Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
|• Teens • Young-Adults
|Supernatural-Horror Comedy Drama
|2 hr. 2 min.
|Year of Release:
July 28, 2023 (wide release—3,740 theaters)
DVD: October 17, 2023
Too dark for a family film
What is the Occult?
The Occult—What does the Bible say about it?
What does the Bible say about ghosts?
What is a NECROMANCER? and what does the Bible say about this practice?
What is a soothsayer?
What is DEATH? and WHY does it exist? Answer in the Bible
What is the FINAL JUDGMENT? and WHAT do you need to know about it? Answer
What is ETERNAL LIFE? and what does the Bible say about it?
What is ETERNAL DEATH?
About the final judgment
Rosario Dawson … Gabbie
LaKeith Stanfield … Ben Matthias
Owen Wilson … Father Kent
Tiffany Haddish … Harriet
Danny DeVito … Bruce Davis
Jamie Lee Curtis … Madame Leota, a soothsayer
Chase Dillon (Chase W. Dillon) … Travis
Jared Leto … Crump / Hatbox
See all »
|Justin Simien — “Dear White People” (Director)
Walt Disney Productions
See all »
|Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Oh boy this is going to be a short review. Okay, here we go…
Ben Mattihas was an astrophysicist, a really good one in fact. During a work party one night he found the love of his life, Alyssa. She thinks he’s a bit goofy, and he thinks she is too, but together they can conquer the world. Eventually, the two decide to get married
Fast forward some time later. Alyssa is gone. In fact, she was killed in a car accident while picking up some items for her and Ben. Alyssa’s death changes Ben in all the wrong ways. He has given up the field of astrophysics, apart from creating his revolutionary and ever-popular Ghost Camera. Instead, he has taken to giving walking tours in downtown New Orleans.
As in all good movies, a visitor comes knocking on Ben’s door with an opportunity. This particular visitor is a priest named Father Kent (Owen Wilson). Father Kent informs Ben that a local family, Gabbie (Rosario Dawson) and her son Travis, have been receiving ghostly visitors and that these unwelcome guests are terrorizing the two. Father Kent tells Ben that he needs him to come to the mansion and take pictures using his Ghost Camera to try and figure out what’s going on. Ben is hesitant at first but once he hears the lady is offering $2,000, Ben decides to head to the mansion.
Gabbie greets Ben at the door but warns him, “Once you step through that door, there’s no going back. Your life will be changed forever.” Ben proceeds anyway and Grace is right… his life will never be the same.
A long time ago Disney used to stand for something. Disney was a standard that other production companies would look to. Disney offered clean, wholesome entertainment that rarely offended anyone. Parents could safely take their young ones to a Disney film and not worry what they were going to have to shield their children from. Those days feel like a distant memory.
Now we have Disney films that promote homosexual relationships, transexual relations and characters, where every film has to be as diverse and accepting as possible; darn to creating a historically accurate representation of the stories from which they draw (don’t even get me started on the Marvel films and their unfaithfulness to the original comics). Now, Disney films are getting darker and darker.
During my viewing of the “Haunted Mansion” and as I left the theater, all I could think of was what would Walt Disney think if he could see how far his company has fallen in almost 100 years. Well Alex, how dark can a film like “Haunted Mansion” get? Surely there must be limitations!
“The Haunted Mansion” has no limitations; everything is possible. “The Haunted Mansion” is absolutely smothered in incredibly dark occultic practices. There are multiple séances, one of the film’s main characters is a MEDIUM! Not only do these scenes occur, but they are praised in the film. They are shown as the ONLY solution to grief, to fighting demons and spirits, such as the use of a medium to fight the villain at the end of the film. Disney is sending a message: it’s okay to associate with mediums, psychics, reach out to the dead, conjure spirits. This is an INCREDIBLY dangerous message. Even Christianity is thought of as a joke in this film and mocked. The priest is of no use because, as it turns out *MINOR SPOILER* the Father is a big old fraud. *SPOILER END* Can you tell how angry I am about the film?
VIOLENCE: A ghostly knight is shown chasing a mom and her son. There are two scenes where a character is tossed backwards (in one case a spear lands near his head). A flood occurs in this character’s house later, and he is tossed outside and almost hit by a car. We hear some victims were chopped up and beheaded by someone. We also hear about how two brothers shot each other and were killed. We hear about how someone was convinced to commit suicide inorder to be with his departed loved one again. Later, in a flashback, we witness a corpse lying flat on the ground after having committed suicide by poison. A ghost drags people in a chair out of the mansion (this occurs twice). A hatchet is thrown at a character twice. There is a conversation about how a dog was hit by a car and how it looked after being hit. We hear about Ben’s wife dying in a car accident. There is a story about how a man killed his guests at a party by poisoning their drinks and how the man himself was killed in revenge by others. An alligator chases two people. A ghost is seen being sent to Hell. Someone discusses someone’s else’s organs being on the outside of body.
OCCULT: Very Heavy to Extreme. The film starts with Madame Leota’s (a medium) voice telling the audience about the tale that is about to depicted (there’s also an image of tarot cards and a Ouija board). The group (the priest, Ben, Grace and Travis) hire a medium to help out. The group is later seen performing a séance (the priest included). There are a couple more séances. Some astro-projection occurs around the room (this is where a spirit supposedly leaves the body and floats around this limbo-like place watching what goes on below). A ghost possesses two different people. There are pictures and images of a man who used dark magic before he killed his guests. There is a third possession. There are discussions of spectral photography.
LANGUAGE: “Oh my g*d” (2), God’s name is misused several other times, “D*mn P*ssed” (1), and “Sh*t” is almost muttered by someone.
SEX: A tour guide is effeminate in behavior. She also references a cane in the corner of the room and says it is for very personal reasons (it could be because she has trouble walking, but I think this is likely a wink to the adults in the audience).
ALCOHOL: There are a couple scenes where characters are drinking.
NUDITY: A man’s shirt is seen slightly open
OTHER: Some of the ghosts and ghouls are very frightening in appearance. A priest says “money talks but don’t tell the big man.” A guy deceives someone for money. A ghost is seen writing on paper. A man has a heart attack.
At one point a character states that, “Ghosts aren’t real. We are dirt. I am dirt.” Indeed characters make little mention of the truth, that we are more than just dirt and bones. We are creations of the Almighty God designed for His purpose. Yes, there is something after this life we live. For those who believe and live for God and his son Jesus, that SOMETHING is eternal life in Heaven, where we will sit at the feet of Jesus and praise Him, where there is no more weeping or suffering or hunger—none of it. Jesus stated,
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” —John 3:16
“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” —John 6:40
“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” —John 10:28-30
Well I think I’ve pretty much said all that needs saying about “The Haunted Mansion” There are many reasons to stay far away from this film apart from the occultic practices in play: the acting is average at best, the jokes are terrible, and it felt like “classic Disney faire.”
In case it isn’t clear, DO NOT take children to see the “Haunted Mansion.” It is a spiritually dangerous film for youngsters and teens, as well. In fact, I’d go as far as saying it’s spiritually dangerous for all viewers, especially Christians. Find something much more edifying with your time.
Learn about DISCERNMENT—wisdom in making personal entertainment decisions
Every time you buy a movie ticket or buy or rent a video you are in effect casting a vote telling Hollywood, “I’ll pay for that. That’s what I want.” Read our article
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.