Monday, October 31, 2011

Hallowe'en Party

Even though this episode of Poirot first aired during the summer, I think this is a good time to share my thoughts! It's a Halloween-themed mystery...

Series XI, "Hallowe'en Party"

Synopsis from the PBS Masterpiece website: "I saw a murder once...I did! I did!" boasts a clumsy, disliked girl at a Halloween party. For this, she is ridiculed and dismissed. But before the party's end, she is dead, snuffed out in an apple-bobbing tub. Party guest Ariadne Oliver — never again to consume another apple — summons her old friend Hercule Poirot for help and the gallant sleuth is only too happy to oblige. With the dubious help of the grisly old village witch and the wildly speculative mystery writer Oliver, Poirot must investigate old sins and discover the connections between a years-old stabbing, a Russian au pair, and a forgery to unmask a dangerous killer, all before another corpse surfaces. Adapted by Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) and based on the novel by Agatha Christie, Hallowe'en Party stars David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, ZoĆ« Wanamaker as Ariadne Oliver, and Deborah Findlay (Cranford).

My Review:

Hallowe'en Party is a creepy murder story, replete with relationship issues and tragedies. If you're looking for a fun-but-scary movie to watch this Halloween, this approximately 90 min.-long episode is probably not the ticket. However, if you're looking for an intriguing murder mystery with some serious overtones, then perhaps you should give this a try for Halloween or any other time of the year!

David Suchet plays the part of Hercule Poirot marvelously. Extremely intelligent and a touch proud, he is also understanding and gentle, with remarkable insight into motivations. It's a pleasure to watch him put all the pieces together and ultimately share his Halloween story of a puzzle solved, which begins (of course!) with the line, "It was a dark and stormy night..."

What is unique about this Halloween-themed movie is that Poirot views horrific or macabre stories at Halloween as missing the point. He claims that Halloween is a time to honor the dead and light a candle for them, rather than glorify the gruesome. Whatever our thoughts on Halloween, it's refreshing to watch a movie that steps away from the idea that gory deaths are entertaining, and rather reminds the viewer that violence and suffering are issues to be contemplated with much gravity and not "mockery," as Poirot puts it.

So while the Halloween theme of the movie may make you want to grab some candy, Poirot also gives the viewer some food for thought to chew on when all is said and done.

In Other Halloween News...

I'm off to a Halloween party with friends this evening, dressed up as Elizabeth Swann from Pirates of the Caribbean (in a Disney dress, not her pirate regalia - a little bit of "fancy" can be fun!). May you all stay safe and have an enjoyable Halloween night with friends and/or family! If you're wearing a costume or going trick-or-treating (etc.), I'd love to hear about your plans!

6 comments:

Kav said...

I haven't seen this..or even heard of it so I'll have to keep my eye out at the public library and see if they have a copy.

Have a fun at your party -- I get to work at my part-time job tonight so I won't be partying or handing out candy. Just call me Halloween Scrooge.

Amber S. said...

Kav,

Does the library have other Poirot episodes? This is from the latest season that aired this summer in the U.S., so maybe they just haven't got it yet...? I love those PBS Masterpiece shows, and now I'm quite intrigued by Agatha Christie's stories. :)

I'm sorry you have to work tonight, but I hope you still have fun (in a working sense...)! ;)

~Amber

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

O how fun. I'm sorry I missed that.

Amber S. said...

Juju,

The latest Poirot season is available on DVD if you're interested. :) Can't wait for next year's Mystery season on PBS Masterpiece!!

Thanks for stopping by!

~Amber

Ruth said...

Great review, Amber! I should rewatch this in honor of Fall before Winter really kicks in... :)

Amber S. said...

Ruth,

Thank you! And yes, that would be fun! Fall still has a little bit of life left... ;)

~Amber