‘The Haunted Mansion’ The Wrath of Poltergeists

Haunted Mansion from Walt Disney Pictures

Disney’s haunted mansion has been around for fifty-three years, since it first opened at California’s Disneyland on August 9th of 1969. This ride has been one of the park’s most famous icons over the years and has spawned two movies since then. This version pulled no stops and included almost all of the attractions presentations from the journey. It’s worth the adventure to try and point out your favorite unforgettable experience that you have had while visiting one of these famous establishments.

New Orleans is famous for their history, cajun food, and spectacular music, but they also have an interesting past with the supernatural and ghostly spirits. For a city that has many mausoleums it would make sense that there are many creepy and scary souls roaming about. This town also has many haunted establishments around the area that visitors can see for themselves do they believe.

In a desperate move and trying to leave New York, where Gabbie (Rosario Dawson) and her son Travis (Chase Dillion) experienced a lot of pain and anguish, she decides to purchase an interesting home on Zillow. Wanting to move to the New Orleans area, her moving experience doesn’t go the way they both expected it. When they discover the Mansion they purchased has more than what they were looking for things start to become more permanent. 

Once in love, former physicist Ben Matthias (LaKeith Stanfield), now a paranormal tour expert in New Orleans, is down on life and heading down a path of destruction, since the death of his wife Alyssa (Charity Jordan). Unhappy in his existence, he continues to be a guide for the spirits, because it was his love’s wish for his future. Struggling moving past his grief, things seem to become everlasting for Ben, leaving his life meaningless. 

Looking for help, Gabbie reaches out for assistance from a priest, Kent (Owen Wilson), to perform an exorcism. What they discover is that something sinister exists forcing some sort of avoidable attraction to her new home. Together they enlist Ben to help discover what is causing these mysterious happenings and who is behind the creepy ghost that inhabits the house. Needing more information to try and figure out the history of the Mansion they seek out Bruce Davis (Danny DeVito), a history professor at Tulane University and Harriet (Tiffany Haddish), a psychic or medium. During their adventure they meet some interesting characters, such as Madame Leota (Jamie Lee Curtis),  and Pat (Winona Ryder), a New Orleans Tour Guide.

With excellent special effects, and an enjoyable storyline Director Justin Simien puts together a fun and interesting trip for us all. He does manage to include many excellent references to the popular ride and some corny indicators to many different frightening experiences. The performance by the cast was entertaining and amusing, allowing for the motion picture to flow well and become a minimal success. Also was given the feeling that this film became a perfect media, to promote many business establishments such as CVS, Zillow, and Burger King. With Gabbie purchasing her home through Zillow, the ordering of food from Burger King, and referencing the need to go to CVS, pointed out a few examples of this type of advertising. 

Still the adventure through the spooky dwelling was very entertaining and also included many funny scenes to keep your interest. All and all, an amusing voyage that the characters must endure to rid their lives of evil souls. 

Final Comment: I based my grade on the actors’ performance, the references to the ride, and the wonderful special effects.

Stars 3.5 out of 5

Additional Film Information

Cast: Rosario Dawson, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, Tiffany Haddish, LaKeith Stanfield, Jared Leto, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chase Dillion, and Winona Ryder.
Directed by:  Justin Simien
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Horror, and Mystery.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and scary action.
Running Time: 2 hours and 2 minutes
Release Date:  July 28, 2023
Distributed By: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
Release In: Dolby Digital, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Surround, Standard, and DBOX.