With the upcoming remake of The Haunted Mansion set to be released in July 2023, it’s worth taking a look back at the original 2003 film that still manages to capture the hearts of its dedicated fanbase.
When The Haunted Mansion hit theaters in 2003, it was met with poor reviews and disappointing box office results. But over the years, the film has gained a new appreciation from audiences and critics alike, transforming it into a cult classic.
Similar to other dark-yet-comical films like Clue, The Monster Squad, and Hocus Pocus, which also experienced a similar fate at their respective releases, The Haunted Mansion has achieved cult status, as noted by media outlets such as Insider Inc. and Full Circle Cinema.
Author and Disney historian Jeff Baham attributes the film’s resurgence in popularity to its intended audience, pre-teens and teens who saw the film during its initial release and grew up with an appreciation for it. Baham notes that this generation of late Millennials now consider The Haunted Mansion their own Halloween movie, just as the early-aughts generation considered Hocus Pocus to be their go-to spooky film.
As the film’s original audience has grown up, they are now introducing it to their own children, cementing its place as a popular Halloween movie. The film regularly appears on cable programming blocks during the Halloween season, including Freeform’s 31 Nights of Halloween and is often included in lists of Best Halloween Movies in various publications.
Despite its poor reception upon release, The Haunted Mansion has found a devoted following and continues to be a beloved Halloween classic for many. Its appeal lies in its mix of comedy and horror, making it a fun and spooky movie for all ages. As time goes on, it seems that this cult classic will continue to haunt our screens every Halloween season.
A retrospective on the 2003 Film ahead of the upcoming reboot
The Haunted Mansion was directed by Rob Minkoff, who is best known for directing Disney’s The Lion King. The film is loosely based on the classic Disneyland attraction of the same name and features Eddie Murphy in the lead role as a workaholic real estate agent who, along with his family, gets trapped in a haunted mansion while on a business trip. Although the film was not a critical success, it did manage to gross over $182 million worldwide.
One of the reasons for the film’s initial poor reception was its departure from the original Haunted Mansion ride, which is known for its spooky, but family-friendly atmosphere. The film, on the other hand, was criticized for being too scary for younger audiences and not scary enough for older ones. However, as the years have gone by, the film has gained a new appreciation for its fun, campy tone and inventive special effects.
The Haunted Mansion also boasts a talented cast, including Terence Stamp, Jennifer Tilly and Nathaniel Parker, who all deliver memorable performances. Additionally, the film features a fun and catchy soundtrack, which includes a rendition of the classic Haunted Mansion theme song.
Overall, while The Haunted Mansion may not have been a success when it was first released, it has since become a beloved Halloween classic for a new generation of fans. Its combination of scares and laughs, as well as its iconic source material, has ensured that the film will continue to be enjoyed for years to come.
In addition to its growing cult following, The Haunted Mansion has also spawned its own merchandise and theme park attractions. Disney parks around the world have Haunted Mansion attractions, including the classic ride in Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The film’s popularity has also led to the creation of various Haunted Mansion-themed merchandise such as t-shirts, hats and even replica props from the film.
The Haunted Mansion’s success as a cult classic is also a testament to the enduring popularity of the horror-comedy genre. While horror films are often seen as niche, the genre has proven to be highly adaptable to different audiences and demographics. The Haunted Mansion’s blend of horror and comedy has appealed to both kids and adults, making it a staple of Halloween movie marathons for families and fans alike.
Overall, The Haunted Mansion’s rise to cult status is a fascinating case study in the power of nostalgia and the enduring appeal of horror-comedy. While the film may not have been a hit upon its initial release, it has since found a devoted following among fans who appreciate its mix of scares and laughs. And with its theme park attractions and merchandise continuing to draw in new fans, it’s clear that The Haunted Mansion’s legacy will continue to grow for years to come.
The Haunted Mansion reboot is finally set for release with star-studded cast and director
The Haunted Mansion is a popular Disney attraction that has captivated audiences since its debut in Disneyland in 1969. The attraction has become a beloved staple in Disney parks, inspiring various adaptations over the years. However, after a failed attempt to turn the attraction into a feature film in 2003, the project lay dormant until 2010 when it was announced that a new reboot adaptation was in the works.
The reboot was initially planned to have Guillermo del Toro on board as both writer and producer, which caused excitement among fans of the director’s signature dark and eerie style. However, despite the initial announcement, the project remained in development for several years until 2015 when Ryan Gosling was rumored to be in early negotiations to star.
D.V. DeVincentis was hired to rewrite the script and in 2016, Brigham Taylor was added as an additional producer. Despite the development, progress was slow until August 2020 when it was announced that writer Katie Dippold was set to write a new screenplay for the project. Additionally, Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich were named as co-producers.
The project gained momentum with the announcement of Justin Simien as the director in April 2021. By October of the same year, a star-studded cast was announced, including Tiffany Haddish, Lakeith Stanfield, Owen Wilson, Rosario Dawson, and Danny DeVito. The film is set to be released on July 28, 2023, and fans are eagerly anticipating this new take on the classic Disney attraction.