Haunted Mansion: Unlocking the secrets of the enjoyably spooky Disney reboot

There will be some spooky goings-on at your local cinema this week as Haunted Mansion comes to Cineworld (from August 11). Directed by Justin Simien (Bad Hair), this much-anticipated family comedy is the second movie to be based on the Disney theme park attraction of the same name, following the 2003 hit starring Eddie Murphy.

But why should you come and see this new blockbuster? Here, we bring you the full lowdown on Haunted Mansion, from what it’s about to who stars in it. If you’re a fan of ghosts and ghouls, step this way…



1. It has a fun storyline

Haunted Mansion screenwriter Katie Dippold has previous when it comes to scary movies, having penned the script for the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot – and she’s created an entertaining plot here. The film centres around a skeptical astrophysicist (played by LaKeith Stanfield) who’s called upon to investigate some strange goings-on at a mansion. After a ghostly medium tells him that the house is haunted by hundreds of spirits, he and his rag-tag team set about trying to exorcise the unwanted guests. Obviously, we won’t tell you what happens, but suffice to say it’ll keep you on the edge of your seat.  



2. The lead actor is one of Hollywood’s best young talents

Haunted Mansion’s lead actor LaKeith Stanfield may only be 31 years old, but he’s appeared in a long list of acclaimed movies. You may remember him as Snoop Dogg in Straight Outta Compton, Andre Hayworth in Get Out, Detective Lieutenant Elliot in Knives Out, and William O’Neal in Judas and the Black Messiah. Despite getting some amazing gigs over the years, though, he insists that Haunted Mansion really struck a chord: “There's a story that's at the heart of this already fun, fantastical, interesting, scary kind of movie and story, but there's something there that has sustenance,” he told Comicbook Movies. “And I feel that always speaks to me when I read scripts."



3. The whole cast is pretty stellar

It always helps when a movie has a great cast of actors, and Haunted Mansion is brimming with big-screen talent. Appearing alongside LaKeith Stanfield are Wonder Woman star Rosario Dawson as a widowed doctor called Gabbie, Owen Wilson as a priest called Father Kent, Danny DeVito as college historian Bruce Davis, Jamie Lee Curtis as the clairvoyant spirit Madame Leota, Jared Leto as the Hatbox Ghost, and Winona Ryder as the New Orleans tour guide. That’s an impressive line-up by anyone standards!



4. The special effects look awesome

We love seeing spectacular FX on the big screen, and, judging by the trailer, the ones in Haunted Mansion aren’t going to disappoint. Disappearing windows, talking lamps, spinning corridors… They’re all here in this new Disney flick. One of the biggest challenges for the FX team was creating Jamie Lee Curtis’s ghoulish character Madame Leota. “She’s a completely CG character,” FX supervisor Edwin Rivera told The Credits. “We did a full motion capture scan of [Curtis] as she’s delivering her lines because then you get all the subtle little eye twitches and facial movements that are specific to her and make you recognise her as her, and then added CG hair and CG lighting for the CG environment that she’s in. She’s completely CG, but all of her acting is as she delivered it when we captured it.” 



5. It’s been described as a “worthy adaptation” and a “delight”

The reviews for Haunted Mansion have been coming in thick and fast, and the film has had its fair share of plaudits. Jordy Sirkin of Jordy Reviews It described the film as “a worthy adaptation [of the Disney ride], which is sure to bring joy and delightful frights to grim-grinning fans,” while Felix Vasquez Jr of Cinema Crazed wrote that the movie was “a delight packed with chills and heart”. Want to see for yourself what all the fuss is about? Book your tickets below…