Haunted Mansion 2023

    Haunted Mansion

Disney’s second crack at adapting its famous Haunted Mansion attraction into a cinematic experience fares much better than its Eddie Murphy-starring predecessor. In the hands of writer Katie Dippold and director Justin Simien, 2023’s Haunted Mansion is a soulful New Orleans ghost story that expertly speaks to younger audiences about death, grief's stranglehold, and the afterlife. Dippold finds a tender beating heart at the core of her screenplay without sacrificing the gateway horror ambitions of this PG-13 spookshow. Haunted Mansion successfully balances emotional sweetness and just-frightening-enough spectral scares with a Disneyfication of genre tropes, becoming a fun-filled scary movie for (almost) the entire family.

An eclectic ensemble – led by LaKeith Stanfield in the role of Louisiana tour guide Ben Matthias – squares off against the 999 spirits inhabiting single mother Gabbie’s (Rosario Dawson) new residence. Gabbie and her social-outcast son Travis (Chase Dillon) try to flee from the estate when they discover its paranormal infestation — they’re no fools. Dippold acknowledges how silly it’d be for a family to cohabitate with unpredictable entities and writes characters who hardly want to become Ghostbusters. Still, they have to because the film’s rules cleverly establish a logical reason that keeps everyone from a full-sprint exit. From Danny DeVito’s oddball college professor Bruce to Owen Wilson’s suspiciously chill Father Kent to Tiffany Haddish’s cost-effective medium Harriet, there’s no glaring weak link. Haunted Mansion is one of those comedies where everyone seemed to enjoy their time on set, which makes for a loosey-goosey cast playing off one another’s reactions to supernatural absurdity with easygoing chemistry. 

Similar Movies