Early reviews for Disney’s The Haunted Mansion are in following a fan premiere event at Disneyland’s Hyperion Theater.
Disney fans have been lobbying for a remake of the film since the 2003 disaster featuring Eddie Murphy. They finally got their wish when Disney announced they were reimagining a brand new Haunted Mansion story headed up by Rosario Dawson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Owen Wilson, LaKetih Stanfield, and Danny DeVito. Although the SAG-AFTRA strike forced Disney to change plans for the film’s premiere at Disneyland, Guests still had a hauntingly good time, and reviews early reviews of the film are pouring in. Rejoice Haunted Mansion fans, as Disney seems to have redeemed itself from its box office flop 20 years ago.
Scarier Than The Original ‘Haunted Mansion’ Film
One thing Disney got right when building the popular Haunted Mansion attraction was finding a balance between scary and hilarious. Walt Disney famously had two Imagineers work on the Haunted Mansion, one who wanted it frightening and the other who insisted it be gag-heavy. This decision lent itself to the overall success and timelessness of the dark ride. When Disney released their first attempt at a Haunted Mansion movie, it leaned too heavily in one direction. Although Eddie Murphy is as talented as they come, his role tipped the comedic scales, and the film lost the same feel that makes the attraction so unique.
That isn’t the case with Disney’s newest The Haunted Mansion film. Fans insist that although it carries a level of humor that one would expect from Disney and the likes of actors such as Owen Wilson, the film still sticks to its scary roots. Fans have called The Haunted Mansion “surprisingly creepy” and full of “jump scares.” It would seem that the eerie ambiance of the trailers translates well to the big screen, and it works!
An “Emotionally Rich” Study on Grief
Anyone familiar with The Haunted Mansion ride understands that its storyline revolves heavily around death. Although the ride typically handles the idea of ghosts and passed-over spirits comically, Disney’s newest film seems to approach death in a more direct sense. Twitter users are sharing their appreciation for Disney and director Justin Simien’s take on the afterlife and how we, as the living process, handle the passing of those close to us.
Did not expect #HauntedMansion to be a study of loss and grief, but Justin Simien delivers the better adaptation of the beloved ride through his storytelling. Lots of laughs and plenty of jumps. Kris Bowers’ score is a delight, top notch production design. Fab cast pic.twitter.com/GK4TwsdHB0
— Jazz Tangcay (@jazzt) July 16, 2023
‘The Haunted Mansion’ Got it Right
Unlike its 2003 counterpart, it seems that the newest version of The Haunted Mansion got it right! Fans are raving about Disney’s ability to bring the iconic ride to life. Full of Easter Eggs referencing its origins, the film does a great job referencing, basing its experience around, and highlighting why Guests to Disneyland and Walt Disney World love the ride so much.
Collider’s Steven Winetraub had this to say, “Happy to report ‘Haunted Mansion’ is one of those family films that will spook kids, make adults laugh (a lot), and fans of the ride will keep pointing at the screen because it’s loaded with Easter eggs. Director Justin Simien & screenwriter Katie Dippold did great work.”
POC Culture added, “I got to watch the ‘Haunted Mansion’ (before the strike). It’s a love letter to the iconic Disney ride & a family friendly thriller. The cast, led by LaKeith Stanfield, is outstanding & hilarious. Full of fun cameos, references to the ride & a healthy dose of jump scares.”
Per reviews, it seems there’s reason to get excited to see Disney’s The Haunted Mansion. Early reviews for the film have very little negative connotation and are gleaming with ghoulish delight. Moviegoers seem to be in for a treat when they board their doom buggies at theaters on July 28. As the film seems to contain a much more complex “heart” compared to Disney’s original take, Guests are sure to thoroughly enjoy the constant callback to one of Disney’s most popular attractions.