A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Family is more important than work and money.
Positive Role Models
Jim prioritizes making money, neglecting his marriage and fatherhood, but he eventually learns his lesson. His son learns to be brave. His daughter acts sullenly, but she's curious and clever. Wife Sara puts up with her husband but needs to be saved, having very little agency throughout the film.
Though written and directed by White male filmmakers, The Haunted Mansion stars Eddie Murphy and centers around a Black family. But the inclusion is skin-deep, as there aren't any references to race. Female characters like Sara are portrayed as smart, but they're also damsels in distress who need to be saved. Outdated language includes a man jokingly called "a scary albino," while another character is repeatedly referred to as a "gypsy."
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Violence & Scariness
Scary and spooky, with creepy and grisly images. Talk of the mother of the family in the haunted house having died via suicide in a past life. Quick shots of an adult hanging from a noose. Poisoning. Lots of chases and peril involving ghosts and skeletons, including skeletons chasing children. Kids are put into a chest by a ghost. Frequent demonic noises.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters kiss -- once chastely and later more passionately. A kid has a swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated; cover briefly shown. Sexual innuendo includes "getting jiggy," "whacking it" (about killing a spider), and "look at the size of those knockers" (about a door).
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Characters say "damn," "hell," "big-ass termites," and "a scary albino." "Crap" muttered by a 10-year-old. "Aw, Christ" and "oh my God." A woman is repeatedly referred to as a "gypsy." Sexual innuendo includes "getting jiggy," "whacking it" (about killing a spider), and "look at the size of those knockers" (about a door).
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Products & Purchases
The movie is based on a theme park ride. The main family drives a BMW.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink cocktails, whiskey, and wine -- no one acts drunk. Cigar smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Haunted Mansion is a spooky comedy (based on the iconic Disneyland ride) that stars Eddie Murphy as a dad who ends up trapped in an old estate filled with ghosts, demons, and zombies. There are many chase scenes involving peril to young kids, plus creepy crypt scenes and references to death via suicide and poisonings (along with brief images of an adult hanging from a noose). A ghost is dragged into a fiery pit. Strong language includes "hell," "ass," "Christ" (as an exclamation), "damn," and "crap," plus repeated references to a "gypsy." Sexual innuendo includes "getting jiggy," "whacking it," and "look at the size of those knockers." Characters kiss, and a swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated is briefly visible. Though written and directed by White male filmmakers, the movie centers around a Black family. A different movie inspired by the same ride was released in 2023. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Inspired by Disneyland's iconic ride, this spooky family comedy is about as original as you might expect (which is to say, not very). Director Rob Minkoff doesn't pull off the surprising treat that was Pirates of the Caribbean. But he does turn a six-minute ride into a 90-minute picture with a plot as thin as a spiderweb and as predictable as a Scooby-Doo episode.
The Haunted Mansion drags, despite the near-constant rushing of Jim and his children between clues. Though Jim's spiel is a lighthearted patter, jokes about "knockers" and "whacking it" feel smarmy. Madame Leota (Jennifer Tilly) and the barbershop quartet add a little life, but you have to wonder at a movie where disembodied heads deliver the movie's most interesting performances. Thomason shows little acting range, while Stamp's effortless performance appears to tap the actor's immense desire to be out of the movie.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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