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The Haunted Mansion

November 26, 2003

Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Thriller

Eddie Murphy stars as a real estate agent whose family comes face-to-face with 999 grim, grinning ghosts in the creepy old Gracey Manor! Now, with the help of supernatural psychic Madame Leota, they must hilariously battle to break the mansion of its age-old curse, and do it before the clock strikes 13!

Rated: PG Release Date: November 26, 2003

Directed By

rated PG

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Tv/streaming, collections, great movies, chaz's journal, contributors, haunted mansion.

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From the original ride to now-three of film adaptations, Disney's Haunted Mansion is properly cemented into the company’s spooky canon. This installment is in line behind 2003’s nostalgic Eddie Murphy chapter and 2021’s Muppets edition. Justin Simien (“ Dear White People ,” “Bad Hair") directs this return to a Black-led live-action iteration of the story. 

The simple plot lends to simple execution across the board. Single mother Gabbie ( Rosario Dawson ) has moved into the antique house of her dreams with her nine-year-old son Travis ( Chase Dillon ). But not long after stepping into the home, they become blatantly aware of the spirited tenants occupying the creepy abode. Enlisting the help of grieving astrophysicist Ben ( LaKeith Stanfield ), priest Father Kent ( Owen Wilson ), medium Harriet ( Tiffany Haddish ), and haunted house expert Professor Bruce Davis ( Danny DeVito ), the gang hopes to put their heads together to rid the house of its supernatural tormentors.

“Haunted Mansion” is star-studded but shoddy at best. Despite the talent of writer Katie Dippold (“ The Heat ” “Parks and Recreation”), the script’s punchlines are forced and flat. Everyone is doled their share of one-liners, but Wilson and Haddish carry most of the weight. While Wilson often runs dry, Haddish delivers in her classic tone and cadence, executing flimsy jokes to her best ability. The script does toe the line of Disney’s boundaries, tossing in some light innuendos in a somewhat concerted effort to draw in more mature audiences.

Simien's film does display its fun-loving origins in how the house can transform into a surrealist landscape. Halls that never end, ceilings that extend into impossibility, gargoyles, hidden rooms, and the ever-so-classic ghost-inhabited portraits recall nostalgia for the film’s classic Gothicism. “Haunted Mansion” boasts a handful of playful chases and spooky sequences, but they’re fleeting and soon bring us back to the film’s stuttering pace. It's hard to find any true tension in "Haunted Mansion" until the climactic faceoff in the third act. 

Perhaps the greatest letdown of Simien's movie is how little the cast delivers. The ensemble is brimming with lively, prolific candidates, yet the script hardly seems to keep this in mind. Their talents are either underused or misdirected. Stanfield’s Ben mourns the loss of his wife, his grief becoming a cornerstone of the story. Yet while we’ve seen Stanfield display emotional depth in other roles, every tearful moment feels like a soap opera, not on account of sentiment, but performance. There’s a sense of watered-down contrivance across the board. The forced, postured will-they won’t-they romance between Stanfield and Dawson showcases this also. And with seasoned comedic actors in Wilson, DeVito, and Haddish, too few of their comedy efforts actually hit. 

“Haunted Mansion” is constructed with the familiar bricks of a Gothic tale, down to the theme of grief that runs throughout. There’s a thoughtful examination of how grief makes us vulnerable while also being able to harness the power of that love to connect with one another and appreciate the lives we lead. There’s also value for family audiences in the nostalgic spookiness that rides along the surface. But with a repeated sourness in the film’s comedic efforts and a tragically misused ensemble, “Haunted Mansion” misses the chance to become a Halloween classic. 

In theaters now.

Peyton Robinson

Peyton Robinson

Peyton Robinson is a freelance film writer based in Chicago, IL. 

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Haunted Mansion movie poster

Haunted Mansion (2023)

Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and scary action.

123 minutes

Rosario Dawson as Gabbie

Chase W. Dillon as Travis

LaKeith Stanfield as Ben Matthias

Owen Wilson as Father Kent

Tiffany Haddish as Harriet

Danny DeVito as Bruce Davis

Jamie Lee Curtis as Madame Leota

Winona Ryder as Pat

Jared Leto as Crump / Hatbox

  • Justin Simien
  • Katie Dippold


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‘Haunted Mansion’ Review: A Disney Ride to Nowhere Fun

Starring LaKeith Stanfield and Rosario Dawson, this movie plays like a feature-length ad for Disney’s theme-park attraction of the same name.

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Inside a spooky library stand Rosario Dawson in matronly dress, Tiffany Haddish costumed as a psychic, LaKeith Stanfield in street clothes and Owen Wilson as a priest.

By Manohla Dargis

There is a mansion, it is haunted, boo, blah, the end.

That’s pretty much all there is to say about “Haunted Mansion,” a live-action branding opportunity from Disney “inspired by” its theme-park attraction of the same name. The first of these opened in 1969 in Disneyland , in Anaheim, Calif., where it’s in the “Music-Lovin’ New Orleans Square,” as the park’s website puts it. That’s the site of another fan favorite, the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, which spawned a multibillion-dollar film franchise for Disney. “Haunted Mansion” is unlikely to do the same.

This is the second feature based on the “Mansion” attraction. (A 2021 Halloween special, “Muppet Haunted Mansion,” is streaming on Disney+.) The first film, “ The Haunted Mansion ” (2003), starring Eddie Murphy, was widely panned but made millions. In his review, the New York Times critic Elvis Mitchell wrote that it was “only a matter of time before “‘Parking Lot: The Movie’ and ‘People-Mover: The Motion Picture,’” an observation that feels more true and less funny now that this year has brought us other I.P.-based branding opportunities about all kinds of stuff, including sneakers (“ Air ”), games (“Tetris,” “The Super Mario Bros. Movie”), junk food (“Flamin’ Hot”) and, of course, a doll (a.k.a. “ Barbie ”).

The new “Haunted Mansion” was directed by Justin Simien, whose first feature, “Dear White People” (2014), is an incisive, sharply funny satire about a political firestorm at a college that earned him a lot of attention and led to both a book and a well-received Netflix show of the same title. I hope that Disney paid Simien truckloads of money to direct “Haunted Mansion,” and that he had more fun making it than I had watching it. He keeps things moving along, more or less, and the appealing cast hit their marks, but it’s dispiriting to see him directing what is effectively a feature-length Disney promotion. I hope it’s his last big-studio ad.

It stars LaKeith Stanfield (“Atlanta”), who imbues his generic role — a brainiac with a tragic story and busy tear ducts — with more emotional intensity than the movie calls for, which is its only surprise. His character, Ben, has developed a camera that can take photographs of ghosts, equipment that you’d expect the paranormal investigators in the (non-Disney) Ghostbusters series to have. And, wouldn’t you know it, the screenwriter here, Katie Dippold, also co-wrote the female-led “Ghostbusters” (2016) reboot. Like that movie, “Haunted Mansion” features a ragtag group of likable eccentrics battling digital ghosts, but it’s fright-free and far less funny. It’s all setup and no payoff.

The cast includes Rosario Dawson, whose unwaveringly fixed smile suggests that she decided to just grin and bear it to play Gabbie, a single mother with a predictably cute moppet, Travis (Chase W. Dillon). Gabbie wants to open a bed-and-breakfast in the mansion, which she found on Zillow, one of a number of product brands invoked throughout the movie. (For a cross-promotion stunt, the mansion has been listed on Zillow in the real world.) Also onboard is an oddball priest (Owen Wilson), a ditsy medium (Tiffany Haddish) and an excitable scholar (Danny DeVito). Jamie Lee Curtis pops in, too, for a turn that made me want to rewatch her genuinely scary performance in “The Bear,” a show on the Disney-owned streamer Hulu. I’d watch Curtis in just about anything, including “Parking Lot: The Movie,” which I assume is already in development.

Haunted Mansion Rated PG-13 for very mild ghost action. Running time: 2 hours 2 minutes. In theaters.

Manohla Dargis is the chief film critic of The Times, which she joined in 2004. She has an M.A. in cinema studies from New York University, and her work has been anthologized in several books. More about Manohla Dargis

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Disney's Haunted Mansion - Everything You Need To Know

Haunted Mansion cast together

The House of Mouse loves making movies based on popular rides at Disney World and Disneyland. Sometimes, these adaptations are huge hits, a la "Pirates of the Caribbean," and sometimes they're major disappointments, like "Tomorrowland." Sometimes they're an absolute blast, a la "Jungle Cruise," and sometimes they're absolutely baffling, such as "The Country Bears."

And then there's "Haunted Mansion," based on the beloved Disneyland dark ride. While the film grossed $182 million worldwide, its budget was a reasonably high $90 million, and the film was panned by critics and audiences alike. However, there's something especially cinematic about that particular attraction, so it makes sense that Disney would want to give the ride another go-round.

