Welcome Foolish Mortals, to the latest adaptation of the Disney’s Haunted Mansion.
This time around the film follows a single mother named Gabbie (RosarioDawson), and her son Travis (Chase W. Dillon).
The family has moved into an abandoned mansion near New Orleans as they look to start over but find that their new abode is haunted. Despite their best efforts to flee, the ghosts force them to return to the mansion and they seek help in the form of a Priest named Father Kent (Owen Wilson), and Ben Matthias (LaKeith Stanfield) who has been reduced to doing Ghost Tours following a personal tragedy that saw his lofty skills and career vanish in the aftermath.
When the help finds themselves able to leave the mansion without an otherworldly escort, they bring in a Medium named Harriet (Tiffany Haddish) and in time the mysterious Madame Leota (Jamie Lee Curtis). It is learned that a dangerous ghost is striking fear into the other 999 haunts that inhabit the locale and should he collect his 1000th soul, he will unleash a new level of terror on the world. Things become even more complicated with a local professor named Bruce (Danny DeVito) arrives and creates a new Wild Card to the situation.
The movie does a great job of capturing the look and tone of the attraction as one of the great joys was seeing things ranging from the pictures to stretching room and other factors big and small from the attraction portrayed on the big screen.
The cast is great and works well with one another but the movie does take some time getting ramped up and I did find it dragging in various places. The audience laughed frequently but for me many of the jokes did not work which I attributed to the focus being on a a younger audience as I found them more amusing than funny.
The effects in the film are solid, and Jared Leto’s character is so well done you cannot recognize him as he has disappears so deeply into his character, aided by some great visual work.
As a big fan of the attraction it was nice to see a much better take on the source material than previous efforts.
In the end despite the flaws, there is enough happy nostalgia to keep fans entertained and hopefully the audience will want to visit the mansion enough that a new franchise is on the way.