Haunted Mansion is the newest film to adapt a Disney ride for the big screen but this comedy is too long and fails to deliver the laughs.
After having so much fun watching Jungle Cruise in 2001, it pains me to see that the fun is missing in their newest attempt to bring a theme park attraction to the big screen. There’s no reason that this film needed to be over two hours long. Rather than add some extra beats, they could have easily trimmed the film by a few minutes. If a comedy has to be over two hours long, it really needs to be memorable. Sadly, this one is not. Rather than drafting and scheduling my review the night of the screening, I waited the day before the official theatrical release to get something online. Here’s how unmemorable the film is: I’m struggling to get words written. A Disney release should not be THIS forgettable. I mean, you have an all-star cast for Pete’s sake!
There’s a few subplots going on at first. One is the introduction of scientist Ben Matthias (LaKeith Stanfield). The second one is a mother and son, Gabbie (Rosario Dawson) and Travis (Chase W. Dillon), moving into a New Orleans mansion. We also have Father Kent (Owen Wilson) and Bruce Davis (Danny DeVito). Bruce is the ONLY one that really wants to be there. If this weren’t enough, they bring in a medium, Harriet (Tiffany Haddish), to attempt to communicate. In short, it’s a recipe for disaster. As if they couldn’t be considerate of others, more people move when when they learn that–to quote The Eagles–you can check in any time you like but you can never leave.
Katie Dippold penned the script to both this film and Ghostbusters: Answer the Call. Unfortunately, a lot of the laughs fail to deliver. Maybe it was the fact that I was more excited to watch the second film in a double-feature but I don’t know. It’s possible that this film works better for you than it did for me. To each their own.
Haunted Mansion lacks the thrills and humor that make the theme park attraction a beloved stop for Disney fans.
DIRECTOR: Justin Simien
SCREENWRITER: Katie Dippold
CAST: LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, Rosario Dawson, Chase W. Dillon, Dan Levy, with Jamie Lee Curtis and Jared Leto
Disney releases Haunted Mansion in theaters on July 28, 2023. Grade: 2.5/5
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