Just like a ghost rising from the grave, "Haunted Mansion" has returned to terrify audiences. The upcoming film looks like it could be quite fun, and if you want to know more about the A-list cast, who's directing, and what this spooky tale has in store, read on for what we know so far about the new "Haunted Mansion" movie.

When will Haunted Mansion be released?

Disney's "Haunted Mansion" is set to scare audiences on July 28, 2023. However, that wasn't always the case. That release date has been a bit of a cursed one for Disney. Originally, it was supposed to be the premiere for "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania." However, "The Marvels" — which was originally set to be released in February — needed more time to complete, so the two superhero movies swapped places.

Then, "The Marvels" was pushed back from its July release date to November, reportedly because it needed more post-production work. With that July 28 slot empty, the House of Mouse decided to bump up "Haunted Mansion" from its original release date of August 11. While we personally think a fall release date would've been a bit more appropriate, given it's spooky season, Disney evidently thinks "Haunted Mansion" has blockbuster potential.

For their sake, we hope they're right. "Haunted Mansion" will be competing against some stiff competition. Both "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" will be in their second week of release when "Haunted Mansion" comes out, and "Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One" hits theaters that month as well. We'll see if "Haunted Mansion" can spook the competition.

What is the plot of Haunted Mansion?

"Haunted Mansion" kicks off with Gabbie, a single mother who's just purchased a creepy-looking house in New Orleans. Excited about what the future holds, she moves into the mansion with her 9-year-old son, who's not quite as excited about being in the uber-spooky house. Turns out, the kid is right — the place is crawling with ghosts, and these aren't exactly your friendly Casper types. Realizing they're in way over their heads, Gabbie recruits a group of unlikely heroes — a priest, a psychic, a historian, and paranormal expert — to get rid of the evil spirits occupying the manor. Of course, that's going to be easier said than done, resulting in both horror and hilarity.

Who is starring in Haunted Mansion?

Just like the titular haunted mansion is full of specters, the "Haunted Mansion" movie is full of stars. Rosario Dawson plays Gabbie, the single mom who must protect her son and exorcise her new New Orleans home. Dawson is no stranger to the Disney family, as she's also playing Ahsoka Tano in Disney+'s "Ahsoka" series. She's also starred in projects like "Daredevil," "The 25th Hour," and "Sin City."

Her young son, who seems to know from early on that something isn't right with this house, will be played by Chase Dillon. A young star on the rise, Dillon is probably best known for his chilling turn as Homer in "The Underground Railroad." Here, he stars along some serious talent with LaKeith Stanfield ("Atlanta") as a sketchy paranormal expert, Owen Wilson ("Loki") as an eager priest, Tiffany Haddish ("The Afterparty") as a psychic, and Danny DeVito ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") as a historian.

Of course, they aren't the only names in this stacked cast. Jamie Lee Curtis, fresh off her Oscar win for "Everything Everywhere All at Once," also appears in the film, as does Jared Leto of "Morbius," who will appear as the ghastly Hatbox Ghost. They'll be joined by Winona Ryder of "Stranger Things," Dan Levy of "Schitt's Creek," and Hasan Minhaj of "Patriot Act."

Who is directing Haunted Mansion?

Before he became an acclaimed director, Justin Simien used to work at Disneyland. "It was the best summer job I ever had," he told audiences at D23 in September 2022. "And anytime I wasn't working on the ride I was supposed to, I'd ride Pirates and my favorite ride, Haunted Mansion." Clearly, the attraction holds a special place in Simien's heart, which makes him the perfect choice to helm the upcoming family horror flick.

While Simien doesn't have a ton of previous credit, the stuff he has worked on has impressed many a critic. He burst onto the scene with 2014's feature-length "Dear White People," a savage satire that he adapted into a celebrated Netflix series. He also directed the horror comedy "Bad Hair," and now he's bringing those sensibilities over to Disney. We can't wait to see what Simien has in store, and judging by the trailers, it looks like it's going to be a blast.

Who is writing Haunted Mansion?

Screenwriter Katie Dippold has quite a bit of experience blending gags with ghosts. In addition to penning the script for "Haunted Mansion," she also wrote the screenplay for 2016's "Ghostbusters." Dippold is definitely known best for her comedy cred, as she also wrote "The Heat," which starred Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, as well as several episodes of "Parks and Recreation," including classics like "Indianapolis," "Beauty Pageant," "Summer Catalog," and "April and Andy's Fancy Party."

Director Justin Simien seems quite impressed by Dippold's work. Speaking at D23 in September 2022, the director said, "For me, there was something about that ride I felt was there in the script. It was funny and full of interesting characters but with a dark edge to it."

Is there a trailer for Haunted Mansion?

The official trailer for "Haunted Mansion" opens with LaKeith Stanfield's paranormal expert showing up at the scene of the titular haunted house. "Wait!" Rosario Dawson's Gabbie shouts before he can come through the door. "I should warn you before you step inside the house, this could change the course of your entire life." "I'm not afraid of a couple of ghosts," he says defiantly, to which Dawson laughs, "You say that now..."

It's a decision the ghost hunter will come to regret, as a ghostly specter hurls an ax at his head basically the moment he starts poking around. From there, we watch as the dream team assembles, with Owen Wilson's priest, Danny DeVito's historian, and Tiffany Haddish's medium showing up on the scene. They're greeted by pistol-dueling spirits, twisting hallways, the terrifying Hatbox Ghost, and the head of Jamie Lee Curtis.

The stakes are incredibly high — if our heroes fail, they'll be stuck in the house for eternity — and this motley crew are in for the fight of their lives. Of course, while the trailer is definitely spooky, it also looks like a rollicking good time that pays the proper tribute to the beloved ride.

What is Disney's Haunted Mansion rated?

Sure, it's a Disney film, but "Haunted Mansion" is going to be a bit spookier than your typical offering from the House of Mouse. As a result, the rating reflects that. This ghost story is rated PG-13 for "some thematic elements and scary action." It's not unheard of for Disney films to receive this rating, especially their live-action fare. Think of titles like the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies or "Jungle Cruise," and those were all PG-13 pictures, perfect for most members of the family. In other words, while this movie isn't meant for the littlest ones, it's going to be totally fine for most kids.

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Haunted Mansion

2023, Fantasy/Comedy, 2h 3m

What to know

Critics Consensus

Haunted Mansion 's talented cast makes the movie a pleasant enough destination, although it's neither scary nor funny enough to wholeheartedly recommend. Read critic reviews

Audience Says

Haunted Mansion is a fun blend of horror and comedy with a great cast and a story that'll be extra entertaining for fans of the ride that inspired it. Read audience reviews

Where to watch Haunted Mansion

Watch Haunted Mansion with a subscription on Disney+, rent on Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, or buy on Amazon Prime Video, Vudu.

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Haunted mansion videos, haunted mansion   photos.

A woman and her son enlist a motley crew of so-called spiritual experts to help rid their home of supernatural squatters.

Rating: PG-13 (Some Thematic Elements|Scary Action)

Genre: Fantasy, Comedy

Original Language: English

Director: Justin Simien

Producer: Dan Lin , Jonathan Eirich

Writer: Katie Dippold

Release Date (Theaters): Jul 28, 2023  wide

Release Date (Streaming): Oct 4, 2023

Box Office (Gross USA): $67.6M

Runtime: 2h 3m

Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures

Production Co: Rideback, Disney+

Sound Mix: Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Atmos

Aspect Ratio: Digital 2.39:1

Cast & Crew

LaKeith Stanfield

Ben Matthias

Tiffany Haddish

Owen Wilson

Father Kent

Danny DeVito

Bruce Davis

Rosario Dawson

Chase W. Dillon

Jamie Lee Curtis

Madame Leota

Crump, Hatbox

Hasan Minhaj

Sketch Artist

Justin Simien

Katie Dippold


Jonathan Eirich

Nick Reynolds

Executive Producer

Tom C. Peitzman

Jeffrey Waldron


Phillip J. Bartell

Film Editing

Kris Bowers

Original Music

Darren Gilford

Production Design

Laurel Bergman

Art Director

Shawn D. Bronson

Kristen Maloney

Victor J. Zolfo

Set Decoration

Jeffrey Kurland

Costume Design

Carmen Cuba

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When Is “Haunted Mansion” Coming To Disney+?

the haunted mansion disney movies

This summer, Walt Disney Studios release a brand new live-action film, “Haunted Mansion”, which is inspired by the classic theme park attraction, “Haunted Mansion” is about a woman and her son who enlist a motley crew of so-called spiritual experts to help rid their home of supernatural squatters.

Directed by Justin Simien, the film features an all-star cast ensemble cast including LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, Rosario Dawson, Chase W. Dillon and Daniel Levy, with Jamie Lee Curtis and Jared Leto as The Hatbox Ghost. The film’s producers are Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich, with Nick Reynolds and Tom Peitzman serving as executive producers.

When Is “Haunted Mansion” Released?

