“Knives Out” reminds us that a movie doesn’t have to be original to be fun.

After all, not much happens in this comic thriller that we haven’t seen at the movies since, years ago with the first adaptations of Agatha Christie stories, movie audiences began to crave the fun that chillers can deliver. “Knives Out” continues this tradition. And it’s available for home viewing.

As with many movies with similar narratives, “Knives Out” takes us to a large, luxurious house filled with a range of exaggerated characters. Of course, there is a likely target for the plot, this time a legendary mystery writer who has angered many over the years with his rise to fame and fortune. He is surrounded by family members who resent the patriarch at the same time they depend on his money. And, no surprise, he is served by a loyal housekeeper who is just naïve enough to find herself at the center of suspicion. Once the inevitable crime occurs, a crafty detective arrives as well as a couple of bumbling police officers. Sounds like fun? As familiar as the film may be, “Knives Out” may be ideal entertainment to help pass this time at home.

What makes the film work is the consistently light touch that director Rian Johnson brings to the material. Rather than take it all too seriously — a tendency that plagued the remake of Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express” in 2017 — Johnson consistently winks at the audience while revealing clues to the crime. And instead of trying too hard to have fun — an approach that undermined Neil Simon’s “The Cheap Detective” parody — Johnson directs his cast to consistently respect the material. The result feels like an American version of Robert Altman’s classic “Gosford Park,” itself a pitch-perfect model for any filmmaker who wants to entertain while serving a comfortable whodunit.

The performances delight. Jamie Lee Curtis, who needs to make more movies, creates a delectable portrait of a driven woman with a strong sense of self who finds herself surprised by so much. Toni Collette, who can play any type of role, has a great time chewing the scenery as a sibling with a nagging belief in entitlement. Ana de Armas appeals as the ever-so-sincere housekeeper while Don Johnson has a lot of fun as a husband with, as in many such movies, a bit of a roving eye. With all these strong performances, the top honors go to Daniel Craig for his hysterical take on the man who arrives to solve all the questions. Best known for his stoic rendition of 007, Craig reaches into his acting bag of tricks to create a Southern accent that drips with honey, and a slow rhythm to his speech, to make everyone in the house just uncomfortable enough to add fun to the film.

Yes, the movies love chillers that offer enough surprise to keep us watching while never threatening our confidence in how the plot strings will ultimately resolve. Thanks to a director with a light touch, and a sterling ensemble, “Knives Out” delivers fun from the safety of home.

“Knives Out” is rated PG-13 for “thematic elements including brief violence, some strong language, sexual references, and drug material.” It runs 2 hours, 11 minutes.

Film Nutritional Value: Knives Out

Content: Medium. “Knives Out” takes what we remember from the classic whodunit thrillers and twists our memories into a new tale of what can happen when a powerful man is targeted.

Entertainment: High. Thanks to the creative direction of Rian Johnson, and the perfectly proportioned performances from his cast, the film offers enough fun to feel fresh.

Message: Medium. While “Knives Out” may challenge us to look at our own families, and question how we can offend beyond repair, this is an entertainment, not a message film.

Relevance: High. Any opportunity to share an entertaining family time at the movies is always relevant.

Opportunity for Dialogue: Medium. To make “Knives Out” even more fun, before seeing the film, rewatch the 1974 version of Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express.” You will have even more to talk about.