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danny devito haunted mansion
Photo via Disney

Disney’s ‘Haunted Mansion’ earns initial wave of praise as its stars skip the film’s world premiere

'Haunted Mansion's final form sounds delightful, and we have the actors and writers to thank for that.

Haunted Mansion drops in theaters soon, which will prove once and for all that Disney understands the art of the remake a bit better than it probably cares to admit. Indeed, we reckon there would be a lot fewer complaints about the Mouse House’s remake culture if it the energy went towards recreating their shoddier, less-beloved films rather than already-high-flying classics.

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To call 2003’s Haunted Mansion shoddy is rather kind way of putting it, of course, but as for its 2023 successor, director Justin Simien and writer Katie Dippold proved that they had an ironclad grasp on the assignment. While the many thumbs-ups were heavily overshadowed by a starless premiere on account of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, which prevents actors from engaging in promotional events for any new or upcoming features, it’s nevertheless encouraging to hear that Haunted Mansion won’t be following in the footsteps of its Eddie Murphy-led ancestor.

Steven Weintraub of Collider praised the film’s accessibility, noting how adults can expect to bust a gut while younger viewers just might get bitten by the horror movie bug.

POC Culture named the film’s performances and faithfulness to the source material (the ride, not the original film) as its greatest strengths, while admitting that the plot could have afforded to be reeled in a bit.

And ScreenRant’s Joseph Deckelmeier was impressed all-around, echoing Weintraub’s comments about the film’s audience versatility while pointing out that those familiar with the ride will get quite a bit of extra mileage out of it.

It may not have been much of a tall order to improve upon the 2003 film, but it sounds like Haunted Mansion has gone the extra mile to acclimate to something truly special. Now, if only the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers would go the bare-minimum mile, as it were, and agree that the people who put in the actual effort to make these movies are the ones who should get paid accordingly.

Haunted Mansion is set to haunt theaters on July 28.

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Charlotte Simmons
Charlotte is a freelance writer for We Got This Covered, a graduate of St. Thomas University's English program, a fountain of film opinions, and probably the single biggest fan of Peter Jackson's 'King Kong.' She has written professionally since 2018, and will tackle an idiosyncratic TikTok story with just as much gumption as she does a film review.