“Haunted Mansion” is being released exclusively in cinemas in the United States and Canada on July 28th 2023. The film comes out a little later in the United Kingdom and Ireland on August 11th 2023, with Australia and New Zealand following on August 31st 2023.

When Will “Haunted Mansion” Be On Disney+?

Disney has officially announced at the Destination D23 event, that the film will be coming to Disney+ on October 4th 2023, along with digital retailers, with a physical release on Blu-Ray/DVD later in the month.

the haunted mansion disney movies

Is “Haunted Mansion” Coming To Disney+ Premier Access?

Disney has confirmed that following the release of “Jungle Cruise”, it won’t be using Disney+ Premier Access, instead offering selected movies exclusively in cinemas first, before being released on Disney’s streaming services.

the haunted mansion disney movies

What Time Will “Haunted Mansion” Be Released On Disney+

Disney+ updates daily at the following times:

  • Pacific Time: 00:00 AM / Midnight
  • Eastern Time: 03:00 AM
  • UK: 08:00 AM
  • Sydney, Australia – 19:00 PM

Sometimes films can arrive a few minutes later as the servers update. The Disney+ front page usually updates about an hour later.

Are you looking forward to seeing “Haunted Mansion”? Let us know on social media!

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Haunted Mansion

Danny DeVito, Owen Wilson, Mike Benitez, Rosario Dawson, Chase Dillon, Tiffany Haddish, and LaKeith Stanfield in Haunted Mansion (2023)

A single mom named Gabbie hires a tour guide, a psychic, a priest and a historian to help exorcise her newly bought mansion after discovering it is inhabited by ghosts. A single mom named Gabbie hires a tour guide, a psychic, a priest and a historian to help exorcise her newly bought mansion after discovering it is inhabited by ghosts. A single mom named Gabbie hires a tour guide, a psychic, a priest and a historian to help exorcise her newly bought mansion after discovering it is inhabited by ghosts.

  • Justin Simien
  • Katie Dippold
  • LaKeith Stanfield
  • Rosario Dawson
  • Owen Wilson
  • 344 User reviews
  • 170 Critic reviews
  • 47 Metascore
  • 6 nominations

Official Trailer

  • Ben Matthias

Rosario Dawson

  • Father Kent

Tiffany Haddish

  • Bruce Davis

Jamie Lee Curtis

  • Madame Leota

Chase Dillon

  • (as Chase W. Dillon)

Jared Leto

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The Haunted Mansion

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  • Trivia Gracey Manor is modeled after the original Disneyland Haunted Mansion. Crump Manor is modeled after Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World.
  • Goofs Later on in the movie, a secret seance room is discovered via blueprints and the room has a domed skylight. The same domed skylight is visible in the backyard, even more so when Ben talks to Travis in the backyard.

Gabbie : I know this place isn't as warm as I hoped. But I'm gonna light a vanilla candle, and it's gonna be a game-changer.

[see ghosts]

Gabbie : Yeah, we gone

  • Crazy credits The Disney's 100th anniversary logo had several variations for that film; in the trailer, the logo was set at night, with the moon above, and is lit up in purple and blue lights. Meanwhile in the actual film, the logo is brighter than usual and is desaturated.
  • Connections Featured in AniMat's Crazy Cartoon Cast: The HARDCORE Powerpuff Girls (2020)
  • Soundtracks His Soul Left Gloss on the Rose Written and Produced by Kris Bowers , Erion Brandon Williams (as Brandon Williams), Derrick James Moss (as Derrick Moss), Paul Michael Robertson (as Paul Robertson), Julian Omari Gosin (as Julian Gosin), Manuel Perkins , Corey Donovan Peyton (as Corey Peyton), Lumar Christopher Leblanc II (as Lumar LeBlanc III), and Marcus Otis Hubbard (as Marcus Hubbard) Performed by The Soul Rebels

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  • How long is Haunted Mansion? Powered by Alexa
  • July 28, 2023 (United States)
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  • $150,000,000 (estimated)
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  • Jul 30, 2023
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Which disney haunted mansion movie is better.

It's Haunted Mansion vs. Haunted Mansion. Both films are based on the Disney theme park ride, but we break down what makes one better than the other.

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Haunted Mansion

  • The 2023 remake of Haunted Mansion is considered better due to its more engaging characters, intriguing story, and relatable themes, providing a deeper connection to the audience.
  • The cast of the remake, including LaKeith Stanfield, Rosario Dawson, Tiffany Haddish, Danny DeVito, and Owen Wilson, is seen as superior to the cast of the 2003 film, which primarily relied on Eddie Murphy.
  • While both films incorporate elements from the Disney theme park ride, the remake stays closer to the source material and includes more references, creating a more authentic and immersive experience.

There are two versions of Haunted Mansion now, but which one is better? Directed by Justin Simien from a screenplay by Katie Dippold, Haunted Mansion is a remake of the 2003 film The Haunted Mansion , directed by Rob Minkoff and starring Eddie Murphy. With two decades between them, the Haunted Mansion movies are quite different in their approaches to characters and story. Both films are based on the Disney theme park attraction, and though they share certain similarities in that vein, the Haunted Mansion movies are individually distinct from one another.

Haunted Mansion released in theaters July 28, and received mostly negative reviews from critics, though Screen Rant’s own review was positive overall . It currently has a 40 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 84 percent audience score, which suggests audiences had a more favorable view of the film. 2003’s The Haunted Mansion was one of multiple Disney movies based on a ride. Upon its release, it joined the likes of Pirates of the Caribbean and Tower of Terror . 2023’s version of the film is very different from the original, but it will most certainly draw comparisons to 2003’s The Haunted Mansion .

Which Disney Haunted Mansion Movie Has A Better Cast

Both iterations of Haunted Mansion have great casts. 2003’s The Haunted Mansion is well-known for starring Eddie Murphy, who remains a big name to this day. His co-stars included Marsha Thomason, who would go on to be cast in the popular series Lost , and Merlin’s Terrance Stamp, but there was no one who outshone Murphy. While the original film boasted as big a star as Murphy, the cast of 2023’s Haunted Mansion is full of well-known actors who balance each other out.

Between Atlanta’s LaKeith Stanfield, Ahsoka’s Rosario Dawson , the comedian/actress Tiffany Haddish, and beloved comedy actors Danny DeVito and Owen Wilson, it’s hard to deny the draw of such a tremendous cast, especially when their work gels together so well. Simply by the sheer number of popular figures present in the film, the Haunted Mansion remake has the superior cast. The film also includes Jamie Lee Curtis as Madame Leota, which tips the scales in Haunted Mansion’s favor.

Which Disney Haunted Mansion Movie Has A Better Story

Murphy’s The Haunted Mansion touches upon themes of family, making up for past mistakes, and focusing on what’s important. That comes through with Jim Evers and his children’s fight to save his wife Sara from becoming the bride of Edward Gracey, who believes Sara is his dear love Elizabeth. Before the events take a turn in the 2003 film, Jim is more concerned with getting a good deal on the Haunted Mansion than being on vacation with his family.

Simien’s Haunted Mansion shifts its focus, centering grief and loss, support and friendship. The remake’s villain — Alistair Crump, who is better known as the Hatbox Ghost — has loftier goals than Ramsley and Gracey had in the first film, which had a personal connection to the Evers family. And while Crump doesn’t share a personal tie, the narrative surrounding LaKeith Stanfield’s Ben and Travis, the themes of grief, helping people, and the dangers of greed and revenge make for a more well-rounded, deeper story than its predecessor.

Which Disney Haunted Mansion Movie Is Scarier

The Haunted Mansion certainly seemed to be targeted more at younger children, what with its often silly aspects and singing ghosts. In fact, the majority of the ghosts, aside from being somewhat creepy, were rather harmless in the grand scheme of things. The 2003 film received a PG rating for frightening images, thematic elements and language, and it remained a family friendly offering. Simien’s Haunted Mansion is also suitable for a younger audience , but the fact that the Hatbox Ghost attempts to lure both Ben and Travis to join their dead loved ones makes it more of an unsettling watch.

Yes, there are ghosts and frightening moments in both films, but Alistair Crump is crueler as a villain, and the themes at the center of the remake are unsettling on their own. Both films employ ghostly scare tactics, but the Haunted Mansion remake accentuates the spookiness of it all. It’s also rated PG-13 for thematic elements and scary action, pushing the envelope in terms of intensity and the lengths of the Hatbox Ghost’s reign of terror.

Which Disney Haunted Mansion Movie Is Funnier

It’s safe to say that both versions of Haunted Mansion are entertaining, boasting funny and silly moments. Neither film takes itself too seriously, which is a big part of the draw. But when it comes to the actual humor, it’s hard to top Eddie Murphy in that category. The Haunted Mansion tones down his more audacious comedic tendencies, but his performance and line delivery is exaggerated and fun. To compare, 2023’s Haunted Mansion can also be funny. Tiffany Haddish’s comedic timing is excellent, and the cast is clearly having a fun time, but the humor in the remake is more understated than in the original film.

