Movie Review: The Haunted Mansion

The Haunted Mansion Trailer

The Haunted Mansion Summary

Jim and Sara Evers are successful realtors with two children, Michael and Megan. A workaholic with little time for his family, Jim misses his wedding anniversary and tries to make amends by suggesting a vacation to the nearby lake. Sara is contacted by the occupants of Gracey Manor, located in a nearby bayou; Jim, eager to make a deal after learning where the mansion is, takes Sara and the children there, meeting its owner, Edward Gracey, his butler Ramsley and his other servants; maid Emma and footman Ezra.

When a rainstorm floods the nearby river, Gracey allows the family to stay for the night. Ramsley takes Jim to the library to discuss the deal with Gracey, but Jim becomes trapped in a secret passage. Gracey gives Sara a tour of the mansion, discussing his past and his grandfather’s death after the suicide of his lover, Elizabeth Henshaw. Megan and Michael follow a spectral orb to the attic, where they find a portrait of a woman that bears an almost identical resemblance to Sara. Emma and Ezra appear and identify the woman as the late Elizabeth.

Meanwhile, Jim meets Madame Leota, the ghost of a gypsy whose head is encased in her crystal ball. He runs into Emma, Ezra and his children and returns to Leota for answers about Elizabeth’s likeness to Sara. It is then revealed that the mansion’s inhabitants are ghosts, cursed a century ago by Gracey and Elizabeth’s untimely deaths, and can only enter the afterlife when the lovers are reunited; Sara is believed to be Elizabeth’s reincarnation. Leota then sends the Evers to the mansion’s cemetery to find a key that will reveal the truth behind Elizabeth’s death. In a crypt beneath a mausoleum, Jim and Megan find the key, but inadvertently disturb its undead residents. However, they escape with help from Michael, who overcomes his arachnophobia.

Leota leads them to a trunk in the attic, which Jim unlocks to find a letter Elizabeth wrote to Gracey, revealing she truly loved him and wanted to marry him, indicating that she was murdered. Ramsley then appears and reveals he murdered Elizabeth to prevent Gracey from abandoning his heritage, as he believed their relationship was unacceptable. To hide the truth, Ramsley traps the children in a trunk and literally throws Jim out of the mansion.

As Gracey and Sara rendezvous in the ballroom, she is confused when he asks if she recognizes him, and he insists she is his beloved Elizabeth. The room fills with dancing ghosts as Gracey reveals his ghostly self, but Sara insists she is not Elizabeth. This gives Gracey second thoughts, but Ramsley insists that Sara isElizabeth and, in time, she will remember. Ramsley blackmails Sara into marrying Gracey in exchange for her children’s safety.

Encouraged by Leota, Jim manages to re-enter the mansion by driving his car through the glass front door, rescue his children, and stop Sara and Gracey’s wedding. He gives Gracey Elizabeth’s letter and Ramsley’s crimes are exposed. As Gracey angrily confronts Ramsley, he rages at his master’s apparent selfishness for loving Elizabeth and summons wraiths to attack the group. However, with the truth revealed, a fiery dragon entity emerges from the ballroom’s fireplace and prepares to drag Ramsley down to Hell to face eternal punishment. Ramsley attempts to take Jim with him, but he is saved by Gracey.

Sara collapses, having been poisoned by Ramsley during the wedding ceremony, but the spectral orb appears and, possessing Sara, is revealed to be Elizabeth’s ghost, who could only be released from her current form once the truth was revealed. Elizabeth and Gracey reunite as Sara is subsequently revived. With the curse finally lifted, Gracey gives the Evers the deed to the mansion and departs to Heaven with Elizabeth, Emma, Ezra, and the mansion’s other inhabitants. The Evers drive across the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway for a proper vacation, accompanied by Leota and four singing busts that they encountered while searching for the mausoleum strapped to the back of their car.

The Haunted Mansion Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A fun movie starring comedian Eddie Murphy that is perfect for the Halloween season. It is also based on the Disney Ride Haunted Mansion at both Disney Land and Disney World.

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