Thursday, 27 July 2023 22:46

Haunted Mansion Featured

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Movie Review written by Jon Patch with 2.5 out of 4 Paws

Haunted Mansion

Walt Disney Pictures, Rideback and Walt Disney Productions present a PG-13, 122-minute, Comedy, Drama, Family film, directed by Justin Simien and written by Katie Dippold with a theater release date of July 28, 2023.

A very suave, sophisticated and intelligent man named Ben Matthias (LaKeith Stanfield) meets a very attractive, young, ghost tour guide, Alyssa (Charity Jordan) in New Orleans, a place well-known for hauntings. I personally have had my encounters in that city as well and without a tour guide and yes without alcohol! Well, back to Ben and Alyssa, they fall in love and get married but like many marriages a good thing sometimes does not last forever and Ben is left in grief. Ben had invented a camera that is able to see ghosts but decided to toss that aside for a position taking over Alyssa’s business.

Meanwhile, Gabbie (Rosario Dawson) and her son Travis (Chase Dillon) have moved to Louisiana after buying a very large estate that Gabbie wants to make into a bed and breakfast. One major problem, the house is haunted and not by one but rather 99 ghosts. After a few moments in the house Gabbie and Travis flee but one big issue some of the ghosts follow in order to get you back to the house. Basically, in other words they want you to stay permanently. Not sure on what to do, Gabbie hires Ben with a little help from Father Kent (Owen Wilson), not because of being a tour guide but rather because of his education and invention. Apparently, Father Kent tried an exorcism with no relief from any of the ghosts. Sparing no holes in their plan, they invite Medium Harriet (Tiffany Haddish) to try and speak to the many ghosts in hopes of finding out why they are all there. Last but not least Professor Bruce Davis (Danny DeVito) joins the group because of his knowledge of the house and The Hat-Box Ghost (Jared Leto) and this ghost is seeking number 100.

I did not love the film but I did not hate it either I lean slightly above a like. It is visually attractive and has a decent story line but for some reason I was lost on how to perceive it. I did not think it was funny and it also did not scare me either but it is cute where I think families with kids will enjoy it. I have not been to Disney in many years since the prices are so extreme but I remember the Haunted Mansion slightly and this film is a huge pitch for the attraction. As well as some over-the-top plugs for Burger King, Costco and CVS to name a few. I was with 2 young guests and they seemed to like it a lot more than I did. The writing was good and the direction better with a great score but there was a lull in the middle of the story with the ending thankfully helping the plot out.

There are a number of cameos in the movie with Jamie Lee Curtis being one that does a great job with her short role but keep your eye peeled you will see others. Jordon’s role is short lived but a good lead in for the lead, Matthias by the way is an excellent actor in good and bad times. Dawson does a nice job as the mother of actor Dillon who is exceptional as a young lad in a haunted house. Haddish is convincing and nice to see DeVito back in action. For some reason though even through some of the slip-up bloopers the film just seemed to lack a lot of that Disney magic but hey thanks for giving the cat a starring role and the ghost dog a part as well. Overall, it is a cute movie to take the kids too so enjoy.

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