Disney may be making tons of money and stirring up stupid controversy with its slate of live-action remakes of animated fare, but there is another pseudo-series of films that it abandoned for quite some time: films based on Disney theme park rides, which found astronomical success with Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise but not much else. It’s looking to rekindle the ride-movie magic with a second stab at making Haunted Mansion into a film, and Disney dropped the longer, official trailer today.
The new trailer gives us an even better look at the film than the first one did, revealing a host of characters from the Haunted Mansion ride and diving a bit deeper into just what’s going on in the film. The movie is steering away from the all-out comedy of the Eddie Murphy-led 2003 adaptation and instead seems to be heading for a kind of ’80s-style action / horror vibe. There’s definitely some pretty spooky stuff mushed in-between the jokes that feels like it would fit in better in a time when kids’ movies actually had scary things in them. The plot revolves around a woman and her son who must enlist a group of wacky ghostbusters to rid their house of specters. Clearly, the specters have a bit of the upper hand.
The film stars LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, Rosario Dawson, Chase W. Dillon, and Dan Levy, with Jamie Lee Curtis lending some scream queen cred to the whole affair. Also, Jared Leto is in the film playing the Hatbox Ghost, one of the few times Leto may actually be cast correctly for a movie. Justin Simien, who directed the satirical horror film Bad Hair, is leading Haunted Mansion and will hopefully bring some of his background in both comedy and horror to the proceedings, though nothing in the film will ever be as impressive as when the ghosts appear in the mirror sitting beside you in the ride. Seriously, adult me is still impressed by that trick.
Haunted Mansion will release on July 28, 2023 in theaters.