As average as can be, with few of the thrills (so I’m told) that the theme-park ride provides, “Haunted Mansion” would have made a better debut on Disney+ than on the big screen.
While moviegoers continued to pack theaters to see “Barbie,” “Oppenheimer,” and the surprise horror hit “Talk to Me,” I didn’t have much trouble finding at seat in the mansion movie.
Remember its awful 2003 predecessor, “The Haunted Mansion,” which starred Eddie Murphy? It’s not nearly as bad at that film, which at least had brevity – one hour and 28 minutes – going for it.
The newer one is a waste of an excellent ensemble of performers. Rosario Dawson stars as Gabbie, who has a 9-year-old son. They have moved to a New Orleans mansion from New York, and they encounter a ghost almost instantly.
Gabbie hires a group of people with varying skills to help her solve the problem of the hauntings. LaKeith Stanfield stars as Ben, who is lost in grief. Owen Wilson is a man of the cloth, and Danny DeVito lends a little comic relief to the goings-on. Tiffany Haddish is a medium, and Jared Leto gives it his all as the Hat Box Ghost.
The movie uses a lot of elements – including the theme music and the portraits that come to life – that will be familiar and appreciated by those who have enjoyed the Disney attraction. But nods to a ride don’t necessarily
The look of the movie is interesting. But the story line isn’t so much. And the ghosts are neither funny nor scary – the only thing that’s frightful is the running time, which stretches far beyond what is necessary.
It has a few worthwhile moments – most of them provided by the talented Stanfield. But don’t expect to get the same rush you would from a thrill ride.
Rated: PG-13 for themes about death and loss.
Running time: Two hours and three minutes.
Only in theaters.
Watch the trailer here.