Released in cinemas on the 11th August, we take a look at what is being said about the new film based around Disneyland’s ride….

The Guardian: ** “This new attempt to cross-monetise the tourist walkthrough is laborious and joyless while the throwaway funny lines, which do exist, only serve in the end to remind you how clunky it really is overall. Writer Katie Dippold has worked on funny movies and TV shows such as Parks and Recreation and Ghostbusters, but this isn’t her A-game.”

Roger ** ““Haunted Mansion” is constructed with the familiar bricks of a Gothic tale, down to the theme of grief that runs throughout. There’s a thoughtful examination of how grief makes us vulnerable while also being able to harness the power of that love to connect with one another and appreciate the lives we lead. There’s also value for family audiences in the nostalgic spookiness that rides along the surface. But with a repeated sourness in the film’s comedic efforts and a tragically misused ensemble, “Haunted Mansion” misses the chance to become a Halloween classic.”

Empire: ** “Talented cast, CGI phantasms all over the show, open-mouthed comedy, Easter eggs for theme-park obsessives, needlessly complicated supernatural mystery, and an air of being in too much of a hurry to deliver on a promise of shivers.”

Washington Post: * 1/2 “If you had high expectations for “Haunted Mansion” — the movie based on the Disneyland theme park ride of the same name — I have some bad news. With muddy CGI, far too much story for even its two-hour run time and an emotional heart in cardiac arrest, “Haunted Mansion” simply doesn’t hold together. What should have been a light summer romp is rarely funny, never scary and a boring mess.”

The New York Times: “I hope that Disney paid Simien truckloads of money to direct “Haunted Mansion,” and that he had more fun making it than I had watching it. He keeps things moving along, more or less, and the appealing cast hit their marks, but it’s dispiriting to see him directing what is effectively a feature-length Disney promotion. I hope it’s his last big-studio ad.” “In the hands of writer Katie Dippold and director Justin Simien, 2023’s Haunted Mansion is a soulful New Orleans ghost story that expertly speaks to younger audiences about death, grief’s stranglehold, and the afterlife. Dippold finds a tender beating heart at the core of her screenplay without sacrificing the gateway horror ambitions of this PG-13 spookshow. Haunted Mansion successfully balances emotional sweetness and just-frightening-enough spectral scares with a Disneyfication of genre tropes, becoming a fun-filled scary movie for (almost) the entire family.”

USA Today: “While too often slapsticky and risk-averse with its fear factor, “Haunted Mansion” pulls off a pleasant and fantastical brush with the hereafter and is a good first horror movie for youngsters where a ghostly mummy won’t have them running for their mommy.” “The more this overlong movie relies on ghosts, the less engaging it becomes, and though Simien presents a few optical illusions — such as endless hallways and a stretching room modeled after the ride’s trompe l’oeil antechamber — the ideas are more interesting than the execution. While most of the cast gets laughs by bickering, Ben and Travis deliver the film’s more serious message (this is a Disney movie, after all). Both characters have lost loved ones and might be tempted to join them on the other side. “Haunted Mansion” honors their grieving process, even as it attempts to put smiles on audiences’ faces.”

Entertainment Weekly: “Disney tries to have its cake and eat it too, inducing tonal whiplash in Katie Dippold’s otherwise emotionally resonant script. For every breakdown by Stanfield poised to move audiences to tears, there’s a wry aside from Wilson or an intrusive one-liner from Haddish. Stanfield’s Ben and Dillon’s Travis are grappling with very real demons, yet the mansion is full of recognizably goofy spirits, including Jared Leto’s sneering Hatbox Ghost.”


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