Which Disney Haunted Mansion Movie Is Closer To The Ride

In some ways, neither film is exactly like the ride. The theme park attraction takes its guests on a tour of the Haunted Mansion, where they meet a variety of spooky ghosts. The Haunted Mansion films craft a story around the basic elements of the theme park ride, each featuring aspects of the attraction, including the haunted suit of armor, the séance room, and the Hatbox Ghost, among others. Both films actually incorporate around the same amount of references to the theme park ride. The 2003 film includes the singing busts in the cemetery, while the remake has the attic and plenty of Easter eggs hidden in the moving paintings.

Why 2023’s Haunted Mansion Is Better Than The Original

All things considered, 2023’s Haunted Mansion is ultimately better than 2003’s iteration. It has more engaging characters, the antagonist’s motivations are intriguing and dark, the story has depth, and its themes are relatable and provide a more intrinsic connection to the characters. It isn’t a perfect movie, but it’s silly without being over-the-top. Haunted Mansion has a lot of heart, and that’s what carries it through. The cast, Stanfield especially, digs deeper into their characters, bringing out the multiple layers they possess.

The remake has a lot more going for it in terms of its execution, too, and there is something there for everyone to enjoy. The Haunted Mansion , which received an even more negative critical response upon its release, is a touch too silly and lacking in heart by comparison. The remake maintains certain aspects of what made the original film enjoyable for younger audiences and expands on it, infusing the story with themes that will be felt by adults while still connecting with kids. It’s the collective — characters, narrative direction, entertainment value — that makes 2023’s Haunted Mansion stand out.

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The Haunted Mansion (Full Screen Edition)

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Product Description

From the studio that brought you PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN ... here's the fright-filled comedy adventure loaded with hair-raising laughs and eye-popping special effects! Eddie Murphy (DADDY DAY CARE) stars as a real estate agent whose family comes face-to-face with 999 grim, grinning ghosts in the creepy old Gracey Manor! Now with the help of supernatural psychic Madame Leota (Jennifer Tilly, LIAR, LIAR) they must hilariously battle to break the mansion of its age-old curse ... and do it before the clock strikes 13!

Product details

  • Aspect Ratio ‏ : ‎ 1.33:1
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ No
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 0.7 x 7.5 x 5.4 inches; 2.4 Ounces
  • Item model number ‏ : ‎ WD03209200DVD
  • Director ‏ : ‎ Rob Minkoff
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ NTSC, Dolby, Color, Full Screen, Subtitled
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 28 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ April 20, 2004
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Eddie Murphy, Terence Stamp, Nathaniel Parker, Jennifer Tilly, Wallace Shawn
  • Subtitles: ‏ : ‎ Spanish
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Unqualified
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0001A79EO
  • Writers ‏ : ‎ David Berenbaum
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • #10,168 in DVD

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The New Haunted Mansion Is Full of the Ghosts of Imagineers

Portrait of Bethy Squires

Spoilers ahead for Haunted Mansion , in theaters now.

Disney’s newly released second attempt at a Haunted Mansion movie is definitely more representative of the theme-park ride it’s based on than the 2003 film featuring Eddie Murphy. For starters, neither the Disneyland or Walt Disney World ride has any discussion of the subprime-mortgage boom, and that’s like half the plot of the 2003 movie. But if that earlier Haunted Mansion took liberties with the source material, 2023’s film is almost slavish to the ride’s lore. The plot hinges on urban legend turned animatronic entity the Hatbox Ghost , as well as the effort to secure the mansion’s 1,000th ghost. The film references never-realized concept art , the ride’s original proposed story line , and the names of Imagineers. Like, a lot of Imagineers.

The Disney Parks are designed, manufactured, and decorated by Imagineers, a name that combines imagine with engineer to illustrate how the job is equal parts kooky creativity and practical science. The Imagineers are the namesakes of heroic Haunted Mansion characters like Harriet and Madame Leota. But they’re also the inspiration behind the film’s antagonist — satanic serial killer Alistair Crump. That’s weird, right? A giant corporation naming a fictional mass murderer after a former employee?

To understand how an Imagineer became the namesake of a Jared Leto–voiced skeleton man, you have to understand how long it took for the Haunted Mansion ride to become a reality. Walt Disney had conceived of a haunted-house attraction back in 1951, when the plan was to make a small theme park in Burbank. The haunted house wasn’t a part of Disneyland v1.0 in 1955, but space was made for it in 1963. Even then, the ride shell sat empty for nine years. Nobody could agree on what the ride was supposed to be.

Three generations of Imagineers, one World’s Fair, and one company founder’s death later, and the Haunted Mansion finally opened in August 1969. (The same weekend as the Tate-LaBianca murders, oddly enough.) Eighteen years of Imagineers worked on the Haunted Mansion, and they signed their work. Most references to them are in the prop graveyard outside the mansion, inscribed in all those gag tombstones. There are other references throughout the ride, however, and some of them trickled into the 2023 movie. Not all are the most thoughtful remembrances. Below are the Imagineer Easter eggs in 2023’s Haunted Mansion and the stories behind them.

Master Gracey

Nobody could have foreseen what happened to Yale Gracey, namesake for the Haunted Mansion’s Master Gracey (played by J.R. Adduci in the 2023 film). Gracey and Rolly Crump were the two Imagineers in charge of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion project in the mid-’60s. While Crump focused on trippy objets d’art that would later get sidelined in a failed “Museum of the Weird” restaurant, Gracey devoted himself to incorporating the best of 19th-century magician tricks into the ride. He worked tirelessly on the Pepper’s Ghost effects (an elaborate set of optical illusions that make ghosts appear and disappear before guests’ eyes), figured out how to use projectors to create Madame Leota (the talking, floating head in a crystal ball) and the singing busts , and there’s a tombstone dedicated to him in the graveyard. It reads “Master Gracey, Laid to Rest, No Mourning at His Request, FAREWELL.” This gag tribute took on a different tenor after Gracey was murdered in 1983 , shot in his sleep inside his cabana at the Bel Air Bay Club. His murder remains unsolved to this day. Which is why it feels a little odd for a Master Gracey character to be tricked into suicide not once but twice in Haunted Mansion movies.

Alistair Crump

Perhaps even odder than the legend of Master Gracey is the 2023 Haunted Mansion ’s treatment of Imagineer Rolly Crump. In the film, a man named Alistair Crump (Jared Leto) is behind all the hauntings and mysterious deaths. He killed party guests and servants alike in his own mansion, Crump Manor, until the staff revolted and chopped his head off. Crump’s ghost shows up in Master Gracey’s mansion after Leota accidentally summons him. He convinces Gracey to kill himself and becomes responsible for 66 deaths in Gracey’s mansion. He couldn’t be farther from his namesake, Rolly Crump. Rolly was an Imagineer whose most controversial opinion was that it was important to “ Keep Disneyland Weird .” He helped design the façade of It’s a Small World, devised the spooky clock in the Haunted Mansion, and drew sexy dames and pro-marijuana posters in his spare time. He died earlier this year, so presumably someone asked his permission to be remembered in this movie as a malevolent, murderous spirit.

Madame Leota

The Haunted Mansion’s ghostly fortune teller was named after Imagineer Leota Toombs before the ride was even finished. Toombs first worked in Disney’s Ink and Paint department, where she met her husband, Harvey Toombs. After having two children, she began working in Imagineering in 1962, contributing to attractions Disney made for the 1964 World’s Fair. This was when Yale Gracey and Rolly Crump were the point men on the Haunted Mansion. Gracey asked Leota to pose for the crystal-ball effect because, in her words , “my eyes were the right distance apart to fit the test model.” To this day, her face is projected on the fortune teller’s ball with Cinderella voice actress Eleanor Audley reading the character’s lines. Jamie Lee Curtis performs both duties in the 2023 film.

Tiffany Haddish’s character Harriet shares a first name with Harriet Burns, the girlboss of Imagineering. She was the first woman hired by Walt Disney Imagineering and had to contend with the company’s boys’-club mentality in the ’50s. She made miniatures of rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion as well as Disneyland’s private club, Club 33. Fun fact: Burns based Pirates of the Caribbean’s Dirty Foot Pirate on her milkman, who had weirdly hairy legs. Did she regret that choice when she had to place each leg hair individually on a robot’s leg? Who’s to say.

Bruce Davis

Danny DeVito’s character Bruce Davis is likely a nod to Marc Davis, one of the last Imagineers to midwife the Haunted Mansion to completion. Davis butted heads with Claude Coates, who wanted the Mansion to be scary as shit. Marc Davis, on the other hand, wanted the Mansion to play host to his pun-inspired vignettes. The duo compromised with Coates overseeing more of the ride’s spooky beginning and Davis bringing the wacky to the back half. Davis managed to sneak in ghosts that were puns on “ Mum’s the word ,” “I t’s not over till the fat lady sings ,” and “ Great Caesar’s Ghost .” He was a goofy-ass man, and it’s only right his character is portrayed by goofy-ass DeVito.

