The Haunted Mansion Reviews

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October 20, 2014
Well acted movie, with an original story but predictable plot, no funny and no scary scenes.
½ July 8, 2008
Take everything you like about the classic 1963 Haunting and ruin it by making it silly for kids; that is what this movie does. It is unoriginal and completely uninspired. In theory, the story originates from a Disney theme park ride. While that tactic somehow worked for Pirates of the Caribbean, it does not work here. It is going for ghost humor, but it is not funny. It flexes poor acting from the kid roles and is completely corny in a bad way. It does serve as a low-level entertainment that kids seem to enjoy, but the more you think about the worse it is. Short of the big paycheck, it is hard to understand why Eddie Murphy took this job. His career is heading in a dreadful direction with bad kids movies like this. He is still talented and if Robin Williams can recover from Flubber than Eddie Murphy can rise again.
½ September 24, 2014
I watched it separately with my two kiddos and they really liked it. There were a few funny parts and it was family friendly. No cussing either.
September 5, 2014
Right off the bat, you should see the poster for this and be completely uninterested. With a premise and effects as old as the actual ride, Eddie Murphy slips up for the millionth time.
Murphy and his entire family specialize in a real estate agency, and they visit a mansion that DEFINITELY doesn't look suspicious. Basically, Murphy wimps out when meeting the not-so scary inhabitants of the mansion and Scooby Doo-like hijinks please nobody. Murphy also tries to pull off this careless like father performance who cares more about his business than his family, which based on his film decisions, sounds accurate in reality. Not of much a story here, basically Murphy running and screaming and the suspicious owner of the mansion, Master Gracey, hitting on Murphy's wife, who he believes is a ghost of a girl he loved 300 years before. Whoops.
With an awful story, awful effects, and annoying to the bone characters, the Haunted Mansion is one of the worst, if not THE worst, Murphy film to date. Nothing is chilling, obviously since it's a Disney film, except characters like Jennifer Tilly's simply amazing performance as a magic ball, singing statues, and many others you'll hate. This was a BIG mistake, if you want anything better, ride the actual attraction - it'll save you an hour and a half you'll regret.
½ December 13, 2010
14 minutes m'ont suffi.
August 8, 2014
A storm has flooded the road. There will be no leaving the mansion tonight.

Jim Evers is a workaholic realtor who has a wife as a business partner, Sarah. He is challenged to sell a house that would land him and his family quite a booty. He takes his entire family, Sarah plus his two kids, to the mansion to check it out. Of course he gets stuck there and later discovers it is haunted. He will need to improve his family dynamic so they can work together and survive this disaster.

"You gotta whack the spider!!!"

Rob Minkoff, director of The Lion King, Stuart Little 1 & 2, The Forbidden Kingdom, Fly Paper, Peabody & Sherman, and the upcoming Chinese Odyssey, delivers The Haunted Mansion. The storyline for this picture is pretty flimsy and predictable and reminded me of a Daddy's Daycare (or Are We There Yet?). The acting is as you'd expect for the genre and the cast includes Eddie Murphy, Marsha Thomason, Dina Waters, Terence Stamp, Aree Davis, Jennifer Tilly, Nathaniel Parker, and Deep Roy.

"You said it was a dead language!"
"You see how wrong I was about that?!?!"

My daughter and I caught this tonight on Netflix. I kind of feel like saying this is bad is piling on at this point. It is a pretty straightforward, cheesy, children's picture (and that's coming from someone who enjoyed Smurfs 1 & 2). This didn't keep my daughter's attention at all (5 1/2). Overall, this is a below average children's picture you should skip.

"This is for me!"

Grade: F
July 27, 2014
A rather smart Eddie Murphy children's movie that has enough strategy to even keep adults entertained.
July 4, 2014
one of my favorite movies.
½ December 26, 2013
Good fun if you're a kid, but quite forgettable for the rest of the audience.
June 24, 2014
I really enjoyed it when I was younger. Suprisingly, it still kinda holds up. I really love the opening credits, as they help to establish the events prefilm with just a few visuals and objects.
Super Reviewer
½ November 12, 2007
Boy, will I ever live down the shame of liking this movie quite a lot ? Guilty pleasures - by all means - but this ? This films is pretty much a film version of your generic Disney-esque haunted theme park ride, with goofy ghosts, creeky floorboards, a million Victorian / Georgian / Whatever-Oldish props, filled with some of the bluntest one-liners Eddie Murphy may have ever delievered. Yet, all the silly-ghoulish romp is just too much brainless fun, even though the cineast soul deep inside myself is shrieking with agony. I quite like Eddie Murphy and found his performance warm und funny, the supporting characters (especially Stamp and Shawn) were terrific. Forget about the kids (kids in films are always crap) and Parker, who is just laughing stock (even within this laughable production). If you are a fan of some of Disney's straight to TV films of the 60/70 (such as Blackbeard's Curse etc.), you might find some nostalgic, innocent silly fun in this, but dont expect anything close to what hits the cinemas, this should have been a Halloween Special for CBS, something or rather. Still, I liked it.
June 4, 2014
I don't know why it is that movies with Eddie Murphy automatically are scored low. I actually like this movie, despite Eddie Murphy's place simply reacting to things. As a movie written in honor of an amusement park ride, one could do much, much worse. It's not Shakespeare but it'll fill up an hour or two.
½ April 22, 2014
Though scary and mind-blowing, the movie is still not what I had hoped when I was anticipated for it. Why? Eddie Murphy....that's why! Oh well, Guillermo Del Toro's upcoming PG-13 remake will definitely give us THE HAUNTED MANSION adaptation we deserve!!!!
½ April 24, 2011
Although fun to watch sometimes, it gets dull after a while. Why This film adaption of my favorite theme park ride couldn't be just as exctiting as the Pirates of the Caribbran films is quite beyond me.
½ March 8, 2014
Production design manages to save it from complete mediocrity- it's for the kids.
½ March 7, 2014
Eddie Murphy really needs to get his act together. In the 80's and 90's he made some pretty funny and thrilling movies, but now he makes worthless POS films. (Daddy Day Care, A Thousand Words, Norbit, Imagine That, Meet Dave, Showtime, I could go on forever). This movie is just another one of those waste-of-time, brainless movies that you wonder how the hell got made. I'm so glad Murphy decided to take on the Shrek franchise, because that's about the only good 21st century movie he's made. Also, Tower Heist was okay.
½ January 3, 2014
In another film based on a Disney ride, Eddie Murphy is a real estate agent who is called in to list an old mansion. However, a spirit there brought them so he could reunite with his wife who happens to be Murphy's wife. The story is ok, it just felt like there were a lot of moving pieces and it didn't come together quite as well as it should have. The story has been done a million times before. Doesn't have the fun or excitement of the first Pirates movie that came out the same year as this. However, it wasn't that bad, it could have been good, but the final product never quite got there.
February 23, 2010
A disappointing halfhearted effort from Disney. I suppose it could have been worse, but the legendary original park attraction deserves a better movie to represent it. (First viewing - Early 2004 in theaters)
January 2, 2014
Much better than i expected it to be this film benefits form the always charming Eddy Murphy playing an estate agent who's trying to find a buyer for a huge abandoned house. His stay in the house will prove to be challenging as the house is haunted by spirits. fun, well done and nicely shot this film will rejoice you kids.
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.
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