Review: Haunted Mansion (2023)

Posted in Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Film Reviews 2023, Genre by - July 27, 2023
Review: Haunted Mansion (2023)

Haunted Mansion (2023)
PG-13  ‧ Comedy/Fantasy ‧ 2 Hours 2 Minutes

Written by Katie Dippold

Directed by Justin Simien


LaKeith Stanfield, Rosario Dawson, Owen Wilson, Danny Devito, Tiffany Haddish, Chase Dillon and Jamie Lee Curtis


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

A scene from Disney’s live-action HAUNTED MANSION. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2023 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


The BEST things about the film

  1. Lovely easter eggs for fans of the theme park attraction, like the use of chairs to make the characters leave. The same type of “chairs” are used in the ride. Many little easter eggs all about the ride are sprinkled throughout the film. It’s definitely seeing the ride come to life in a new way. 
  2. The last third of the movie is excellent. 
  3. The characters in the film are interesting. They came up with good ideas for characters but needed to learn how to use them.
  4. There is some decent comedy in the film. Owen Wilson has some good moments in the movie.
Jamie Lee Curtis as Madame Leota in Disney’s HAUNTED MANSION. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2023 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


The WORST things about the Film

  1. It felt like a made-for-TV movie about the first half to two-thirds of the movie. Just bad writing, bad acting, just…..not very good. Luckily, the film’s final third picked up in quality and dimension. I’ve said I liked the last third, but I don’t think the rest of the movie earned it. 
  2. I don’t think they made a clear decision on the level of ‘scary” this film should have. I don’t know what age this film would be good for. It’s too scary for little kids and too dull for older kids. So maybe right at that 12-14 age is suitable for it. 
  3. The writing – Flimsy plot, lack of moments or motivations for the characters in dealing with each other. The characters are so focused on dealing with the situation that they are in, that they don’t take time to relate with each other, which is what would draw us in to like them. And for a ghost story, I wanted to get drawn in more to the characters. Also, the main character, Ben Matthias, they don’t really write him to make sense. We need to learn more about him to understand why he is actually still doing the profession he is in. There’s a pivotal point where they make him do something criminal, which doesn’t make sense for what we know about him. Just poor writing in a lot of areas. 


You know where I could see this movie playing, Friday Night PTA, at the Elementary School. It’s pretty safe for that kind of event, though a little scary for the younger kids that would be there. Recommend it for the fifth graders. 

(L-R): Chase Dillon as Travis, Rosario Dawson as Gabbie, LaKeith Stanfield as Ben, Owen Wilson as Father Kent, and Tiffany Haddish as Harriet in Disney’s HAUNTED MANSION. Photo by Jalen Marlowe. © 2023 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Deep sadness stays with you, but you must learn to let go. 


Meh. Maybe. With kids. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but I wouldn’t stop on the channel to watch. 


I don’t know if I should even be disappointed by Haunted Mansion, a theme park ride being the motivation to write a film isn’t the best way to create art. Disney just did a Haunted Mansion movie 20 years ago, and it was a financial success. Strange that this film has zero connection to the first one, or why they thought this flimsy script was good enough to try again so soon. The film suffers from poor writing and poor execution in the first half of the film. The last 30 minutes of the film are actually really well done, but they didn’t earn it. It at least makes you leave the theater thinking you had a great time, then you try and remember how they got there and wonder how you lasted that long. And it’s a shame because they had so much potential for this story, and it’s like they knew they did because the ending was so fun, but they squandered the first half when they could have made an excellent spooky adventure for the whole family. Instead, we end up with something like a made-for-TV movie where commercial breaks help you traverse the film. I will say the easter eggs for fans of the Disney Haunted Mansion ride will be delighted with many of the ride elements and characters that are incorporated into the film. Many of those made me laugh.

Lindsay Lamb as The Bride in Disney’s HAUNTED MANSION. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2023 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


My 3L system gives me the choice to Love It, Like It, or Lose It. 

Haunted Mansion gets a Lose It.



This post was written by
When he’s not reviewing films or interviewing people for the Black & A Half podcast, Silas Lindenstein can be found in the greater metro Seattle, WA working as a real estate agent helping people buy and sell homes, or performing stand up comedy to fellow nerds. He has a wife and three children and desperately wants to learn to make the perfect homemade pizza.

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