I appear on “CTV News at 11:30” with anchor Andria Case to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend, including the horror comedy “Haunted Mansion” and the dramedy “The Beanie Bubble,” playing in theatres and on Apple TV+.
I sit in for NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “NewsTalk Tonight” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the horror comedy “Haunted Mansion,” the dramedy “The Beanie Bubble” and the family dramas “Prisoner’s Daughter.”
I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the horror comedy “Haunted Mansion,” the dramedy “The Beanie Bubble,” season two of the Disney+ series “The Bear” and the Crave true crime docu-series “Last Call: When a Serial Killer Stalked Queer New Yor.”
I sit in with CKTB morning show host Tim Denis to have a look at the horror comedy “Haunted Mansion,” the dramedy “the Beanie Bubble,” and the family dramas “Prisoner’s Daughter” and “North of Normal.”
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the horror comedy “Haunted Mansion,” the dramedy “the Beanie Bubble,” and the family dramas “Prisoner’s Daughter” and “North of Normal.”
I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the family friendly horror comedy “Haunted Mansion,” the family drama “Prisoner’s Daughter” and the dramedy “The Beanie Bubble.”
Fast reviews for busy people! Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to do the Twist! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the family friendly horror comedy “Haunted Mansion,” the family drama “Prisoner’s Daughter” and the dramedy “The Beanie Bubble.”
Twenty years ago Disney brought one of their popular theme park rides to cinematic life with the horror comedy “Haunted Mansion.” Eddie Murphy played a realtor who valued money over family, until they all get trapped in the mansion and learn valuable life lessons. Despite some laughs and near non-stop oddball action, it flopped at the box office, and even Murphy admitted, “it wasn’t good.”
The ride, however, has remained popular, and now, two decades along, Disney is attempting to bring the scary attraction back from the dead on the big screen.
Set in New Orleans, “Haunted Mansion” stars Rosario Dawson as single mother Gabbie. On the search for a new life with her young son Travis (Chase Dillon), she’s looking for a home she can turn into a bed and breakfast. Her search comes to an end when she finds a rundown mansion that suits their budget. It needs a deep clean and some de-cob webbing, and looks like no one has lived there for years (“lived” being the operative word) but the price is right.
“This place isn’t as warm as I hoped,” she says to Travis, “but I need you to give this place a chance. This is our home now.”
When things start going bump in the night, however, it soon becomes apparent why the mansion was such a bargain.
“This house is dripping with souls,” says the Hatbox Ghost (Jared Leto). “But there’s always room for one more.”
To combat the home’s malevolent spirits Gabbie brings in a ragtag crew of ghostbusters, priest Kent (Owen Wilson), the highly Yelp rated French Quarter psychic Harriet (Tiffany Haddish), paranormal tour guide Ben (LaKeith Stanfield), and tetchy historian Bruce (Danny DeVito).
“I should warn you before you step into the house,” Gabbie says, “this could change the course of your entire life.”
“I’m not afraid of a couple ghosts,” says Ben.
“You say that now,” Gabbie replies ominously.
“Haunted Mansion” evokes the iconic Disney ride, keeping the thrills family friendly and the jump scares that have been part of the theme park experience for decades.
What is new is the emphasis on grief and loss. Both Ben and Travis are stinging from the recent deaths of loved ones, and while it feels wedged in, their shared anguish gives the movie an emotional undercurrent it would not otherwise have.
Stanfield, in his first outing as the lead in a big family film, delivers laughs while also serving as straight man to the broader performances of Haddish, Wilson and DeVito. The movie, which gets off to a slow start, but finds its feet when the supporting cast of misfits shows up.
Before it becomes awash in CGI and spectacle in its last act, “Haunted Mansion” has kind of an old-fashioned feel that falls in line with the old-school vibe of the ride. It delivers the ride’s mild “happy haunts,” some Easter Eggs for fans and quirky, character-based humor that binds it all together. It doesn’t offer the same kind of thrills as the theme park attraction, but it is a massive improvement on the original film, and could be a good introduction to horror for younger viewers.