Directed by Rob Minkoff, starring Eddie Murphy, Terence Stamp, Nathaniel Parker, Marsha Thomason, Jennifer Tilly, Dina Waters, Marc John Jefferies and Aree Davis.
One of Disney's theme park rides has so delighted the punters, they've turned it into a fantastic movie, with a great leading man, plenty of ghosts and loads of witty dialogue. It's called 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. 'The Haunted Mansion' is another big Disney attraction that has screamed 'prime big screen real estate' for years, but this film has a bad script, no charm and will have more people expecting an apology than a sequel.
Murphy plays Jim Evers, an estate agent who, bizarrely enough, always wants more. Ever on the lookout for that big payday, he gets a chance when business partner wife Sara (Thomson) is asked to look at a huge mansion out on the bayou. The Evers' are meant to be going away for the weekend, but Jim smells money and decides they should stop off on the way. When they get to the mansion, however, it turns out they won't be going anywhere else for quiet a while. The road gets washed away and they have to stay the night, plus there's a strange butler (Stamp) to deal with and his master (Parker) is more interested in Sara than selling the house.
And you'll feel even more trapped than Jim & Co because 'The Haunted Mansion' is a chore where the best mystery turns out to be how Rob Minkoff, a man whose credits include 'The Lion King' and 'Stuart Little', could come up with something so dreary. It begins with the warning "Welcome Foolish Mortals!" - so you can't say you weren't warned either - and what follows is a film that, special effects aside, would barely cut it as a TV movie.
Terence Stamp really does look haunted the whole way through - although whether that's just acting or the realisation of what he signed up for is a moot point. As for Murphy, never forget that this man was once one of the coolest people on screens because agreeing to scripts like this says he's forgotten.
Dublin house auctions are funnier and scarier than this.