Disney’s first ‘Haunted Mansion’ movie was OK, but there’s room for one more

Mouse Guard - Available Now @ DriveThruComics.com
Old School RPGs - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com
Create Your Own Eberron D&D Adventures @ Dungeon Masters Guild
Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis eBooks - Available Now @ DriveThruFiction.com
Guild Adept PDFs - Available exclusively @ Dungeon Masters Guild
Springs Hosting

Haunted Mansion Madame LeotaSo. Last night I dusted off my kids’ seldom watched DVD of The Haunted Mansion, Disney’s 2003 critical flop based on the beloved theme park attraction. I had never watched it.

While I wasn’t by any means impressed, neither was I repulsed. To put it another way, it consistently did not suck … completely. But I can understand why Guillermo del Toro is remaking it already: Eddie Murphy — who del Toro emphatically said would not be invited back — was entertaining enough, but the whole problem with the movie was it tried too hard to be funny.

“We are not making it a comedy,” del Toro said during the film’s announcement Thursday at San Diego Comic-Con. “We are making it scary and fun, but the scary will be scary. … If you take the children, they will scream.”

The family friendly comedy romp of 2003 bizarrely ignores the ride’s rich history and more intriguing aspects.

So, what, you might say, did the first attempt have going in its favor?

The supporting cast was pretty good: Terence Stamp (Zod in Superman II), Nathaniel Parker (the titular detective in The Inspector Lynley Mysteries), Wallace Shawn (Vizzini in The Princess Bride, Grand Nagus Zek in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and Jennifer Tilly as Madame Leota.

The real crime, though, is that Shawn didn’t get much screen time, and Tilly has a fun role but is horrifically miscast as the gypsy medium trapped in a crystal ball. She’s just not dry enough, and her rhymes are increasingly ridiculous and too obvious at the same time.

No, it pain me to say this in the remake-happy 21st century, but a proper movie about Disney’s 999 happy haunts is long overdue. And I’m dying to see it.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Subscribe for free updates!

Newsletters

View previous campaigns.

Powered by MailChimp

Nerdvana Media will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at news@nerdvanamedia.com. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

About the author

Avatar

Jayson Peters

Digital, social and print media pro. Nerdvana's founder, curator and editor.

Add Comment

Post a comment...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Samurai Comics