As a fan of both the Muppets and Disney theme parks, I was so disappointed in “Muppets Haunted Mansion,” a bottom-feeding piece of family-friendly junk. With a loose plot, forced “spooky” story, and wooden performances from actors who seem embarrassed to be there, the movie takes a popular attraction and beloved characters and sucks the joy right out of both.
Halloween night is upon us, and the Great Gonzo is in full-on daredevil mode. Taking on the greatest challenge of his life, Gonzo and his friend Pepe spend the night in the same Haunted Mansion where their favorite magician (Will Arnett) disappeared over a hundred years ago. After their driver (Yvette Nicole Brown) drops them off in the adjacent graveyard, Pepe and Gonzo cross paths with a singing caretaker (Darren Criss), Madam Pigota (Miss Piggy), and a ghost host, who informs the pair that they must face their greatest fears in order to survive the evening
It’s a terrible story that’s made even worse with equally ghastly (*snort*) performances. The very worst is an overacting Taraji P. Henson as the ghost of serial bride Constance Hatchaway, who sets her sights on Pepe. Not helping matters is the perpetually unappealing and disinterested Arnett, reciting the most famous lines from the theme park attraction out of a contractual obligation. I swear he filmed every scene with his eyes firmly planted on the exit door
When the best part of a movie comes from the literal script of a Disneyland ride, you have to begin to question why it was given the green light in the first place (rhetorical question, everyone knows it’s all about the Benjamins).
A bit too frightful for little kids and far too lame for older ones (and adults), “Muppets Haunted Mansion” has a premise that may sound like an amusing time, but it’s anything but. This Disney+ project is dead on arrival.
By: Louisa Moore