A haunting in ‘Little Venice’ – Ominous masked figures descend on Londons canals in spooky scene surprising commuters

Posted on 15 September 2023
By Khyle Deen
  • Share:

In a scene straight out of 1940’s Venice, London’s canals were transformed this morning, with a spooky twist.

Passers-by in the capital were given a frightening surprise as a ghoulish gondola took to the canal as it passed through Camden Lock, Regent’s Park Canal and Little Venice – manned by mysterious figures draped in black and donning traditional Venetian masks.

The fearsome figures weren’t supernatural at all, but there to celebrate the launch of the new 20th Century Studios film, ‘A Haunting in Venice’, which is exclusively in cinemas on Friday 15th September. The film is latest instalment in the series of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot films and stars Kenneth Branagh and features a brilliant acting ensemble, including Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey, Kelly Reilly, and Michelle Yeoh, among others.

Early rising city workers and cyclists were taken aback as the eerie boats appeared from a thick cloud of fog which had been cast over the waterways.

The scene was created using a replica Venetian gondola and manned by individuals dressed head-to-toe in costumes inspired by the film, featuring bespoke Venetian masks.

The activation was executed by a team of SFX and prop-makers who studied hours of footage to capture the likeness of the characters, costumes and traditional Venetian gondolas.

One commuter said: “I thought I was still asleep at first, but as the gondolas got closer, it was rather terrifying – it certainly woke me up!”

About A Haunting in Venice:
“A Haunting in Venice” is set in eerie, post-World War II Venice on All Hallows’ Eve and is a terrifying mystery featuring the return of the celebrated sleuth, Hercule Poirot. Now retired and living in self-imposed exile in the world’s most glamorous city, Poirot reluctantly attends a séance at a decaying, haunted palazzo. When one of the guests is murdered, the detective is thrust into a sinister world of shadows and secrets.

Reuniting many of the filmmakers behind 2017’s “Murder on the Orient Express” and 2022’s “Death on the Nile,” the film is directed by Kenneth Branagh with a screenplay by Oscar® nominee Michael Green based upon Agatha Christie’s novel “Hallowe’en Party.” The producers are Kenneth Branagh, p.g.a., Judy Hofflund, p.g.a., Ridley Scott, and Simon Kinberg, with Louise Killin, James Prichard, and Mark Gordon serving as executive producers.