Director: Justin Simien
Haunted Mansion is a really fun movie with tons of laughs and heart.
Disney’s Haunted Mansion takes everything that the first movie had and improves upon it. Now if you read my review of The Haunted Mansion, you will know that I had nostalgia for it and still enjoyed watching it but upon viewing the newest adaptation of the Disney ride I feel it had a better understanding of the ride and how to balance some scary moments and heartfelt scenes.
This film had a surprising amount of heart and emotion while still being comedic for most of the runtime. I feel this movie had some of that magic that the first Pirates of the Caribbean had, just on a smaller scale.
My biggest complaint about the original film was that there were not enough scary moments. For a movie about a haunted house, you expect some creepy moments but there was hardly any. I am happy to report that the new version of the film has many scares and moments that have genuinely scary imagery. The movie is still family-friendly, don’t get me wrong, but it still allows itself to have things in the movie that are frightening.
One thing that I was impressed by was the characters. I was expecting pretty stereotypical non-developed characters that just serve to be our point of view into the story. I was then surprised to get a film that has multiple characters going through arcs as well as having depth and interesting personalities. I felt that all the characters in the film gave us diverse motivations and connections to the plot as well.
Ben, our main character played by LaKeith Stanfield, is a complex and deep character. He is awkward and not great with people. He has a traumatic event in his past that we get to see the effects of, and it also connects to ghosts which connects to our plot.
I thought that the other character with a lot of intrigue was the son of our female protagonist Gabbie, Travis. He was compelling because for such a young kid he had such sadness that is easy to connect to and understand. I was not expecting the characters in this movie to have this emotional depth, and it was welcome.
If you are a fan of the ride then I think you will quite like this movie as there are references to the ride from Disneyland, Disneyworld, and the other Disney parks. It does pay off if you have been to the rides or have heard any of the history of the creation of the ride. You get to explore much more of the mansion in this film and get to experience many different rooms and aspects of the mansion that makes the house feel lived in.
It has personality and tons of history that goes along with all the deaths that happened there. I’m glad the Mansion felt like a character itself, as it just added to the plot. The story was pretty simple to follow and it gave each character an actual purpose or storyline that gave them a reason to be in the film. It’s a pretty simple story, stop the evil being from taking over type plot but I like that it mostly takes place in one location.
All in all, I thought Haunted Mansion is a really fun movie that seems not to be getting enough praise from the media so I want to tell you to go see it! This movie is a delightful time with tons of laughs and heart that goes beyond what it needed to accomplish. So whether you are a Disney fan or looking for a spooky but not terrifying movie check this one out!