Haunted Mansion Movie Review & Film Summary (2023)

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Get ready for a spooky cinematic ride with the latest installment of Disney’s Haunted Mansion! Directed by Justin Simien, this Black-led live-action version brings a fresh twist to the classic tale. Let’s dive into the ghostly details and see if it’s a Halloween hit or a miss.



Plot and Characters

Single mother Gabbie (Rosario Dawson) and her son Travis (Chase Dillon) move into a creepy antique house with a sinister history. They quickly realize they’re not alone, as restless spirits haunt the place. The duo enlists the help of astrophysicist Ben (LaKeith Stanfield), priest Father Kent (Owen Wilson), medium Harriet (Tiffany Haddish), and haunted house expert Professor Bruce Davis (Danny DeVito) to free the house from its spectral tenants.



The Script and Humor

Despite the talents of writer Katie Dippold, the script’s humor falls a bit flat, with forced punchlines. Owen Wilson and Tiffany Haddish carry the comedic weight, with Haddish’s classic delivery saving some of the jokes. The film toes Disney’s boundaries, adding light innuendos to appeal to a slightly more mature audience.



Gothic Atmosphere and Thrills

Simien’s film captures the eerie charm of the Haunted Mansion, with surreal transformations, endless halls, and ghost-filled portraits. The movie features playful chases and spooky sequences, although they are somewhat short-lived, leaving us wanting more tension until the climactic third act.



Visual Enchantment: A Haunting Delight

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of “Haunted Mansion” where every frame unfolds a visual marvel. The film’s exquisite production design, coupled with clever cinematography, conjures an eerie ambiance reminiscent of the iconic Disney ride. From the labyrinthine corridors to ghostly portraits, the attention to detail draws you into a spellbinding realm.

While the script may stumble, the haunting visuals shine, casting a nostalgic and magical allure. It’s a testament to the filmmakers’ dedication, providing a mesmerizing experience that captures the essence of the Haunted Mansion’s mystique, a feast for the eyes that adds depth to the storytelling.



Talented Ensemble, Limited Impact

While the cast is star-studded, the script doesn’t fully utilize their talents. LaKeith Stanfield’s emotional moments lack depth, and the chemistry between him and Rosario Dawson feels forced. Comedy veterans like Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, and Tiffany Haddish have a few hits, but overall, their comedic efforts miss the mark.



Themes of Grief and Nostalgia

“Haunted Mansion” captures grief in all its visceral complexity, while the classic gothic setting is saturated with a spine-tingling nostalgic air. But, even with Skeletor’s staff, this spooky flick won’t become legendary unless it adds more witty dialogue and uses its underrated cast better.




Like the ghosts in “Haunted Mansion”, this film fails to stick around. With a star-studded cast and plenty of nostalgic elements, it could have been a Halloween classic, but it never reaches its full potential – the humor and character development just isn’t as strong as the chills.

On the one hand, you’ll enjoy some spooky fun for everyone; on the other hand, don’t expect to be scared half to death or laughing til your sides hurt. If you want an okay-ish family outing, give “Haunted Mansion” a spin – but don’t expect it to haunt your dreams.


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