The Haunted Mansion
Release year: 2003
Director: Rob Minkoff
Screenwriter: David Berenbaum
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Terence Stamp, Marsha Thomason, Nathaniel Parker, Jennifer Tilly, Marc John Jefferies, Aree Davis
Eager for a chance to sell a big mansion, realtor couple Jim (Murphy) and Sara (Thomason) takes a detour on the way to a family holiday. Unfortunately, it turns out the mansion is haunted, and the ghosts are far too interested in Sara.
The fourth film based on a Disney theme park attraction, Haunted Mansion fails to reach the heights of fellow theme park movie Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl from the same year. This doesn’t mean it isn’t successful. With a great cast led by legendary Murphy (Beverly Hills Cop, 1984) and a perfect blend of humour and scary (but not too scary) it is perfect for a family movie night introducing the youngsters to horror. The effects are good and there are plenty of quirky and inventive small incidents leaving you wishing a tour in the theme park it was inspired by. Don’t expect scary if you are older than eight, but thrilling all the same.
Much of the movie’s plot is inspired by Phantom Manor, the version of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Resort Paris. Unlike the Haunted Mansions in the other parks, Phantom Manor has a clear storyline of a bride, her lost lover, and her haunting the mansion.
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Picture copyrights: Disney