Based on the popular Disneyland ride of the same name, the film is one of the studio’s latest live-action offerings and marks the attraction’s second big-screen adaptation following a 2003 version starring Eddie Murphy.
How does 2023’s take differ from what we’ve seen before?
Read more: Disney's theme park movies ranked
To mark its streaming release, read on for more details about the plot, cast and trailer for Disney’s new Haunted Mansion movie…
How to stream Haunted Mansion
Disney’s new Haunted Mansion remake is be available to stream on Disney+ now, just in time for spooky season.
It was originally released in UK cinemas on Friday, 11 August – 20 years after the release of 2003’s The Haunted Mansion starring Eddie Murphy, which was a critical flop but a box-office hit.
Haunted Mansion reviews
Reviews for Disney’s Haunted Mansion remake were equal parts scary and delightful.
The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw wasn’t exactly a fan, saying that it was “laborious and joyless” and “another piece of Halloween merchandise”.
Thankfully, Total Film had kinder words for director Justin Simien’s movie, praising its emotional punch and saying it “tugs hard at the heartstrings”. The Wrap had similar thoughts, suggesting that the movie was anchored by a “phenomenal lead performance” from LaKeith Stanfield.
Read more reviews below.
Yahoo Movies: Disney's joyless theme park ride film bores more than scares (3-min read)
The Guardian: Disney theme-park chiller is joyless Halloween merch (2-min read)
Total Film: Breathes new life into the classic Disney ride (2-min read)
Deadline: How The Live-Action Film Compares To The Disneyland Attraction (5-min read)
The Wrap: Disney’s Ride Comes Alive in Sweet Story of Grief (4-min read)
Haunted Mansion plot
Much like the plot of Disney’s 2003 edition, 2023’s Haunted Mansion follows a family that moves into a new home in New Orleans that’s sadly already occupied by the undead.
According to the reboot’s official IMDB synopsis, we’ll meet Gabby, a single mum who moves into the film’s titular haunted house with her nine-year-old son and proceeds to hire a tour guide, a priest, a psychic and a historian to help rid it of unwanted spectres.
As with every cinematic interaction of the Haunted Mansion, we can expect to see many characters and moments that originally appeared in the popular Disneyland attraction throughout Simien’s movie, including the iconic Hatbox Ghost.
“There was something about that ride that I felt was there in the script,” Simien explained during last year’s D23 Expo. “I wanted to be sure all the Easter eggs are there because I’m a nerd.”
Haunted Mansion cast
Rosario Dawson takes the leading role as single mother Gabby, with newcomer Chase W. Dillon playing her young son Travis.
Joining the duo is an ensemble cast that features a host of famous names, including Owen Wilson as Kent the priest, Tiffany Haddish as psychic Harriet, Danny DeVito as historian Bruce, LaKeith Stanfield as Ben, a supernatural tour guide and Jamie Lee Curtis as clairvoyant floating-head spirit Madame Leota.
Meanwhile, viewers can expect to see a host of additional star faces pop up throughout this haunted romp, including Jared Leto as the top hat-wearing Hatbox Ghost.
Haunted Mansion trailer
A teaser trailer was released earlier this year and showed us LaKeith Stanfield’s Ben reluctantly taking on the job as the Haunted Mansion’s official tour guide.
Later, in mid-May, Disney released the first full trailer, giving us a better look at the thrill ride that Simien has cooked up and Leto’s Hatbox Ghost.
Haunted Mansion history
The House of Mouse has been planning the new film for more than a decade. Back in 2010, Pans Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro was attached to the project, in what would’ve surely been the perfect pairing of filmmaker and story.
Known for his visionary style and fondness for practical effects, del Toro teased that his version would be based in a “heightened reality” and offer “a thrill ride for the whole family” and something that’s “definitely going to be scary.”
The Pacific Rim filmmaker continued to work on the project and oversee a number of different scripts until 2013 when it was revealed that he had dropped out on directing duties but would stay attached as its executive producer and co-writer.
The movie’s pre-production continued, with Ryan Gosling circling the project before Disney made the decision that del Toro’s take was a little too scary for younger viewers and ultimately returned to the drawing board.
Kate Dippold, writer of 2016’s Ghostbusters: Answer The Call and various episodes of Parks and Recreation was hired to retool the script in 2020 and Dear White People filmmaker Justin Simien signed on to direct a year later.
Disney's Haunted Mansion is streaming on Disney+ now