Ghost Bae

LaKeith Stanfield is a masterful casting choice in nearly any project… other than this one. Stanfield flawlessly handles Haunted Mansion’s many deep emotional turns as the script navigates death, loss, and grief. Speaking to a child about the loss of their father, Stanfield puts on an earnest, truthful face, finding the words to tell a story of equal weight and merit in a key moment.

Asked to carry the comic side though, it’s Stanfield who’s lost, buried under enthusiastic, even campy performances by Tiffany Haddish and Danny DeVito. They carry the earnestness of a theme park ride, appropriately overplayed and eccentric. Stanfield remains rooted in a reality unfit – even out of place – in such a film.

Stanfield flawlessly handles Haunted Mansion’s many deep emotional turns

That throws off timing, and Haunted Mansion has to awkwardly insert glimpses of Owen Wilson and Rosario Dawson to find something amusing. If anything, the movie should belong to young Chase Dillon, acting beyond his years and in sync with the others to establish the rightful tone. From his perspective, Haunted Mansion likely works, with a kid’s eye toward spirits and the afterlife. Instead, Haunted Mansion aims for something richly elegant about death, remorse, and regret, that while suitable in numerous ghost stories, lacks the sugary flavoring of traditional Disney.

This marks the company’s second go at adapting their theme park ride. In recent years, a resurgence in interest for the Eddie Murphy-starring original led to merchandising galore – no doubt the kids who grew up on that early 2000s version found their nostalgia fueled by Disney’s willingness to license out their property. Hence, this remake looking to capitalize on that interest, because that’s Disney’s way.

What results is, ironically, soulless. Every attempt at heart squeezes out space for the humor, and every lackluster minute without a successful gag (most of them) squeezes out interest. The New Orleans vibe helps initially, but turns irrelevant once inside the mansion; this house could stand anywhere. Haunted Mansion’s funniest moment comes early when mother Rosario Dawson, rather than stay in the house that’s clearly haunted, speeds away rather than fight the unknown. It’s rationality in a genre rarely known for it, and self-awareness in a movie showing little otherwise.


Spectacular darkness makes Haunted Mansion an easy sell on 4K. In terms of shadow delineation, few do it better. Inside the mansion, darkness dominates, and every corner of every room looks flawlessly resolved. Perfect black levels never lose their grip on the imagery. Flashlights cut through the limited overnight light with a definite spark.

With that darkness, Haunted Mansion employs a blue filter, density overall excellent in addition to contrasting the southern warmth during the day. Primaries generally stay at a distance unless IN the ghost realm, where bright purples and greens add their own pop.

The digital cinematography does what it can in low light situations. Detail flourishes where possible, generally in close. Textures around the house, from wood to cobwebs, to dust, show through nicely. While not spectacular, Haunted Mansion has moments aplenty where sharpness and detail can thrive.


Given the ghost situation, Haunted Mansion’s Atmos mix is given numerous opportunities to make itself heard. Solid, sustained bass happens where possible, like a ship captain’s ghost who creates a hefty flood and therefore a thick low-end response. Range isn’t exhibited often, but when stretched by the action, it’s properly utilized.

Various ethereal haunting effects, whether voices or moody breezes, superbly fill the soundstage. Surrounds activate regularly, from ghosts screeching past to various action that lands in every speaker. Heights work just as diligently where possible. An escape through a haunted forest, with branches whipping all over the soundfield, is quite fun.


On the Blu-ray only, bonuses begin with a generic making of that runs 13-minutes. A marginally fun look at the various hidden in-jokes holds on for seven minutes. Deleted scenes join a blooper reel to close this section.

Haunted Mansion
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras


While fun in moments, Haunted Mansion doesn’t have the pace or energy to sustain itself.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 44 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:

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