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DisneyTips.com Your Guide To A Great Disney Vacation

New plot and logo revealed for disney’s haunted mansion.

Posted by: Melissa Cannioto April 28, 2022


We’ve all been “Grim Grinning Ghosts” after Disney’s plethora of Halloween-themed announcements today.

It’s been a big day for Halloween news out of Disney Parks, including the return of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World , Oogie Boogie Bash at Disney California Adventure, Hocus Pocus spells on Disney Cruise Line , and even new outfits for Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

And now, Happy Haunts have received your sympathetic vibrations, and in celebration of this year’s Halfway to Halloween, have materialized news on the brand-new  Haunted Mansion  movie!


Credit: Disney

Disney’s first Haunted Mansion movie was released back in 2003 and starred Eddie Murphy alongside plenty of ghosts and ghouls. With an abundance of references back to the Disney Park attraction – including Madame Leota, Master Gracey, hitchhiking ghosts, and a Ghost Host butler, the film failed to impress at the box office.

The attraction-based movie came out the same year as Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), which became a massive hit for Disney and has since inspired four sequels.

For fans of the classic Haunted Mansion attraction at Disneyland and Walt Disney World wanting more – welcome, Foolish Mortals, to news regarding Disney’s reboot of the Haunted Mansion movie franchise starring Owen Wilson . After much speculation, Disney Parks Blog shared today, April 28, the official logo and plot for the new Haunted Mansion film:


Disney also finally revealed the full list of stars in the new movie based on Disney’s Haunted Mansion theme park ride:

Walt Disney Pictures’ “Haunted Mansion,” is based on Disney’s classic theme parks attraction and starring a star-studded ensemble cast that includes LaKeith Stanfield “Knives Out,” Tiffany Haddish “Bad Trip,” Owen Wilson Marvel’s “Loki,” Danny DeVito “Jumanji: The Next Level,” Rosario Dawson “Zombieland: Double Tap” and Chase Dillon “The Underground Railroad.” The film was directed by Justin Simien “Bad Hair,” “Dear White People” and produced by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich “Aladdin.” Nick Reynolds “Easter Sunday” and Tom Peitzman “The Lion King” are the executive producers.

The Haunted Mansion movie follows a single mom named Gabbie, who hires a tour guide, a psychic, a priest, and a historian to help exorcise their newly bought mansion after discovering it is inhabited by ghosts. The movie’s plot sounds very different from the fun family-friendly shenanigans of Eddie Murphy, who had to try to break the curse of a mansion he and his family were trapped inside.


Credit: Marvel

Haunted Mansion will be released in theaters on March 10, 2023. Disney has yet to confirm if the reboot is a comedy, drama, or both, but goes on to explain the spooky plot in more detail:

In this mysterious adventure, a doctor (Dawson) and her 9-year-old son (Dillon), looking to start a new life, move into a strangely affordable mansion in New Orleans, only to discover that the place is much more than they bargained for. Desperate for help, they contact a priest (Wilson), who, in turn, enlists the aid of a widowed scientist-turned failed-paranormal expert (Stanfield), a French Quarter psychic (Haddish) and a crotchety historian (DeVito).

Back in July 2010, it was announced that a reboot adaptation based on the Haunted Mansion was in development for Walt Disney Pictures, with Guillermo del Toro directing. del Toro revealed that the Hatbox Ghost would be one of the main characters, and said the movie would be “scary and fun at the same time, but the scary will be scary.”

By July 2013, however, del Toro had announced he was no longer the project’s director but remained as co-writer and producer. In August 2020, it was announced that Katie Dippold signed on to write a new screenplay for the film after it was decided that del Toro’s script was too scary for family audiences . Justin Simien was then officially confirmed as director by July 2021.


The  Haunted Mansion  is one of Disney’s most popular and iconic attractions. Inspiring creative merchandise, Halloween parade floats, movies (starring Eddie Murphy and now Owen Wilson ), and even The Muppets Haunted Mansion Disney+ version, the dark ride attraction features a ride-through tour in an Omnimover vehicle called a “Doom Buggy”.

Located at Disneyland in New Orleans Square, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris (Phantom Manor), and Hong Kong Disneyland (Mystic Manor), Disney’s haunted house uses a range of clever technology tricks to create its famous 999 happy haunts, including spectral Audio-Animatronics and optical illusions like Pepper’s Ghost.

Featuring classic Disney Park characters such as the Hitchhiking Ghosts, the bride Constance Hatchaway, and Madame Leota,  the Haunted Mansion  has become synonymous with “silly spooks” and Disney theme park magic.

Haunted Mansion

In the original 2003  Haunted Mansion  movie , real estate agent Jim Evers (Eddie Murphy) takes his family on vacation after being accused by his wife, Sara (Marsha Thomason), of neglecting his son (Marc John Jefferies) and daughter (Aree Davis). The Evers family stops en route at a sinister mansion that Jim has been asked to sell, only to discover it’s haunted by Master Gracey (Nathaniel Parker), his butler, Ramsley (Terence Stamp), and two other servants who need help breaking a curse.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the Disney film has a rating of only 14% based on 140 reviews and an average rating of 4.2/10. We’ll have to wait until March 2023 to see if this new Haunted Mansion movie performs any better.

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Whose Haunts are the Happiest? Let’s Take a Look at the “Haunted Mansions” in all of the Disney Parks

the haunted mansion disney movies

Welcome, foolish mortals! The Haunted Mansion is an iconic Disney Parks attraction. In fact, it’s so beloved that guests will find a version of this attraction at five Disney Parks worldwide!

the haunted mansion disney movies

And while they’re all inspired by the same spirit , each version of the attraction has a unique execution.

Let’s take a look at the different versions of The Haunted Mansion across the Disney parks!

The haunted mansion — disneyland park.

Let’s start with the first version of The Haunted Mansion — the one located in Disneyland Park! Even though this was the first version of the ride, it wasn’t an opening day attraction. The Haunted Mansion first welcomed guests on August 9, 1969. Which made it the first major Disney attraction to open without the direct supervision of Walt Disney. And as the first version of the ride, the others draw inspiration from the original in Disneyland! The exterior of the attraction is themed after an old antebellum Southern mansion, so it perfectly complements the land in which it’s located — New Orleans Square.

the haunted mansion disney movies

Upon entering the front door of the mansion, guests are ushered into the iconic “stretching room,” which is actually an elevator that descends to a lower level. After walking through a wall of haunting portraits, which change as lighting flashes, guests enter their Doom Buggy to begin the tour.

the haunted mansion disney movies

The tour is led by the mysterious “Ghost Host,” who narrates the attraction as guests pass through chilling scenes including a séance conducted by Madame Leota, a party in the Grand Hall, and the very  lively  graveyard. While this version of the attraction is very similar to the one located in the Magic Kingdom, there are several unique elements. First, one of the 999 happy haunts in Disneyland is the Hatbox Ghost — who resides exclusively in the Disneyland version of the ride.

the haunted mansion disney movies

Also, the Disneyland attraction receives a seasonal overlay each year which includes characters from  The Nightmare Before Christmas . The holiday version typically opens at the beginning of September and runs through the end of the year.

the haunted mansion disney movies

Now that we’ve seen the spooky original, let’s take a peek inside the other mansions!

The Haunted Mansion — Magic Kingdom

While the Disneyland version opened over a decade after the park first welcomed guests, The Haunted Mansion in Magic Kingdom was an opening day attraction for the Florida Project, offering mansion tours since October 1, 1971. And guests will notice a marked difference before they even enter. Since this ride is located in Liberty Square, it’s themed after the English Tudor style found in the lower Hudson River Valley in New York, to better match its surroundings.

the haunted mansion disney movies

There are a few smaller differences from the Disneyland version as well — guests enter through a side door rather than the front, the Stretching Room doesn’t take guests to a lower level, and the changing portraits and marble busts are encountered on the attraction rather than in the queue. Plus, a 2007 refurbishment of the attraction saw a few more significant on-ride changes as well. The Grand Staircase room is exclusive to the Disney World version of the attraction, as is the more substantial storyline of Constance, the ghostly bride in the attic.

the haunted mansion disney movies

Despite the different exterior aesthetics and some slight changes to the scenes, The Haunted Mansion in Disney World is pretty close to the original!

The Haunted Mansion — Tokyo Disneyland

This version might give you a bit of deja vu. The Haunted Mansion in Tokyo Disneyland opened in 1983, and it’s very similar to the Magic Kingdom version of the attraction. Located in the Fantasyland section of the park, the exterior is also in the same English Tudor style as guests will find in Disney World.

the haunted mansion disney movies

And the ride itself is also pretty close to the Magic Kingdom attraction. In fact, it was almost exactly the same before the Magic Kingdom version received a refurbishment in 2007. Instead of the Grand Staircase scene in the Disney World iteration, guests pass through a room with giant spiders. And the attic scene in Tokyo has ghostly heads which pop up to spook guests, rather than the Constance storyline seen in Disney World. But other than that, these haunts are very similar to their Florida counterparts!

