Writer: David Berenbaum (Screenplay)
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Terence Stamp, Nathaniel Parker, Marsha Thomason, Jennifer Tilly, Wallace Shawn
Plot: A realtor and his wife and children are summoned to a mansion, which they soon discover is haunted, and while they attempt to escape, he learns an important lesson about the family he has neglected.
Tagline – Check your pulse at the door… if you have one.
Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Fun Family Movie
Story: The Haunted Mansion starts when a hot shot realtor Jim Evers (Murphy) and his wife Sara (Thomason) get an opportunity to sale the mysterious mansion for Master Gracey (Parker), taking their children on their family vacation for an early valuation on the mansion.
When the truth comes out about the history of the mansion Jim must battles ghosts to save his family before the curse takes its next victims.
Thoughts on The Haunted Mansion
Characters – Jim Evers is a fast-talking hot shot realtor that often puts his career before his family despite loving them, he is always out to make more money to give his kids the chances he never had. It is his decision to take the latest job even though he isn’t the partner the client needed. Sara is the partner and wife of Jim, she has a different approach in places which sees her give her children more time. She is the one required to come to the mansion for the sale of the house, even though she finds herself wanted for something else. Master Gracey is the owner of the mansion, he has lived through a long legacy and has summoned for Sara to attend the mansion for his own reasons. Ramsley is the butler that has been planning everything out, he welcomes the guests, places them where he needs them.
Performances – Eddie Murphy was on the decline at the time of release, this performance is one of his better performances because he knows how to play to his audience. Marsha Thomason is strong in the role of wife, mother and realtor, she is the calm to Eddie’s pure energy. Terence Stamp is the well-spoken butler that we know he will always be, while Nathaniel Parker does work well against a charismatic Murphy.
Story – The story follows a family of realtors that get drawn to a mansion for what they think is business only to find themselves in the middle of the haunting events that has kept the mansion away from the public’s eyes for years. This story is based on a Disney Ride, which follows in the footsteps of the Pirates of the Caribbean. The idea of what is going on within the house is an entertaining story which does have you guessing what the truth might be. The family dynamic works well because you do believe each character to have their problems which need to be addressed to bring the family closer, with this night at the mansion letting them prove themselves as a unit.
Comedy/Fantasy – The comedy in the film comes from the actions of Eddie Murphy, he does get the laughs when required, with the supporting cast getting their moments. The fantasy elements mix into the idea of ghosts working on their own motivations to work with the living family.
Settings – Most of the film is set in the mansion, we get endless secret passages and secrets that could unlock the truth about the mansion’s past.
Special Effects – The effects used in the film are strong, they are used to help add to the family friendly style the film is using.
Final Thoughts – This is a fun family film that will get the laughs required, it isn’t going to set the world a light, but can be enjoyed in the similar style as a Casper movie.
Overall: Simple and entertaining.