‘Haunted Mansion’ Movie Review: A Flawed Yet Still Entertaining Family Flick

Haunted Mansion Movie Review

Being a devoted fan of the ride at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, I went into Haunted Mansion hoping for something that would be a little more scary than the 2003 film starring Eddie Murphy. However, I was also aware that since it was a Disney production, it couldn’t venture too deeply into the realms of darkness while still maintaining its appeal to the family-oriented target audience. Thus my initial expectations for the film were relatively low. So did I end up being a fan? More so than I originally anticipated.

Haunted Mansion draws its inspiration from the timeless theme park attraction. The story revolves around a woman and her son, who find themselves seeking aid from an eccentric team of self-proclaimed spiritual experts. Together, they embark on a daring mission to cleanse their new home of unwelcome supernatural entities that have taken up residence.

Take a look at the trailer below.

Haunted Mansion Movie Trailer

Haunted Mansion Movie Review: What I Did and Didn’t Like

With a two-hour and three-minute runtime, Haunted Mansion did a decent job of entertaining me, namely with all the fun easter eggs (of which there are many). However, it also left me feeling disappointed. Many of my problems with the film were due to the writing, which over-explained nearly everything we saw happening. The dumbing down of a pretty simple, straightforward script, paired with an ending sequence that should have been half as long, resulted in a movie that exhausted itself and the audience.

Haunted Mansion
Photo Credit: Disney


Despite the commendable efforts of the talented cast, Haunted Mansion struggles to truly succeed due to writer Katie Dippold’s lackluster script. What was meant to be a delightful and occasionally chilling escapade through a grand mansion inhabited by 999 ghosts turns out to be a dreary and dumbed-down two-hour disappointment.

And although Owen Wilson, Tiffany Haddish, and Jamie Lee Curtis manage to conjure up a few genuine laughs, it falls short of sustaining interest throughout the entire film. The plot is weak and fails to engage the audience, leaving the talented actors with little to work with regarding character development or meaningful interactions. The attempts at humor often feel forced and predictable, with jokes that lack the cleverness and wit needed to really entertain.

Moreover, the film’s pacing feels off, with moments that should be suspenseful or thrilling falling flat due to poor execution. It struggles to strike the right balance between lightheartedness and fright.


This movie has a star-studded cast (LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, Rosario Dawson, Chase W. Dillon, Dan Levy, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Jared Leto). Yet, sadly, Haunted Mansion serves as a poignant reminder that even with a talented cast, a great movie is not always guaranteed.

The script fails to offer sufficient opportunities for character development and truly remarkable performances. And as a result, the cast is left with limited depth to work with, leading to performances that feel somewhat shallow and unexplored.

New Movies Coming Out This Week: Haunted Mansion
Photo Credit: Disney

Overall Thoughts

In contrast to the 2003 Haunted Mansion movie, the 2023 version enjoys the advantage of improved technology, allowing for more sophisticated visual effects. Nevertheless, despite the two-decade gap between the releases, Disney has not managed to present a reboot with a better storyline than its predecessor.

And regrettably, the 2023 Haunted Mansion seems to serve as more of a hollow promotional tool for the Disney park ride than it actually serves fans with a good movie. It takes away from the authenticity and charm that fans of the original attraction were hoping for.

Overall, the film was better than I anticipated. Yet, it still wasn’t what I was hoping for.

Haunted Mansion Movie Review: 

Grade: C

Note: FanBolt’s Featured Image is fan art. We create this fan art purely for the love of design and fan culture. (We’re movie and design nerds). The property and fandom inspire the artwork, and no infringement is/was intended. Haunted Manson is the property of Disney.


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