Phantom Manor — Disneyland Paris

Now let’s start to shake things up a bit! While the overall spooky vibe of Phantom Manor is similar to the other attractions, this version of the ride has a different storyline than the first three we’ve touched on. The name change, therefore, is fitting! This ride opened with the park in 1992, and it’s located in  Frontierland. The style of the mansion and the accompanying storyline are altered to fit with the Frontierland theming.

the haunted mansion disney movies

Phantom Manor belongs to one of Thunder Mesa’s founding families, the Ravenswoods. And the patriarch, Henry Ravenswood, is incredibly protective of his only daughter, Melanie, whose four suitors all met untimely and mysterious demises.

the haunted mansion disney movies

The ghostly bride is a recurring character throughout the scenes in Phantom Manor. And given the large number of languages spoken by Disneyland Paris guests, Imagineers purposely designed this version of the attraction to rely heavily on visual and musical storytelling.

the haunted mansion disney movies

While many of the scenes themselves are similar to those in The Haunted Mansion, the inclusion of the Bride and the Phantom shift the storyline of Phantom Manor.

the haunted mansion disney movies

The biggest difference between the Phantom Manor scenes compared to those in The Haunted Mansion is the “graveyard scene.” Instead of a graveyard, Phantom Manor takes riders through a dilapidated ghost town in the western United States, again, keeping with the Frontierland theme.

the haunted mansion disney movies

With some pretty big changes to the storyline and scenes, Phantom Manor offers a unique experience for even the most seasoned riders of The Haunted Mansion!

Mystic Manor — Hong Kong Disneyland

Finally, we reach the most unique version of “The Haunted Mansion.” Mystic Manor opened in 2013 as the focal point of Hong Kong Disneyland’s Mystic Point. The ride itself is so different that guests might not even realize that it’s this park’s take on The Haunted Mansion!

the haunted mansion disney movies

Rather than focusing on ghosts or the deceased, this attraction focuses on historical artifacts which are brought to life. This change was made in order to make the ride more fitting for the Chinese culture. The attraction draws on the recurring Disney parks storyline of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers. The manor is owned by Lord Henry Mystic, and his extensive collection of artifacts becomes animated when his curious monkey, Albert, opens an enchanted music box.

the haunted mansion disney movies

While the storyline takes guests along with Albert as they try to escape the dangerous animated artifacts, there is another notable difference in this version of the attraction. Instead of the omnimover system used in other iterations of The Haunted Mansion, Mystic Manor uses a trackless ride system. Fitting for a collector like Lord Henry Mystic!

The Haunted Mansion is one of the most iconic Disney attractions worldwide. In fact, it’s such a popular ride that it’s received a place in five of the Disney parks! Each version of the mansion has its own unique charm regardless of which happy haunts reside there. We’d gladly let any of these spooky characters send chills down our spine!

Which version of The Haunted Mansion is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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The Most Underrated Horror Movies On Streaming

Catch up with these horror titles that you might have missed..

Matt Donato

With horror being one of the most plentiful movie genres in terms of the sheer number of yearly releases, there’s usually a nice variety between sitewide “Best Of” lists. Here at IGN, Talk to Me took top honors in 2023. Other popular choices include When Evil Lurks, Evil Dead Rise, and Thanksgiving (to name a few). These seem to be the overall consensus when it comes to high-end ranks, but this year had so, so , much more to offer.

Let’s talk about those damn fine horror films that might have missed out on “Best of Horror” lists but still deserve their special recognition. Everything from prominent summer theater releases to absurd sorority slashers about killer sloths. I watched 100+ new horror flicks that were released in 2023 (plus another 30 or so at film festivals that are slated for 2023 release), so I promise I won’t lead you astray. Note: Not all of these films are streaming originals, so streaming platform may change after time of publish.

The Most Underrated Horror Titles On Streaming

the haunted mansion disney movies

The Boogeyman (Hulu)

the haunted mansion disney movies

Rob Savage’s adaptation of Stephen King’s short story The Boogeyman is the definition of “solid” horror filmmaking. Every culture has a “boogeyman,” and Savage coaxes out the fundamental terrors of a shadow-lurking beast with beady eyes piercing through the darkness. A cast including Sophie Thatcher, Chris Messina, and David Dastmalchian anchor a story about a fractured family fighting against a devilish creature, keying into intrinsically childhood paranoias that require a nightlight. “Savage doesn’t shy away from in-your-face jump scares, which are [the film’s] addictive bread and butter,” I wrote in my IGN review . Some killer lighting usages from flashing reds as the entity inches closer with each pulse, to a glowing moon orb rolled to inspect sounds from afar, help the otherwise formulaic storytelling structure stand out. It’s not the best horror movie of the year, but might be the most crowd-pleasing by standard horror expectations.

The Blackening (Starz)

the haunted mansion disney movies

"We Can't All Die First" might be the best tagline of 2023. As you probably guessed, it's referencing the trope that Black characters always die first in horror movies. Enter The Blackening, where every character is Black, and the commentary is sharper than Jason's machete or Michael's knife. It's a raucous horror comedy from the Black perspective that's more the realm of comedy than horror, but big laughs don't weaken intended impacts. Writers Tracy Oliver (of Girls Trip fame) and Dewayne Perkins know funny, and while the film's third act thins any slasher thrills, it never lets up roasting the horror genre for decades of whitewashed normalities. Some jokes may be low-hanging fruits and references simplistic (your Screams and whatnot), but that doesn't stop The Blackening from being one of the funnier horror comedies of the year.

Huesera: The Bone Woman (Shudder)

the haunted mansion disney movies

I reviewed Huesera out of Tribeca in 2022 (now Huesera: The Bone Woman), but it didn’t hit Shudder until this year. While I wasn’t the highest review out there, it’s still a worthwhile international haunting story from an emerging filmmaker to watch, Michelle Garza Cervera. As I concluded, “Huesera unites unearthly evils with pregnancy paranoias and modern feminism in this tale about normalizing every woman’s choice to become a mother or not.” Cervera’s behind-the-camera voice is vital as the story’s womanly themes ring loudest, and lead actress Natalia Solián does a tremendous job playing “tormented, tired, soulfully lost.” It’s a solid flick about pregnancy fears and traditional Mexican beliefs, crawling under your skin when it counts.

Mother May I? (Tubi)

the haunted mansion disney movies

May I tempt you with a performance showcase for Kyle Gallner and Holland Roden? That's Mother May I?, a psychological thriller about the dangers of playing therapist, withholding grief, and hallucinogenic fungi. Writer and director Laurence Vannicelli weaponizes therapy-speak and role-playing as a couple becomes either the victim of intensely potent magic mushrooms or a freak possession. Gallnner's Emmett brings Roden's Anya (his partner) to his deceased mother's country estate, where Anya attempts to play psychiatrist by pretending to be Emmett's mother — but she never breaks character. We watch as Gallner's dazed and confused Emmett attempts to rationalize what the hell is going on, while Roden transforms from Anya into an entirely different character. It's an experimental fever dream that Vannicelli executes quite well, with much credit given to tremendous leading roles.

The Sacrifice Game (Shudder)

the haunted mansion disney movies

Jenn Wexler’s The Sacrifice Game is the horror version of The Holdovers. Her sophomore feature, co-written by Sean Redlitz, boasts shades of genre influences from The Blackcoat’s Daughter to The Babysitter, putting a serial killer spin on Christmastime horrors. An eclectic cast featuring Aladdin’s Mena Massoud, indie horror standout Chloë Levine, and former freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy find themselves trapped in a ritualistic plot stained by spilled blood over the holiday break. Take a spin back into the 70s thanks to period costumes and music choices, putting a very lost-in-time stamp on the evils within Blackvale School for Girls that accentuates the Satanic panic of the era. It’s grimly festive, the ensemble shines, and is one of the best original horror flicks Shudder put out this year.

Haunted Mansion (Disney+)

the haunted mansion disney movies

I don’t care about dying on my “Haunted Mansion is good, actually” hill alone. Bury my body so I can join the 999 spirits sharing Rosario Dawson’s new residence. Writer Katie Dippold and director Justin Simien unite to conjure a stellar gateway horror attraction that might not be the spookiest, but does deal with some hefty themes about death and the afterlife. A cast including Dawson, Tiffany Haddish, Danny DeVito, Owen Wilson, and LaKeith Stanfield are allowed to be proper goofballs in a supernatural scenario, which works through Disney’s lens. As I already said in my review for IGN : “Haunted Mansion successfully balances emotional sweetness and just-frightening-enough spectral scares with a Disneyfication of genre tropes, becoming a fun-filled scary movie for (almost) the entire family.” Where are my other Haunted Mansion loyalists?

