Haunted Mansion (2023)

I’m not going to try and keep spoilers out of this, so be warned.
I haven’t seen the Eddie Murphy Haunted Mansion film but I have seen the Muppets Haunted Mansion.
Overall I wasn’t a fan of this film. It had a lot of ideas that didn’t feel fully developed or connected. For example, the ghost camera was a great idea. The way it was used though was awkward. Ben builds a ghost camera to connect his interests with his wife’s, but by the start of the film proper doesn’t believe in ghosts. If the camera worked, he’d still believe… and if he didn’t ever believe, he couldn’t build the camera… and if he believed but the camera never showed ghosts wouldn’t he just assume that the camera doesn’t work? They bring the camera to the mansion to identify ghosts. The first identification that they make is through the history given to them by the Professor, with pictures that match pictures in the house – no camera required. The next is through speaking to Jamie Lee Curtis’ character – at which point the camera is broken, and after which the ghosts become visible to the naked eye.
Bits are brought up and dropped everywhere – the house appeared fully built in unworked land with no records, this mystery is never resolved and doesn’t seem to matter to the plot at all. The haunting was related to the activities there and the particularly evil ghost.
The ghosts are trapped in the house by an evil spirit aiming to do bad things but they can leave with other people. Why haunt and torment those people urging them to return, when the ghosts could just stay quiet outside of the bad house with the bad ghost that scares them all?
There were funny moments and it feels like Owen Wilson is really really trying but there’s just not much there to make it work. Bit of a flop for me.

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