Sunday, October 29, 2017

Countdown To Halloween // Day Twenty-Nine

Welcome back to day twenty-nine of my countdown to Halloween series, where I share all of my favourite Halloween films. Today's film is...

Halloween Film List / The Haunted Mansion 2003 Review / Belle Chaton Blog

The film follows the Evers family. Mother, Sara (Marsha Thomason), Father, Jim (Eddie Murphy) and children: Megan (Aree Davis) and Michael (Marc John Jefferies). Jim is a workaholic and as a result has recently neglected his family a bit, even missing birthdays and his wedding anniversary. To make it up to them he decides to take them on a weekend vacation down to the lake, just like they used to. However, on the way, they stop at a creepy mansion that Jim has been asked to sell. He says he'll only be 20 minutes tops but the sudden heavy rainfall means that they'll be stranded there overnight...

Halloween Film List / The Haunted Mansion 2003 Review / Belle Chaton Blog

Just like the Tower of Terror (1997), The Haunted Mansion (2003) is also based on a ride: Haunted Mansion, which is located at Disneyland's New Orleans Square in California; Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Flordia and Disneyland's Fantasyland in Tokyo.
As I haven't actually been on the ride, I'm not sure how well it compares but it seems that a lot of people aren't entirely sold. I think they were hoping there would be more references to the well-loved ride and less of the 'Disney Original Movie' vibe but rumour has it that a remake will be making its way to our screens in the near future with Ryan Gosling starring in it, so maybe that will be more appt to the ride.

Halloween Film List / The Haunted Mansion 2003 Review / Belle Chaton Blog

 It could be just my nostalgia talking but I personally still love this film. I still remember the first time I watched it as a kid. It was at the cinema and I swear it must have been in 3D or something because even for a children's film, it was jump scares galore. I was absolutely terrified afterwards and even struggled to sleep at night and this was mainly due to Ramsley (Terence Stamp), he's just so creepy and seems completely evil.

I guess the usual haunted mansion trope can be deemed as cliche but for me, I've never watched many films that feature this aspect and the house seemed magical to me when I was little. It was the right amount of creepy yet so wonderful with all the secret passages, you'd just love to explore there for hours.

Although it's marketed as a children's film, it's definitely a few notches up from Halloweentown and a lot more intense. It even has scenes that don't even seem entirely appropriate for children's viewing such as, the opening scene where someone committing suicide is clearly seen...Like I said, very intense. And because of this, the character of Jim is the perfect comic-relief that is very much needed. 

Overall it has a great atmosphere, with fun special effects and the casting is pretty good. If you want to watch a Disney Halloween film, this is a good one if you want something a little scarier than the likes of Halloweentown.

Halloween Film List / The Haunted Mansion 2003 Review / Belle Chaton Blog

"You try. You fail. You try. You fail. But the only true failure is when you stop trying." 

Where to watch: YouTube / Google Play / Amazon

Click here to see the full list: Link

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