Night of the Hunted (Shudder)

the haunted mansion disney movies

A man. A woman. A gas station. A hunting rifle. That’s all Night of the Hunted needs to keep you glued to your seat: a thriller about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. From the director of P2 and Maniac (Franck Khalfoun) comes a tense-as-hell survival thriller about a traveler who’s being held inside a gas station by a psycho whizzing bullets by her head. It’s unapologetically bleak, twisting the story into some ruthless directions as other drivers stop for gas or a phone allows for communication between protagonist and antagonist. Not many people talked about this one when it dropped around Halloween, so here’s hoping it gets discovered on Shudder now that we can breathe after end-of-year crunches.

Dark Harvest (MGM+)

the haunted mansion disney movies

It’s a shame because Dark Harvest was initially slated for a big-screen release, but only saw limited Alamo Drafthouse theaters thanks to a two-year delay. David Slade’s adaptation of Norman Partridge’s harvest-horror novel is a treat for Halloween worshippers that deserved a much bigger rollout. Dark Harvest turns the clock back on an Anywhereville, USA locale that seems isolated from the rest of the country, introduces audiences to a yearly October tradition where boys fight for a chance to escape city limits, and releases a Jack-O-Lantern creature named Sawtooth Jack that kills any kiddies who can’t do the same unto him. Slade’s eye for graphic violence (like in 30 Days of Night) is alive and well despite the young leading characters, which makes for an R-rated gateway horror film for more mature fans. I’ll be revisiting this one in future spooky season binges.

Summoning Sylvia (Starz)

the haunted mansion disney movies

Wesley Taylor and Alex Wyse create a delightfully queer indie horror comedy with Summoning Sylvia. Expect a brisk and sassy hoot of a haunted bachelor weekend thanks to, well, the summoning of this “Sylvia” character. It’s inarguably more comedy than horror in the genre equation, which isn’t a problem at a tight 75-ish minutes that’s bursting with cute spooky-witty lines. You’re here for the solid ensemble serving ghost story laughs and unsubtle commentary through a queer horror lens, both of which have plenty of momentum. Plus there’s a cappella Smash Mouth? What else can you ask for?

Shaky Shivers (Screambox)

the haunted mansion disney movies

Did you know that beloved Fast & Furious actor Sung Kang directed an adorable, silly little horror comedy that hit streaming this year? Shaky Shivers feels like prime-era Goosebumps (minus scares), focusing more on sugary sweet messages about teenage friendships. Brooke Markham and VyVy Nguyen play lovable besties who work together at an ice cream shop, one of whom might be a werewolf. There also might be zombies, cult freaks, and undead sidekicks like out of An American Werewolf in London. Never in a million years would I peg Kang’s directorial debut as a low-budget creature feature best served as sleepover entertainment, but that’s the case. It’s nothing revolutionary, but charming enough as younger-geared horror entertainment.

Birth/Rebirth (Shudder)

the haunted mansion disney movies

It’s always exciting when new filmmakers find interesting ways to reinterpret iconic horror tales. Laura Moss’ Birth/Rebirth is a clever tweak on the story of Frankenstein, this one even more focused on Dr. Frankenstein versus his monster. Moss and co-writer Brendan J. O'Brien toy with grief-stricken themes as a single-mother nurse who’s just lost her daughter to illness meets a doctor playing God in her apartment. Marin Ireland delivers a top-notch performance as Rose, the Herbert West of this story given how she’s developing what’s pretty much the Re-Animator serum, with Judy Reyes as the sorrowful mother who will do anything to get her child back. It’s a character-driven take on classic horror ideas that could easily fit Larry Fessenden’s brand of indie films (very much a compliment), lurking in the shadows of New York City to bring the horrors of parenthood out to play.

Slotherhouse (Streaming on Hulu)

the haunted mansion disney movies

Too many horror movies fail to meet their attention-grabbing titles (looking at you Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey ), but Slotherhouse is, against all odds, the real deal. Betcha weren’t expecting a sneakily hilarious sorority house slasher featuring a pissed-off Panamanian sloth that’s also incredibly pro-animal to sneak onto Hulu this year? Director Matthew Goodhue leans into the comedy of this claws-out horror comedy as “Alpha” the Sigma Lambda Theta (SLTH) mascot starts offing sorority sisters one by one. “There are shades of Fox’s Scream Queens or CW’s Riverdale … [but] Slotherhouse won’t be in contention for Best Horror Kill of the Year,” I wrote in my IGN review . Don’t expect Alpha to shred flesh like Cocaine Bear, but please give this out-of-its-mind take on animal attack flicks a shot. Do it for the sloths surfing social media, Sloth-fu, and sloths driving speedsters.

Candy Land (Tubi)

the haunted mansion disney movies

No, this isn't a horror version of Hasbro's sugary-sweet children's game. Writer and director John Swab is nowhere near family entertainment with his gruesome sex worker thriller. A young cast explores the dangers of truck stop "lot lizard" employment, finding themselves in a slasher take on "saints vs. sinners" that wears its sleazy influences well and with pride. Swab does right to avoid stereotypical representations of sex workers and shows compassion towards the industry, the whole murderer subplot notwithstanding. There's more going on than titillation and teases in Candy Land, as the lot lizards fight for their lives against an evil that's stalking their place of business. Sprinkle in some Christian angst waged against the "disgusting" free-spirited souls, and you've got yourself a perfect storm of seductive-scary-sacrilegious unrest.

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The Flash and 6 biggest box office bombs of 2023

Posted: December 31, 2023 | Last updated: December 31, 2023

At the beginning of 2023, I don't know if I would have believed Barbie and The Super Mario Bros. Movie would be the only movies to break $1 billion at the global box office. In a year with The Flash, a new Mission: Impossible movie, three new Marvel movies, and a bunch of Disney releases, I thought there would be at least a handful of big releases to hit the $1 billion mark. but that wasn't the case. While I enjoyed a bunch of the new releases in 2023, it's safe to say it was a bit underwhelming, from a financial and story perspective, for some of the biggest studios this year.

Looking back at the full year, we shared the list of six new movies that disappointed at the box office in 2023. Are these the movies that lost the most money? Some of them are, but more than that, these are the movies we all expected to perform better at the box office that didn't quite live up to the hype.

Is it superhero fatigue? Just a bad year? Are the larger economic issues to blame? Are viewers getting too used to new movies available on streaming services and don't want to venture out to the theaters as often? Are there environmental factors, like the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting numbers? It could be a combination of everything, but clearly, there is something happening.

For this story, we used the global box office totals from Box Office Mojo and rounded up. Let's get the list started with one of the most disappointing movies of the year, The Flash.

  • Release Date: June 16, 2023
  • Director: Andy Muschietti
  • Cast: Ezra Miller, Sasha Calle, Michael Shannon, Ron Livingston, Maribel Verdú, Kiersey Clemons, Antje Traue, and Michael Keaton
  • Global Box Office: $271 million

Although a mess at times, The Flash isn't a bad movie. It wasn't perfect, but the build-up to the film with all of the delays and Ezra Miller's legal issues and controversies did not help. The film's lackluster performance also stems, at least partly, from the DCEU's implosion. General fans, as we have seen, need something to hook them, and The Flash didn't have it.

The Flash tells the story of Barry Allen (Miller) after interrupting the timeline to save his mother's life. After going back in time, Barry mistakenly lands in 2013, but the consequences of his actions can't be overstated. As Barry tries to put the pieces of the timeline back together and save his friends and family, destruction reigns.

Despite grossing nearly $300 million in the box office, The Flash is considered to be a huge box office bomb. It's unclear how much Warners Bros. "lost" on the movie, but we'll likely find out in time.

The Marvels

  • Release Date: Nov. 10, 2023
  • Director: Nia DaCosta
  • Cast: Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, Zawe Ashton, Gary Lewis, Park Seo-joon, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Saagar Shaikh, and Samuel L. Jackson
  • Global Box Office: $206 million

The Marvels is the sequel to Captain Marvel, and Brie Larson returns as Captain Marvel, alongside Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, Samuel L. Jackson, and a great cast. Unfortunately, The Marvels, at least in terms of the box office, is one of the year's most disappointing movies.

In the movie, Captain Marvel works with Captain Monica Rambeau (Parris) and Kamala Khan / Ms. Marvel (Vellani) to stop Dar-Benn (Ashton) and save the world.

Overall, it definitely pains me to include The Marvels on the list. It's easily the best or second-best movie on this list, and it's not exactly fair how much criticism this film has received. I think we all know what's really going on here, but that's for another day. The kicker is fans didn't pay for tickets, and that's what makes The Marvels disappointing. In terms of story and overall entertainment value, writer and director Nia DaCosta delivers a hit.

