The Haunted Mansion - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Haunted Mansion Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ January 31, 2009
Terrible. The horror tricks used can hardly scare someone in this age (might have worked in the 1960s, I guess). The comedy track doesn't work either. Actual rating: -2/5.
Super Reviewer
January 1, 2014
Ah 2003, the start of Disney's major theme park ride adaptations into the movies...not counting a few earlier nondescript flicks and 'Mission to Mars' which I never realised was a theme park adaptation. If you think about this premise you could be forgiven for thinking it would turn out crap, especially with Eddie Murphy involved. And you wouldn't be far wrong on that one point, the casting of Murphy and his 'family' members in this film was a terrible choice.

The reason being they all stick out like a sore thumb in the story, they all look totally out of place and none can act too well. The film has been turned into a Murphy vehicle and the film suffers for it, it feels forced, his family in the film feel forced and fake, the silly humour and annoying dialog from Murphy feels forced and its all in there simply for Murphy, awful decision.

That aside the rest of the film is actually pretty sweet. The plot has been cleverly turned into a romantic ghost tale where upon the mansions owner is seeking his one true love whom he lost centuries ago. Of course his true love is Murphy's living wife so a battle of supernatural proportions ensues as Murphy must stop this aristocratic spook floating off with his wife.

What works is the extra casting of the main ghost servants and their master within the mansion. Stamp is perfect as the stiff upper lipped butler with a dark secret, Wallace Shawn is perfect as the quirky sidekick footman ghost, Tilly is surprisingly good as the crystal ball gypsy spirit and Nathaniel Parker plays the noble British toff manor owner to a tee complete with thick dark locks. Not too sure how these ghosts work though, at times they can't or don't seem to interact with the living, then all of a sudden they can touch and pick things up.

Its all very cliched and hammy of course being based on a stereotypical haunted house attraction but that's fine, you expect that. In fact they capture that atmosphere perfectly, the whole eccentric Disney ambiance coupled with an eerie fanciful glow. Indeed the film does work better if you have actually been on the attraction at Disney World. There are many many little homages to the ride throughout the film from visual references to dialog, some sequences showing identical sections from the attraction. It does sounds kinda tacky but it really works nicely and gives you a pleasant ghostly trip down memory lane.

I really liked how the ghosts become 'more dead' visually the further from the mansion they are. So once outside all the ghosts have a really cool supernatural blue glow or aura which looks quite striking. I liked the graveyard and how it housed many of the ghosts from the attraction including the three famous hitchhiker spooks. As said I also liked the replication of sets from the attraction too, the hallway of portraits being the main one easily. One thing I didn't like was the swamp set New Orleans look for the mansion, not my personal cup of tea, I prefer the Liberty Square Dutch Gothic design from Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

But how did that ghostly horse drawn hearse crash through the walls of the mansion complete with Murphy and co inside?. How would ghosts be able to knock through walls when they are...errr ghosts. And how on earth would living people be able to go through the wall with the ghosts??.

On the whole the film does look really good and clearly a lot of thought and craftsmanship went into making the visuals realistic. Its really nice (and amazingly surprising) that they actually constructed the mansion instead of relying on CGI. The interiors and props all benefit from genuine craftsmanship too which really sets the mood, for all you 'Nightmare Before Christmas'/Addams Family/Munster lovers out there (like me) you'll love it.

This is a film you really really really really did expect to be utter utter utter tripe...but its not!. Its actually a really decent looking light-hearted supernatural ride just like the real attraction. The homages are great for folk who have been to the attraction but for those who haven't they just come across as neat spooky visual candy. As I said the only let down is Murphy and co as the endangered mortal family, well mainly Murphy. His tomfoolery lets down the quite decent performances of the supernatural cast.
Super Reviewer
½ August 19, 2011
Only one long commercial for the Disney amusement park attraction, with Murphy in the onerous stereotype of scared jiggaboo pitchman. Stamp does his best to raise the material past the bar but to no avail. A pox on Unca Walt.
Super Reviewer
½ August 18, 2011
I enjoy it once and a while, but it was just never really my thing.
Super Reviewer
½ June 20, 2011
Terrible story, screenplay and direction made, The Haunted Mansion, is useless film. Rotten.
Movie Monster
Super Reviewer
½ August 8, 2010
It's kind of funny but it's not scary and the plot is kinda stupid.

Can't wait for Guilemro Del Toro's reboot!!!
Kyle F.
Super Reviewer
½ July 30, 2010
It's suitably creepy with a cast of likable characters. Eddy Murphy does well as the lead,and though it shares some of the flaws that most live action Disney movies have, it has less of those flaws than might be expected.
Super Reviewer
½ July 28, 2010
Super Reviewer
February 22, 2010
Super Reviewer
½ January 23, 2010
Very disappointing! I expected it to be hilarious!
Super Reviewer
December 12, 2009
It is not creepy, it is not funny, it is not stupid. It is Eddie Murphy Movie.
Super Reviewer
½ January 18, 2007
harmless and fairly entertaining family adventure. they should have done more with the house and less with the fairly silly plot but overall a decent watch for family movie night.
Super Reviewer
½ February 23, 2009
I saw this when it first came out...i was in 3rd grade so i diddnt remeber it at all but i watched it now (6 years later)! and i found out i really liked this story line!
Super Reviewer
½ January 24, 2007
Probably not the best opinion, but I enjoyed this family-friendly spook ride.
Super Reviewer
April 17, 2007
What happened to Eddie Murphy's once-so-shiny career? Who or what ignited the fuse that so quickly became an explosion of mediocre movies with him on the cover? I mean, going from A-grade comedies like "Coming to America" and "Shrek", to instantly forgettable family films like this one, is no less of a tragedy than the fate of the Titanic. That isn't to say it's horrible though. In fact, it is fairly entertaining and does do its source material justice (the Disneyland attraction with the same name that is), even if it mostly serves as an example of how short Hollywood has become on original ideas.
Super Reviewer
October 17, 2007
I can't think of a thing I like about this movie.
Super Reviewer
June 26, 2007
Not like the ride. Eddie Murphy made it funny, not scary. Lots of great ghostly CGI effects. Terence Stamp played a wonderful master-ghost. They needed to cram more references from the actual ride into this movie. It seemed over-inhabited; I always thought it should be more abandoned. Madam Leota (the head inside the crystal ball) should stick to seances instead of flying all over the place. Nice opening credits however. Disney probably whipped this one up in response to the success of Pirates of the Carribean movie, but I think it was being produced at the same time. An ultimate Haunted Mansion movie still needs to be made, not this silly comedy.
Super Reviewer
May 31, 2007
It was ok. It had some funny moments.
Super Reviewer
May 16, 2007
Funny enough, but I watch it for Nathaniel Parker and the house. It could've been so much better...
Super Reviewer
July 25, 2006
this was really good!
i watched it when i was ill and it really put a smile on my face!
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