HAUNTED MANSION (2023) on Disney+ is a new take on a movie inspired by the Disneyland ride of the same name. It’s a horror-comedy for the whole family but do stay with your kids while watching – at least the first time. A great cast and story. Read our full 2023 Haunted Mansion movie review here!
HAUNTED MANSION (2023) is now on Disney+ and it really is a horror-comedy for the whole family. Releasing it on Disney+ in October is brilliant and I can easily imagine younger viewers managing to watch this quite a few times before Halloween is over. The story is dark in dealing with deep grief, but the paranormal horror and the comedy keep it from getting too dark.
With a runtime of just around two hours, it is too long. If a good 15 minutes had been cut, it would definitely have made for a tighter and stronger overall experience. Having said that, I could still see myself watching this again during Halloween. Especially when wanting to introduce the wonders of horror to the next generation.
Continue reading our 2023 Haunted Mansion movie review below. It was in movie theaters this past summer and is on Disney+ (and VOD) from October 4, 2023.
From Disneyland ride to a movie
Most will probably know that this isn’t the first time the Disneyland theme park attraction “Haunted Mansion” has been adapted into a movie. 20 years ago (in 2003), Eddie Murphy starred in The Haunted Mansion. However, this new 2023 version isn’t simply a remake. Instead, it’s a completely new story and movie.
One that has quite a lot of depth and layers that will hit differently for viewers of various ages.
While this 2023 Haunted Mansion movie is for the whole family, it is also a horror-comedy at its core. We’re talking ghosts trying to kill living people and lots of scary moments. Also, there’s the subject of grief and even depression.
The core story in this new version features a woman (Rosario Dawson) and her son (Chase Dillon) who are looking to start their lives in a new setting. Unfortunately, the place they plan on living in and creating a cute Bed and breakfast is the house this movie is named for. Once realizing it’s a very haunted place, mother and son enlist a motley crew of experts to help them get rid of the paranormal squatters.
Yes, I’m oversimplifying – obviously – but you need to experience all the details firsthand.
As a treat, I can tell you that if you’ve ever tried the Disneyland ride this is based on, you should feel right at home. There are plenty of direct references to the ride, so even if it’s been a while, it’ll probably ring a bell.
So many fun characters
If there’s one character who isn’t supposed to be fun, it’s Ben Matthias. He is a scientist and doesn’t really believe in the paranormal or supernatural. Of course, all this is supposed to change, and LaKeith Stanfield plays the role of Ben perfectly. He also works really well with Rosario Dawson and Chase Dillon as the mother and son in dire need of help at the haunted mansion they’ve just purchased.
Personally, I also loved that there was never much of an issue of whether the mother, Gabbie, believed her son, Travis when he said something was off. The moment she felt something was off, she took her son and ran. A small detail, but one that matters after seeing so many movies where parents ignore both the worries of their children and things happening around them.
I’m always happy to see both LaKeith Stanfield (The Changeling series) and Rosario Dawson (Calls), so it was no surprise that they worked so well in this Disney movie. However, the young Chase W. Dillon was a welcomed surprise. Kid characters can be written as over-the-top, but Chase W. Dillon (Saint X) manages to portray Travis in a way that made me wish he was in every scene. Some amazing talent in that kid!
Aside from the three above-mentioned actors, we have a true all-star ensemble cast in Haunted Mansion (2023). This includes Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, and Danny DeVito with small key roles (sometimes cameo-like) played by Daniel Levy, Winona Ryder, Jared Leto, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Watch the 2023 Haunted Mansion on Disney+ or VOD now!
Justin Simien is the director of Haunted Mansion in this 2023 version and I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. Sure, as a horror-comedy for the whole family, I knew it would be solid entertainment. However, the story in this movie goes a lot deeper in surprising ways. Previously, Justin Simien worked on Bad Hair (2020), a Hulu movie he both wrote and directed.
The screenplay for Haunted Mansion comes from Katie Dippold who has worked on a lot of solid comedy productions. Including horror and comedy hybrids such as the 2016 Ghostbusters movie. A movie I still insist on was a brilliant movie and one I enjoy re-watching every now and then. As a little treat.
Along with watching this new 2023 movie as part of your Disney+ subscription, you can also buy it digitally from all major digital retailers including Prime Video, Apple TV, and Vudu. If you do that, you’ll be getting exclusive behind-the-scenes bonus content. With this amazing cast, it might be worth considering if you enjoy that sort of thing.
Haunted Mansion (2023) is on Disney+ from October 4, 2023.
Director: Justin Simien
Writer: Katie Dippold
Cast: LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, Rosario Dawson, Chase W. Dillon, Daniel Levy, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jared Leto, Winona Ryder
Haunted Mansion is the story of a woman and her son who enlist a motley crew of so-called spiritual experts to help them rid their home of supernatural squatters.