Shazam: Fury of the Gods

  • Release Date: March 17, 2023
  • Director: David F. Sandberg
  • Cast: Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Rachel Zegler, Adam Brody, Ross Butler, D. J. Cotrona, Grace Caroline Currey, Meagan Good, Lucy Liu, Djimon Hounsou, and Helen Mirren
  • Global Box Office: $134 million

Shazam: Fury of the Gods is another disappointing release of 2023. The sequel to the hit movie, Shazam!, grossed about a third of what the first movie did at the box office in 2019. It's hard to pinpoint what exactly went wrong here, but the movie just never lived up to the high-ish bar of its predecessor.

Again, Shazam: Fury of the Gods is not a bad movie! Is it the best of the DCEU? No, but it has most of the charm of the first movie. It feels like the superhero bubble burst a little bit with Shazam: Fury of the Gods. It should have been the canary in the coal mine for the rest of the DCEU movies coming in 2023. I don't think one of the four DCEU movies exceeded box office expectations. Five years ago, this movie would probably be crossing $300 million, but not in 2023. I mean, look at that cast list! Warner Bros. had high hopes for this movie, and it just didn't live up to the hype.

But, hey, you can watch, both, Shazam! and Shazam: Fury of the Gods on Netflix right now. No one had that on the 2023 bingo card either.

  • Release Date: Nov. 22, 2023
  • Director: Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn
  • Cast: Ariana DeBose, Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk, Angelique Cabral, Victor Garber, Natasha Rothwell, Jennifer Kumiyama, Harvey Guillén, Evan Peters, Ramy Youssef, and Jon Rudnitsky
  • Global Box Office: $148 million

Wish premiered in theaters in late November, so it's hard to call the movie a bust at this point, but the writing is on the wall. It's another critics and viewer split for ratings. According to Rotten Tomatoes , most critics didn't like the movie, while it has an 81% audience approval rating. That's a solid score, but it's possible that the discrepancy negatively affected the box office numbers.

Of all seven of the movies on this list, Wish is the one that makes me the most worried about the future of the film industry. This movie has a great creative team behind it, an awesome cast, Disney, and so much more, and it flopped quite hard. There are bound to be misses; that's part of the risk of the film industry. It's just that there are so many movies and shows aimed at kids and families right now, and it's easily accessible on streaming services. If it's not a well-known property like Paw Patrol, it seems like the risk of a miss is going to have ripple effects on animated movies for years to come. I could be wrong, of course, but it just feels like there's been a shift since the pandemic.

Wish is not available to stream on Disney+ yet, but I'd assume it will get a pretty sizable viewership bump as soon as it is available to stream.

Blue Beetle

  • Release Date: Aug. 18, 2023
  • Director: Ángel Manuel Soto
  • Cast: Xolo Maridueña, Adriana Barraza, Damián Alcázar, Elpidia Carrillo, Bruna Marquezine, Raoul Max Trujillo, Susan Sarandon, and George Lopez
  • Global Box Office: $130 million

It's such a bummer that Blue Beetle made the list, honestly. This is one of my favorite superhero movies of the year, and it's easily the best DCEU movie of 2023, although I have not seen Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom yet. Had that movie been released earlier, it definitely could have made its way onto this list, as well. Yeah, it was a rough year for DC.

The film tells the story of Jaime Reyes, a young man who finds the Scarab, an artifact that turns gives him an exoskeleton of sorts and turns him into the Blue Beetle. As he tries to understand his new powers, Jaime tries to stop Carapax, who is associated with KORD Industries.

It looks like a Blue Beetle sequel is still possible, even with the underwhelming box office numbers. Hopefully, James Gunn and Peter Safran will greenlight the project publicly and we'll learn what's next for Jaime Reyes.

Blue Beetle is now streaming on MAX! Shameless plug: Please, watch this movie on MAX if you haven't see it yet. It's really good!

Haunted Mansion

  • Release Date: July 28, 2023
  • Director: Justin Simien
  • Cast: LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, Rosario Dawson, Dan Levy, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Jared Leto
  • Global Box Office: $118 million

Haunted Mansion is another example of the good-movie-released-at-the-wrong-time box office conundrum. Haunted Mansion wasn't a hit with critics, but it's a solid comedy. Of the mainstream comedies released in 2023, it's one of the best, and it has an excellent cast led by LaKeith Stanfield. Justin Simien is a great director. As a Halloween movie, Haunted Mansion really works!

Unfortunately, Disney inexplicably released Haunted Mansion in the middle of summer and one week after Barbie and Oppenheimer. I know the audiences might not be the same, but those were two of the highest-grossing movies of the year. Barbie, which might have a little crossover with Haunted Mansion with families, kids, and young adults, grossed more than $1 billion.

Truly, I don't understand what Disney was doing here, but it's possible the goal was to get the movie on Disney+ by Halloween, which happened. The film hit Disney+ on Oct. 4, 2023, but that's not the best strategy.

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

  • Release Date: July 12, 2023
  • Director: Christopher McQuarrie
  • Cast: Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Esai Morales, Pom Klementieff, Mariela Garriga, and Henry Czerny
  • Global Box Office: $568 million

It's hard to imagine a movie that makes nearly $600 million could be considered a box office bomb, right? I don't know that they're really losing that much money on Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning, but it appears that everyone expected this movie to make more money at the box office.

Dead Reckoning is the lowest-grossing Mission: Impossible movie since Mission: Impossible 3 in 2006. Coming off Mission: Impossible - Fallout in 2018, which grossed $800 million, Dead Reckoning looked like another massive hit. But, it's rumored budget was nearly $300 million for this movie without promo included. Yikes!

Don't worry, though, there's another Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning part of the film in the works. The eighth Mission: Impossible movie, formerly called Dead Reckoning Part Two, was scheduled to be released in July 2024, but the movie has been delayed until May 23, 2025. We'll see if the Memorial Day 2025 release is better for this franchise.

That's the list of box office bombs of 2023! Again, I enjoyed a lot of these movies. They simply didn't make as much money in the box office as they were expected to. We'll see which movies make the list in 2024.

The Flash and 6 biggest box office bombs of 2023

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the haunted mansion disney movies

Universal Overtakes Disney as Highest-Grossing Studio at 2023 Box Office

By Rebecca Rubin

Rebecca Rubin

Film and Media Reporter

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Thanks to Mario, J. Robert Oppenheimer and M3GAN, Universal Pictures ranked as the highest-grossing studio at the 2023 box office.

The company’s slate — a range of 24 films that included “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” “Oppenheimer” and “M3GAN” — collected $4.907 billion in worldwide ticket sales. Universal’s victory is notable because it marks the first time since 2015 that Disney was not the global box office leader.

But for the first time in a long time, Disney didn’t have one of the top three movies — those spots belong to Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” ($1.4 billion) and Universal’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” ($1.3 billion) and “Oppenheimer” ($950 million). It’s also the first time since 2014 (except for the pandemic-stricken 2020 and 2021) that none of Disney’s movies crossed the $1 billion benchmark.

Disney indeed remains a box office powerhouse, but the reality is that most of the studio’s 2023 tentpoles failed to live up to expectations. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” ($845 million) was the only clear triumph. Otherwise, a string of underperforming sequels and remakes (“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” “The Marvels” and “Haunted Mansion,” to name a few) resulted in the studio ceding the box office crown to Universal.

It should be noted that many of Disney’s modest wins or even outright flops would be classified as smash successes for its rivals. The problem is that Disney movies are hugely expensive — typically carrying production budgets of $200 million to $250 million — so they have high bars to clear in terms of profitability. So while “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” ranked as the 10th-highest grossing movie of the year with $476 million, it still ended up losing money for the studio in its theatrical run.

While Universal and Disney were closely gunning for No. 1, they were punching far above the rest. Warner Bros. landed in a distant third place with $3.84 billion globally — led by “Barbie,” “The Nun II” and “Wonka.”

With “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” the Denzel Washington threequel “Equalizer 3” and Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon” among its 2023 lineup, Sony trailed at No. 4 with $2.094 billion worldwide.

Paramount, whose major titles were “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One,” “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” and “PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie,” rounded out the top five with $2.026 billion globally.

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  1. The Haunted Mansion

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  1. Haunted Mansion

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  2. Haunted Mansion (2023 film)

    Haunted Mansion is a 2023 American supernatural horror comedy film directed by Justin Simien from a screenplay by Katie Dippold. It stars LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, Rosario Dawson, Dan Levy, Jamie Lee Curtis and Jared Leto.

  3. The Haunted Mansion

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  4. Haunted Mansion movie review & film summary (2023)

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    The Haunted Mansion movie delivers spooky thrills and a nostalgic nod to the beloved Disney attraction. The film successfully captures the eerie ambiance of the iconic ride, and the special effects contribute to its haunted charm. The humor sprinkled throughout adds a playful touch, making it an entertaining family-friendly experience.

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    Haunted Mansion (Disney+) I don't care about dying on my "Haunted Mansion is good, actually" hill alone. Bury my body so I can join the 999 spirits sharing Rosario Dawson's new residence.

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