Tright here’s scope for a genuinely disturbing and subversive horror set in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, the attraction which first opened on the authentic theme park in Anaheim in California in 1969, with cloned variations showing on the Magic Kingdom in Florida in 1971 and Tokyo Disneyland in 1983. There’s additionally scope for a correctly humorous, amiably creepy Goosebumps-type household comedy primarily based on it. However this tiresome, convoluted piece of company IP product isn’t it; just like the 2003 movie model with Eddie Murphy, it feels cynical – although I need to admit I’ve by no means seen the Muppets Haunted Mansion particular.
This new try to cross-monetise the vacationer walkthrough is laborious and joyless whereas the throwaway humorous strains, which do exist, solely serve in the long run to remind you the way clunky it truly is total. Author Katie Dippold has labored on humorous films and TV exhibits equivalent to Parks and Recreation and Ghostbusters, however this isn’t her A-game.
We start with an virtually unbearably prolonged, unsatisfying exposition sequence exhibiting high scientist Ben Matthias (Lakeith Stanfield) assembly cute together with his future spouse, a haunted-house tour information. Later we see him alone and actually depressed and doing the tour-guide job himself; the reason for that is withheld, however the reveal is anticlimactic. All that is fairly aside from introducing us to single mother Gabbie (Rosario Dawson) and her younger son Travis (Chase Dillon), who’re shifting right into a creepy outdated New Orleans mansion little realising it’s haunted.
When she grasps the horrible ectoplasmic reality, Gabbie brings in varied wacky consultants: an exorcist priest (Owen Wilson), a medium (Tiffany Haddish), a professor (Danny DeVito) together with Ben himself. They’re all destined to be trapped contained in the creepy outdated dwelling, and to face the terrible Hatbox Ghost (Jared Leto) – though he seems to be related with a fairly totally different home, thus kind of insulating the Haunted Mansion of the title from something that’s imagined to be dangerous.
Of all these folks, it’s Haddish who comes closest to being humorous or in any manner attention-grabbing, though a cameo from Jamie Lee Curtis as an imperious soothsayer trapped inside a crystal ball does get just a few laughs. In the long run, it’s one other piece of Halloween merchandise.