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  • The Haunted Mansion
    • The Haunted Mansion
    • Runtime:99 min
    • Release Date:2017-01-17 12:18:14
    • Director: Rob Minkoff
    • Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:The Haunted Mansion


*** This review may contain spoilers ***

i'm always amazed at how shallow Disney fans get about this film. just
because it isn't an over blown Jerry Bruckheimer mess they feel
cheated. forget the beautiful photography, Gothic art direction, and
classic Disney style reminiscent of the old Burbank studio films, they
just want the film to be like 'X-Men' or 'GhostBusters'. how crass.

it doesn't seem to matter to most of these fans that Rob Minkoff worked
on most of Disney's animated classics from the 90's like 'The Lion
King' or 'Aladdin' or the wonderful 'Roger Rabbit' shorts, no, that
doesn't seem to matter while they pass quick, thoughtless judgment.

and of course Jerry Bruckheimer has never done anything true Disney
except the 'Pirate' films, and those films look and feel more like
Bruckheimer than Disney.

a lot of pseudo fans love to pontificate about how they love 'Bambi'
and 'Aladdin', but do you ever hear them talk about the classic Burbank
studio films? hardly ever. films like 'Darby O'Gill', 'Absent Minded
Professor' or 'Twenty Thousand Leagues'? in case they didn't know it,
Walt Disney lavished a lot of love and attention on these live action
projects as well as the animated ones. these uniformed fans need to
read Leonard Maltin's book 'The Disney Films'. a definitive
encyclopedia of the classic Disney films which includes all the live
action films from the past as well. if you haven't read the 'Disney
Films' by Maltin, you know very little about the legacy of the Burbank
studio. simple as that. sorry.

i love 'The Haunted Mansion' movie because it reminds me so much of the
old school Disney films i grew up with as child. in fact the
photography and direction by Minkoff is so reminiscent of Disney
veteran directors like Stevenson, Chaffey, and Tokar, it's uncanny.
only the insiders and informed will know who i'm talking about.

and who can fault a movie with such a great cast? sure, Eddie Murphy is
cute as the father, but i'm talking about the outstanding supporting
cast, first rate performers like the excellent Terence Stamp
('Theorem','Priscilla,Queen of the Desert'),and of course the wonderful
Jennifer Tilly and Wallace Shawn, two actors who can do no wrong in my

and the art direction of the mansion itself is so elegant and
memorable. it's Gothic styling and Italian architecture are well
researched and very believable. so much in fact that the
mausoleum/crypt that Murphy reluctantly visits with his little
daughter, is filled at the bottom with water. something that happens in
when you dig too deep a hole in Louisana because of the moisture. the
detail is just incredible.

but most of all what i appreciated about this film was it's restraint.
it wan't an over blown, monster house mess of a film. that seems to be
what it's critics want it to be. shame. you miss so much when you
hurry. slow down. this film has more in common with the films of the
thirties and forties in terms of pacing and style than the films of
today and that's just fine.

i'm tired of seeing really good films like this maligned because they
offer audiences something a little different from what they expect.
that's why there is so much waste right now. people never know a good
thing because the market is so glutted with hype. sad. sad that a
excellent film like this goes under appreciated. real sad.


*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A movie about a haunted mansion sounds scary doesn't it? But not
Disney's "The Haunted Mansion." This film is more of a romance and
comedy mixed with the paranormal.

Jim Evers (Eddie Murphy) is a workaholic of his real estate business
with his wife Sara (Marsha Thomason). Jim promises to take his family
to the lake, but makes a detour to a potential customer's mansion. They
soon meet the butler, Ramsley, and Master Gracey. After a while, Jim
finds himself in a secret passageway. The kids follow a ghost ball and
eventually see a picture of a woman that looks just like their mom.
They finally meet up with Jim. Ezra and Emma, ghost butler and maid,
and Madame Leota explain the mansion's secrets to Jim and the kids.
They eventually find out that Ramsley murdered Elizabeth, the woman in
the picture whom Gracey loved. After learning how to work together they
save Sara and break the curse that was put upon the mansion.

The storyline was consistent throughout the movie. It kept me wandering
if they were going to be able to break the curse.

Eddie Murphy brought out his usual comedy side in "The Haunted
Mansion." He made some of the intense moments "lighter." The supporting
actors and actresses also did a wonderful job.

The special effects were amazing. The ghosts looked real and it really
felt like Madame Leota was actually in the ball. "The Haunted Mansion"
had a lot of special effects, and they were done well.

Overall, "The Haunted Mansion" is a good movie for the family. It has
just a hint of suspense mixed into the comedy and romance.


This is a very under-rated movie. OK, it is not the best movie ever but
its rating is 4.8 by now and this is way too low. The movie starts
great but unfortunately gets cheesy after the first half hour.
Nevertheless, the atmosphere is great. The house is detailed
brilliantly. One problem can be the action plus horror content of the
movie. It is not scary for an adult but may be a bit much for kids.
They could have taken this into account and made this a nice family
movie. In terms of cinematography, I think they did a great job. This
much CGI loaded movies usually do not look as natural as this one.
Light and material usage is certainly eye catching. I personally
enjoyed the movie. Give it a try, you won't regret.


*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I gave the "8" for the special effects and the homage to the Disney
ride. I would have loved to see a better written movie as I am a
Haunted Mansion freak, however, my little kids loved this movie, and I
am sure it was made more for them than me. I thought Murphy was a bit
flat and would have preferred they would have approached it from a
different point of view. Maybe Disney kids staying in the place on a
bet, whatever… I also thought the love interest (an African American
women and white male) for a person in the deep south during the mid
1800's was a strange decision. Don't get me wrong, I think Marsha
Thomason is beautiful, but I couldn't help think how out of place the
relationship would have been. Again, the kids never thought a thing
about racial implications, which is a credit to them, but still…

Hope they revisit the idea of a better movie, given its failures, I
doubt they will…

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