Gather ’round, ghostly fans, and prepare to be spirited away to the bayous of Louisiana with Disney’s latest spooktacular adventure, Haunted Mansion. Directed by Justin Simien, the film is a delightful romp through the iconic Disney Land Haunted Mansion ride, capturing the essence of the attraction with a blend of humor, heart, and just a touch of horror.
“…captur[es] the essence of the attraction with a blend of humor, heart, and just a touch of horror.”
The story follows Ben Matthias (LaKeith Stanfield), an astrophysicist mourning his late wife, and Gabbie (Rosario Dawson), a single mother who moves into the haunted Gracey Manor with her son Travis (Chase W. Dillon). Together with a quirky cast of characters, they embark on a mission to exorcise the mansion’s ghostly inhabitants. It’s a plot that’s as winding as the mansion’s corridors, filled with fun homages to elements of the ride and deep-cut history for super fans.
Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, and Tiffany Haddish are the comedic trio that keeps the laughs rolling. Whether they’re bantering with ghosts or bumbling through seances, they make every scene a delight to watch. LaKeith Stanfield, Rosario Dawson, and young Chase W. Dillon bring the heart and story to the film, giving us protagonists to root for as they process their grief and bring an emotional core to the film.
The Louisiana vibe is as thick as gumbo in Haunted Mansion, and the way it captures the ride’s facade and haunting ambiance is nothing short of supernatural. From the creaking doors to the flickering candles, it’s a nostalgic trip down memory lane for anyone who’s ever dared to enter the Haunted Mansion.
But alas, not all is perfect in this ghostly abode. Jamie Lee Curtis and Jared Leto were odd choices, with Curtis’ sometimes Russian accent and poorly rendered CGI hair in Madame Leota’s crystal ball falling flat. And Leto’s credit as the Hatbox Ghost? A mystery as perplexing as the mansion itself, given that the final product sounds nothing like him.
“.. a spirited adventure that pays a spooky, loyal tribute to the beloved ride.”
Though a fun-filled romp, the story doesn’t quite break new ground, and it’s not grand enough to set it apart from its 2003 Eddie Murphy-starred predecessor. It also doesn’t shine as bright as Disney’s other dark-ride-turned-franchise and gem of Disney Land’s eye, The Pirates of The Caribbean. But fear not, dear reader, for this version of Haunted Mansion is a fun enough ride to add to the yearly Halloween watch pile.
In the end, Haunted Mansion is a spirited adventure that pays a spooky, loyal tribute to the beloved ride. With standout performances, witty humor, and a touch of silliness, it’s a film that will tickle your funny bone and warm your heart. It may not haunt new ground, but it’s a delightful journey that’s well worth the trip.
I highly recommend you grab a ticket to catch Haunted Mansion in theatres before it silently slips onto Disney+, and prepare to be entertained by a film that’s as charming and whimsical as a ghostly waltz in the grand ballroom. Haunted Mansion is a ride you won’t want to miss, and it’s waiting to welcome you—there’s always room for one more!
[Review] Giggles and Ghosts Abound in Disney’s HAUNTED MANSION
In the end, Haunted Mansion is a spirited adventure that pays a spooky, loyal tribute to the beloved ride. With standout performances, witty humor, and a touch of silliness, it's a film that will tickle your funny bone and warm your heart. It may not haunt new ground, but it's a delightful journey that's well worth the trip.