The Haunted Mansion, an iconic and beloved Disney ride, is a journey through a realm of spectral wonder. From the moment you set foot inside the queue line, you are transported to a world where ghostly apparitions and mischievous spirits await around every corner. The intricate storytelling and attention to detail bring this macabre manor to life, immersing visitors in a whimsical, yet spooky experience, unlike any other.

The classic “Doom Buggy” ride system allows you to glide effortlessly through the haunted halls, providing a perfect vantage point to marvel at the special effects, eerie illusions and an unforgettable ghostly ballroom scene that leaves you awestruck.

What truly sets The Haunted Mansion apart is its timelessness; it has continued to captivate audiences young and old for generations. The ride’s ability to strike a balance between gentle frights and humor makes it an enchanting adventure suitable for the entire family. Whether it’s the banter of the grim, grinning ghosts or the eerie ambiance of the graveyard, each moment is carefully crafted to evoke a sense of wonder.

The Haunted Mansion is an enduring testament to Disney’s storytelling prowess, ensuring that its phantasmal inhabitants will continue to welcome guests to their spectral home for years to come.

In 2003, Disney teamed up with Eddie Murphy to create the very first live-action film inspired by the beloved attraction, The Haunted Mansion. Unfortunately, the movie received poor reviews from critics, currently holding a disappointing 14 percent on the Tomatometer. This negative reception led many to believe that further films revolving around the haunted house theme would never see the light of day.

However, in 2021, Disney surprised audiences with the release of Muppets Haunted Mansion, reigniting enthusiasm for movies based on amusement park rides. While the film was crafted as a Halloween special, it proved to be a delightful watch, offering a humorous twist to the ride’s original story.

Coming to U.S. theaters on July 28th is the official reboot of the live-action film, titled Haunted Mansion. This supernatural horror comedy follows the story of Gabbie (Rosario Dawson), and her son, Travis (Chase W. Dillon), who move into a spooky mansion, only to discover it’s inhabited by hundreds of restless spirits. Determined to cleanse the house of its supernatural occupants, Gabbie seeks the help of Ben (LaKeith Stanfield), Father Kent (Owen Wilson), Harriet (Tiffany Haddish), Professor Bruce Davis (Danny DeVito) and the spirit of famed psychic, Madame Leota (Jamie Lee Curtis).

As they delve into the mysterious walls of the mansion, they encounter various eerie entities, but one spirit stands out — the ghost with a head encased in a hatbox, (Jared Leto). This malevolent and unsettling specter poses a grave threat to everyone within the haunted abode. Will Gabbie and her allies be able to confront this perilous apparition and restore peace to the enigmatic mansion?

Prepare for a thrilling and comedic adventure as they face the chilling challenges that lie ahead.

(L-R): Owen Wilson as Father Kent, Rosario Dawson as Gabbie, LaKeith Stanfield as Ben, Tiffany Haddish as Harriet, and Danny DeVito as Bruce in Disney’s HAUNTED MANSION. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2023 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Accompanied by my 9-year-old daughter, I had the delightful opportunity to attend a Haunted Mansion screening. As a Disney film, I wasn’t too concerned about intense scares or gory scenes that could trouble her, and the movie lived up to those expectations.

While the mansion was filled with scary-looking ghosts, the film cleverly humanized many of them as the story unfolded, transforming them from terrifying to comical figures. The plot is straightforward and easy to follow, which kept my little one engaged without confusion. She did have a few basic plot-related questions like, “What happened to X?” and “Who is Y?” However, the movie addressed each of these inquiries within its runtime, providing a satisfying and coherent viewing experience for both of us. Haunted Mansion turned out to be a family-friendly and enjoyable outing, striking a balance between spooky and humorous elements.

The chemistry between actors LaKeith Stanfield and Owen Wilson is simply outstanding. While I wasn’t familiar with Stanfield’s previous work, his performance in the film left a lasting impression on me. He effortlessly blends humor and heartfelt moments, making me burst into laughter and tear up as the scenes demanded. As for Owen Wilson, his comedic prowess shined brightly, as it always does, in his roles. His presence brought an abundance of humor to the movie, and it’s safe to say he added that signature “WOW factor” (pun intended), even though the word “WOW” wasn’t explicitly used in Haunted Mansion.

Their on-screen dynamic is reminiscent of a modern-day Laurel and Hardy, with LaKeith playing the role of the composed-and-serious straight man, while Owen embodies the lovable-and-quirky goofball counterpart. Together, their performance is truly remarkable, and I’m eager to see more collaborations from this talented duo in the future.

I wholeheartedly give Haunted Mansion a perfect five out of five stars. The movie stayed true to its promise of being a family friendly and delightfully spooky film. The plot is well-crafted and easy to follow, leaving no loose ends by the time the credits roll. While all the actors deliver excellent performances, it is Owen Wilson and LaKeith Stanfield who truly steal the show. Their chemistry and talent add an extra layer of enjoyment to the overall experience.

For fans of the original attraction, the film is filled with numerous Easter eggs and intriguing additions to the established lore. Even if you are not familiar with the ride, Haunted Mansion offers a lightheartedly scary and entertaining comedy that guarantees a frighteningly good time. It’s a movie that has something to offer both longtime fans and newcomers alike.