the haunted mansion
Consumed by his job as a real-estate broker, Jim Evers (Murphy)
makes a detour during a much-needed family holiday to view a mansion,
which could be the sale that makes his career. As a storm hits the
area, the mansion's owner Master Gracey (Parker) and his staff
make the family welcome, insisting they wait the bad weather out
and stay the night. Things are not what they seem however, as it
soon becomes clear to Jim and his wife Sara (Thompson) that the
Gracey Mansion holds many secrets, both living and dead.
Another Disney Theme Park ride hits the silver screen but this one
lacks the soul of a great movie.
The Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland has always been a firm
favourite with visitors but while the movie uses many elements
from the attraction, the short time you send on the ride is a
lot more entertaining than the eighty-seven minutes you spend
watching this film. It is all special effects and no substance
at it tries to feel like a spectacle and not a piece of story
The supporting cast do their best with the very limited script.
Jennifer Tilly provides the laughs as Madame Leota, the all-seeing,
magical crystal ball that sends the family off on their quest.
Wallace Shawn and Dina Waters do their best with their limited
roles by providing a few comedic moments. Brit Marsha Thompson
continues to make a name for herself in Hollywood and Marc John
Jefferies and Aree Davis are good as the Evers kids. Terence Stamp
steals the show however as butler Ramsley. He is suitably creepy
and has real fun with the role as he provides quite a few jumps
for the audience.
Do you remember a time when Eddie Murphy was funny? The man is
supposed to be a comedian but in many of his latest movies (not
including his voice work for Shrek and Mulan) he has played the
straight man and relied on others to provide the laughs. This
is another one of those instances as he continues to flow through
movies on autopilot so he can pick up his large paycheque. He
is turning into one of those stars who just acts for the money
and has lost the passion that drew him to show business in the
first place. It is extremely hard to imagine Eddie Murphy doing
any movie for the challenge of the role, especially if it was
low budget, meaning he will never work with the more respected
directors and writers and has no chance of ever getting an Oscar.
He needs to return to his stand up roots and find his passion
The Haunted Mansion is all about the spectacle. The special effects
and make-up are extremely good throughout. In fact the film is
quite scary in parts for younger children, especially during the
crypt sequence, which could give any child under the age of seven
nightmares for a very long time. This does not make a great movie
however as it all falls apart because of the very flimsy plot
that is very reminiscent of many films in the genre, especially
While the special effects are enough to entertain the younger
viewer but everyone else will just be glad of the film's
very short running time. The only real nightmare is watching the
remnants of Eddie Murphy's career appearing on screen looking
more dead than any zombie could ever do.