Wednesday, October 11, 2023

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Haunted Mansion (2023, 2003)

 One of my all-time favorite Disney attractions has to be The Haunted Mansion. I have been to it many times at both Disney World and Disneyland. Even to the point of riding on it by myself when others would not.  So when tonight's subject "For the Kiddos" came up I knew I had to watch the new one.

The plot of both movies is roughly the same. Haunted house. 999 ghosts. Edward Gracey, Madame Leota. The plot or even the story is not as important to me as seeing how much of the attraction I can recognize in the moves.

Haunted Mansion 2023Haunted Mansion 2003

Haunted Mansion (2023)

This is the newest one and has a great cast. Rosario Dawson, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, Dan Levy, Jamie Lee Curtis, hell, even Jared Leto.  LaKeith Stanfield plays an astrophysicist whose new lens can also take pictures of ghosts. He is laughed out of his job and then his wife is killed in an accident. So he has ghost issues already. Rosario Dawson plays Gabbie who moves into the Gracey Manor to set up a bed and breakfast. She and her son play out the old Eddie Murphy joke about horror movies. As expected, the movie can't end there because if you know from the ride, the ghosts will follow you home.

So again, the plot doesn't matter here. Everyone puts on a great show. Owen Wilson and Danny DeVito are playing versions of the characters they always play, but who cares, they are great at it. Jamie Lee Curtis is in as Madame Leota. Even Jared Leto works here as the big bad evil ghost. Though hidden under so much CGI it's hard to tell what he is. 

My wife and I kept pointing out scenes we recognized. It was fun.

Can you watch it if you have never been on the ride? Sure, it is still a fun popcorn movie. 

Is it scary? Not really. But you could strip out the comedy and have a scary movie here.

The Haunted Mansion (2003)

So 2003 was a watershed year for Disney. Pirates of the Caribbean was killing it at the box office and their next Attraction to the Big Screen was next, the fan-favorite Haunted Mansion.

Well...let's just say it didn't do as well. Oh. It made back it's money, but it was weak and critics hated it.

The movie is not great, BUT it is far better than I remembered. Again, you don't watch this one for the plot, you watch it to see how much of the attraction you can spot.

In some ways it does better than the 2023 movie and in some, it is worse. But neither are bad movies.

I think time has been kinder to this movie.

Watching these two I get the same feeling I did when watching Bob Hope's "The Ghost Breakers" followed by the Martin & Lewis "Scared Stiff."  Maybe I should do those for tomorrow night. I will admit I was disappointed there was no cameo by Eddie Murphy as a ghost in the end. 

October Horror Movie Challenge 2023
Viewed: 13
First Time Views: 6

31 Days of Halloween Movie Challenge


PT Dilloway said...

I think that ride was put in after the last time I went to Disney about 30 years ago. I'm sure my sister would like both a lot better.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

It has been there much longer than that. I went to the Disneyland one in the late 80s and the Disney World one in the early 90s.

According to Wikipedia it opened in 1969.

PT Dilloway said...

I think I might have been thinking about the Tower of Terror one. Anyway, I'm not a big fan of amusement parks. My favorite ride at Disney was the People Mover. lol