Haunted Mansion on DVD
Disneys second movie based on an attraction from its theme park, the
Haunted Mansion doesnt work nearly as well as Pirates of the Caribbean
but its a decent family film with just enough chills to keep the kiddies
on the edge of their seats without making grownups yawn.
Eddie Murphy stars as a driven real estate agent who, with his family, shows
up at the mansion in question to list it for sale. It was supposed to be his
wife who went there alone, for reasons we find out later, and the fact that
the whole brood is there throws the houses residents into a tizzy.
Well wouldnt you know those residents are all dead and this beautiful
though decrepit old home is haunted with them. And the head man of the dead
thinks Murphys wife (Marsha Thomason) is his long dead love, which leads
to the conflict in the film.
Like the attraction on which its based, Haunted Mansion works mostly
because of its imagination and production values. It isnt very scary,
though there are some quite funny moments (our favorite was when he scolded
his daughter for slamming the door of their new BMW 7 series, then apologized
to the car for his daughter's slight of the fine vehicle).
Murphy is good in his role, as are Thomason and the kids. Terence Stamp turns
in a nicely soft-core menacing performance as the haunted mansions butler
The movie looks and sounds great and is suitable for all ages. So while it
wont leave you on the edge of your seat, it also wont leave you
embarrassed or in a cold sweat. Probably Disneys best scary flick since
Something Wicked This Way Comes.
The THX-certified DVDs up to Disneys usual standards. Its
available separately in both anamorphic widescreen (16x9 TV compatible) and
Pan&Scan editions. We got the widescreen version, fortunately, and the video
quality is top notch. Theres good detail and contrast and, since a lot
of this movie happens in relative darkness, that helps.
Audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and though we thought it was a tad muffled
the overall sound quality is excellent, with very good use of all the channels.
Then of course theres the plethora of extras. In Disney tradition, you
get a virtual tour of the manions, a bunch of DVD ROM features such as a Morphing
Ghost Host Maker and the history of the real Haunted Mansion attraction
from the Disney theme parks.
You also get an audio commentary with the films writer, producer, and
special effects supervisor, bloopers, deleted scenes and a music video.
In all, a lightweight, light hearted fright night you can watch with the kids
The Haunted Mansion, from Disney Home Entertainment
8 min. anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1, 16x9 TV compatible), Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Eddie Murphy, Terence Stamp, Wallace Shawn, Marsha Thomason, Jennifer
Produced by Don Hahn, Andrew Gunn
Written by David Berendbaun, Directed by Rob Minkoff
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