All this effort
for a teaspoon of wildflower honey...
that we could buy for six lira.
That's not wildflower.
I can't place it.
They call it "Deli bal" in Trkiye,
where it grows wild.
Where Rowena Drake traveled alone, angry.
"Mad honey."
A mere teaspoon of this poison...
induces weakness, fever, hallucination.
You replanted it with that same toxic flower
that would produce poison honey.
I couldn't do that. I wouldn't.
Your daughter was not possessed.
She was poisoned...
by a mother who could not let her go.
Who lovingly spoon-fed controlled doses...
of poison honey in her tea.
Keeping her just sick enough...
to prevent a reunion with her repentant love.
Weak, helpless like a child again.
Yours again.
Until a mistake.
Mrs. Seminoff watched Alicia
while you slept at last.
Night fell and Olga grew frightened
when, inevitably, Alicia woke...
I am sure, disturbed again.
But what to do?
And not knowing the real truth...
Olga Seminoff did what she believed
that you would do...
and served Alicia Drake calming tea
sweetened with honey.
Too sweet.
I didn't know.
I didn't know.
Alicia Drake did not run to her balcony
to commit suicide.
She had overdosed on your poison.
And her heart had stopped in her sleep.
You returned from your rest...
to find her dead.
And then...
you made your monstrous choice.
You made the mark of the Children's Vendetta.
You cut her, you threw her into the canal,
you made her a suicide.
A victim of legend. Of ghosts.
Your love-blind and incapable doctor...
found nothing to arouse suspicion
at the inquest.
The police, predisposed to superstition,
easily satisfied.
The poisoned jar left in the linen cupboard
by the careless housekeeper.
You had got away
with killing your own child...
until Ms. Oliver drew my attention
to something.
Where did all the money go?
I can't afford to fix it.
There is usually only one answer.
I suspect that someone had found you out.
And so you paid for their silence.
Again and again, you paid.
But now, with your fortune gone
and this house unsalable at any price...
you were desperate to get out
from under the blackmailer's thumb.
But who could it be?
Your obvious suspect was Doctor Ferrier.
Perhaps he was not so naive a witness.
Perhaps finally,
he recognized the poison symptoms.
And then you received your letter
from the unholy Ms. Reynolds...
claiming messages from your lost daughter.
Too many intimate details known...
teasing knowledge of your crime,
her services offered at a heavy price.
Surely this was your blackmailer.
She had to be stopped to be safe.
Both Ms. Reynolds and Doctor Ferrier
had to be stopped. But how?
The sance in a haunted house on Halloween.
The perfect opportunity to conceal the murder
of those you suspected of blackmail.
Hiding behind superstition, legend, fear.
The clock struck.
And so did you.
But in your haste,
you mistake the wearer of the mask.
Disposing of me, you find your target.
I was with Mrs. Seminoff at midnight.
She was.
We were together, I saw the time.
You saw the time on the clock
in the music room...
where she had asked you to wait.
A room, which is practically soundproof.
Which she herself had sealed.
And in which she had previously
changed the time...
where you could not even hear
the true midnight bell.
It read midnight when it was really...
After Joyce Reynolds' death.
The damning evidence discarded
with a magician's touch.
What about Ferrier?
She wasn't anywhere near him.
Indeed, she made a show of the locked door,
giving me the sole key.
But you would not kill Doctor Ferrier
with a knife.
Your murder weapon would be a telephone.
The phone line from outside was dead,
of course, because of the storm...
but the internal line remained clear.
No telephone call would come
from outside the house.
Only from inside.
She, in the dining room.
He, sealed in the music room.
I know you've been blackmailing me.
You confessed to him everything.
To being the murderer of Joyce Reynolds.
Of staging your own daughter's suicide.
It's not possible.
And then you made your threat.
Do exactly as I tell you.
You threatened to kill his son...
No! No, let him go. Leave him.
...his only reason to live...
...if he did not do what you told him.
And what you told him to do...
was to take the knife.
She killed my dad?
And Ms. Reynolds.
-And Alicia.
I would never hurt her.
It was an accident.
She was my whole life.
-You poisoned her.
-To protect her.
-To control her!
-To keep her safe from you.
I couldn't let her go.
She was mine.
She was the best thing about me.
And if there is a soul, you gave hers peace.
They will rule Ms. Drake a suicide.
Unless you would like
to make a statement otherwise.
Can I at least see you safe home...
before you turn me in for fraud?
In the daylight...
neither appears necessary.
In the end, it is you protecting me, Dottore.
Come on then, Leopold.
Let me do the top button up.
It's fine, Miss Olga.
Very smart.
-I don't need a coat.
-You'll be cold.
I'm fine.
I know it's sunny, but it's still cold.
-That's much better.
-Miss Olga, I'm fine.
-Very handsome.
He'll live with me and Mr. Seminoff.
And Harry.
We'll mind him as our own.
Might insist on a bit more sunshine.
You are a precocious boy...
who is perhaps ashamed
at how much he likes attention.
I know something of this.
You must not blame yourself
for anything that happened in this house.
Why would he do that?
But it's all my fault.
You did not care for the money for yourself.
You wanted to help your father.
Dad couldn't work.
I only used the money to pay for our bills.
I didn't even know what to do with the rest.
Rowena Drake presumed the blackmailer
was the fake medium or the family doctor...
when it was neither.
Only the doctor's son saw the truth.
It was obvious from Dad's notes.
Mad honey poisoning...
just like Mitridate from her opera.
The Poison King.
I read all about it in one of her books
in the library.
And so, I tested the theory.
You sent a blackmail letter.
And another.
Perhaps there is a use for this money
in your mattress.
To make good of regret.
We survived before Ms. Reynolds.
We'll do better than survive.
I promise we'll get to America. We will.
Come with us, you two.
To the police station?
Us, to home. You, to America.
Missouri, I understand.
Passage for two. We can help with that.
I think.
Thank you.
Thank you, thank you so much.
Leave some space for Leopold, please.
You solved the case.
But you had help...
didn't you?
You heard her.
Bonne chance, my friend.
Don't worry...
people who die in this house
always come back.
I'll see them again.
See you soon, Dad.
I won't apologize. You've ruined my book.
Neither living nor proof.
I have to rewrite the whole thing.
So long as it does not include my name.
I never want to hear your name again.
Just a house now. All debunked.
But you've got the look of a believer.
You did. You saw something.
I was under the influence.
My subconscious mind assembled facts
ahead of the rational.
You saw.
You know.
I know only that we cannot hide
from our ghosts.
Whether they are real or not...
we must make our peace with them.
And live life.
And how will you live your life?
Monsieur Poirot?
Monsieur Poirot?
Your parents died
one soon after the other.
Then, your brother.
Your trusted doctor is a beloved friend
to the family.
Your brother was unmarried,
as are you. No other relations.
Your family is not cursed.
I strongly suspect
your brother added a codicil to his will...
naming your doctor as beneficiary...
should all members
of your small family perish.
After which I strongly suspect
he also murdered them...
claiming natural causes at their deathbeds.
And your life is next in danger.
You may wish to sit.
So, correct me if I am wrong, monsieur,
your doctor was a family friend?
You would play together as children.
This much is clear.
However, your mother was
closer to you, right? Yes.