Movie Review - The Haunted Mansion

MegaSoulhero
Since someone did a review of the Haunted Mansion ride, I figured I might as well do a review of the Haunted Mansion movie. Just like her, I really love the ride (Disneyland’s version is superior though :P) so I thought that a movie based on the ride was a great idea! Did it manage to be a great movie and do the ride justice? The answer is no! This movie flat out sucks!

The movie stars Eddie Murphy, and I feel like I should end the review right here because that should be enough to keep you away from this film. Just kidding. I’ll keep going. He and his family go to a mansion that turns out to be haunted. A man named Gracie mistakes Murphy’s wife for his girlfriend who is dead. So it’s up to Murphy and the kids to stop her from marrying Gracie. And yeah, this movie is a train wreck. It seems as though the writers had a discussion and said “Let’s throw as many references to the ride in this thing as possible so the fans of the ride will be pleased!” I feel like the writers of Rogue One had a similar discussion like that. There are a lot of references to the ride in this movie, but the problem is they don’t really serve much of a purpose! They’re just there as fan service! To remind people that this is a movie based on the ride! Remember the hitchhiking ghosts? They make a brief appearance! Remember the singing busts? They make a brief appearance! There are a lot more references to the ride, but they’re just there even though they don’t give them a reason to be there. It’s just so people can point them out and say “Hey! I remember that from the ride!” Even Pirates of the Caribbean didn’t do it that much! That movie actually tried to be its own thing! It was trying to act like the movie didn’t exist! It made references once in a while, but not just for the sake of doing so!

If you’ve been on the ride, you probably remember the classic line “Of course, there’s always my way”. That’s in the movie, but they completely misuse it. The reason why it was so beloved in the attraction is because it comes before this creepy moment in which we see a guy hanging from the ceiling! It makes it more impactful! Here, they didn’t anything clever or interesting with it. I was very disappointed. Now let me talk about Madame Leota. They completely ruin her! Jennifer Tilly does not fit the role at all! She doesn’t have the tone of voice that we expect from Leota! She pretty much acts like a valley girl at times! There’s a scene when the family is in the cemetery and there are a bunch of ghosts hanging around. This actually is a pretty nice homage to the ride. But then they ruin it with the son saying “I see dead people”. Piss off, movie! As for the singing busts, quite possibly the most memorable thing about Haunted Mansion, they are unbearable in this film! Seriously! Not only does the effect look cheaper than the projection effect in the ride, but the constant singing of different songs drives me nuts! I just want to smash them to pieces! So infuriating!

The acting is horrendous! Eddie Murphy can give good performances from time to time, but his style of acting doesn’t work here. He kind of acts in a silly way in what are supposed to be serious moments. The two kids in the film act like they don’t want to be there. The keep giving such an expressionless look. I don’t blame them though. The woman playing the mother wasn’t any better either. Terence Stamp’s performance as Ramsley was very awkward. I know he’s trying to sound like a creepy character, but the voice he makes while doing it is really weird. Who talks like that? Even the effects look bad! The CGI doesn’t look convincing! I’ve seen movies from that year that had better effects than this! There are practical effects as well, and I’ll admit they look pretty cool. Something I’ll give this movie is that it has some pretty nice set designs. When you look at the whole mansion set, it actually really looks like they’re in a place that’s haunted. Anyway, the movie has a lot of flaws, but I still haven’t said my biggest problem with the film. It completely misses the point of the ride! The 999 happy haunts are happy for a reason! They enjoy being the mansion! They enjoy doing what they’re doing! They have a lot of fun with it! But instead, the movie decides to end with the haunts rising to heaven because they’re free. It doesn’t understand why people like the ride!

Haunted Mansion is a pretty bad movie. Which is sad because a movie based on the Disney ride has a lot of potential! They just chose to come up with a terrible story! This could’ve been a good movie but it wasn’t! On the bright side, Guillermo del Toro is working on another Haunted Mansion movie which will star Ryan Gosling. And it will have the Hatbox Ghost in it! That’s great because the Hatbox Ghost is a major reason why Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion is better than Disney World’s! That and the stretching room effect looks better at Disneyland. Anyway, I’m already excited for it! It will hopefully be better than this garbage!

Score: 3/10

Comments

They should do a animated movie based off of this - visitor

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