Haunted Mansion (2023): Ultimate Collector’s Edition – Walmart Exclusive (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Just a few years ago, Disney saw some success with the ride movie, Jungle Cruise. It wasn’t the phenomenon that was the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, but its led us to them taking another stab at their staple attraction, Haunted Mansion. This one was another notable underwhelming box office performer this summer, and another notch on a rather financially disappointing one for them as a whole. While it feels like it should have been fall release during spooky season, it now becomes that as a home video release. The 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray for it was dropped on October 17th and comes equipped with an Atmos track and handful of featurettes. You can order yourself one from the paid Amazon Associates link below.


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Inspired by the classic theme park attraction, Haunted Mansion tells the story of Gabbie (Rosario Dawson), a single mom, who discovers that the home she and her son share is haunted by irksome ghosts. Hoping to restore domestic tranquility, Gabbie recruits a motley crew of so-called spiritual experts to help rid the house of the supernatural squatters. A non-stop blend of action, adventure and comedy featuring an all-star cast.

With a theme park to keep interest in, its no surprise that Disney likes to make movies based on their ride attractions every now and then. One of their staple rides is that of the Haunted Mansion. Still to this day, that ride is one immersive and impressive visual and audio treat. It feels like it should translate easily to film. They once made an attempt with an Eddie Muprhy-led feature that followed in the wake of the Pirates of the Caribbean success of the mid-2000s. That one didn’t translate into much success. Now here we are, many moons later with another attempt following in the wake of Jungle Cruise (That’s the most recent ride movie, right?). With a stacked cast, could they spark some magic in these old ghosts this time around?

It felt like this time around, everything was on the plate for a rock solid Haunted Mansion movie. And well, it is merely just a solid, average one. There are some interesting ideas and sequences throughout the movie that will perk you back up every now and then. However, narratively its a bit of a slog and feels like it meanders or maybe has too big of a name cast that if feels an obligation to keep track of throughout. Altogether the story, haunts, effects and characters wind up being simply adequate. It feels odd to criticize the movie for being merely “ok”, but the ride the movie is based on suggests something more rich could come off of this property.

The performers in the movie are pretty fun. Anytime you give LaKeith Stanfield a lead or significant role in something, you can sign me up. This cast is full of fun folks like Owen Wilson, Tiffany Haddish and Danny DeVito doing there thing but its sort of just expected things and feeling very safe. Rosario and LaKeith anchor the film very well emotionally but can also dip into the fun pool at points in the film. Altogether, like the movie, you like them but you feel like there’s a bit of restraint going on to keep this thing a pretty safe movie.

Haunted Mansion isn’t bad, but its the epitome of one of those movies that you catch, don’t feel like you wasted 2 hours, and then never really think about again. There aren’t really any memorable sequences or characters in the film and it just makes you yearn for going on the ride or standing in line and being a part of it. Definitely one for the rental or “check it out on Disney+” side of recommendations.

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Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are from the standard Blu-ray disc, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Haunted Mansion receives a very nice transfer onto 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray. There are a few times it looked a bit murky, but overall its a decently radiant looking film that glistens when the films colorful effects contrast with its dark and moody mansion. Its a crisp image that carries lots of fine details and the special effects both in computer and physical nature hold up well to the 2160p scrutiny.

Depth:  Depth of field is pretty good with some rather impressive pushback down the halls of the mansion and some adequate scaled being delivered on the smalls screen. Movements are smooth and natural without any issues from motion distortions during the rapid action moments.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and natural. How well they work are key to this image working and the moving frames produce some wonderful shadow work and nighttime sequence. No real issues occur from information being lost in darkness. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are pretty bold and can be strong when allowed to pop. This one keeps an intentionally dingy appearance by design, though its a lovely dingy. Some fabrics with more striking colors pop quite well. HDR looks lovely in good moments of contrast, ghosts glowing, display screens, candlelight, supernatural beams and more.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish. Facial features and textures are quite easily discernible in any distance in the frame.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

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Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Spanish 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, French 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: Haunted Mansion continues Disney’s streak of putting out some rather stronger than decent Atmos tracks. This one playfully fills the room in one of their most engaging efforts in as long as I can remember. There’s plenty of good layering and depth and attention to detail on building a spooky room.

Height: From above you get creaks and haunting noises, characters jumping over camera, debris from above and more. Everything is relevant to onscreen activity with some moments being a bit more playful.

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer booms with some solid power in terms of loud crashing, doors slamming, engines humming, supernatural forces, roaring and more.

Surround Sound Presentation: This is a really well build atmosphere with rear and side channels doing some good work in ambiance as well as unique sounds and tracking offscreen activity with angle changes. Sound rolls with good force across the room and action is pretty well felt from your seat.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Vocals are crisp and clear.

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Haunted Mansion: Ultimate Collector’s Edition comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and a redeemable digital code. All bonus material is found on the standard Blu-ray disc. This particular version in the review is the Walmart Exclusive edition which features different cover art and comes with a limited edition enamel pin. For a look at the packaging, click on the video below.

Making Haunted Mansion (HD; 13:18) – A brief little, promotional friendly, featurette with interviews and behind the scenes footage. Mostly fluff and selling us on it.

999 Happy Haunts (HD, 6:59) – This one goes over the “easter eggs” in the film of all the references, characters, props and such from the ride and where they are located in the movie.

Deleted Scenes (HD, 10:46)

Gag Reel (HD, 2:33)

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Haunted Mansion is a fantastic ride that struggles to make fantastic movies. This latest is an all right attempt. Disney delivers a rather terrific presentation with both audio and video. This 4K disc also supplies some nice fluffy extras. If you buy the Walmart Exclusive this review was using, you get a solid little enamel pin. However, I would wait for this one to be at a good discount before you buy and definitely test the waters (watch it) before buying.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link for the standard BLU-RAY edition NOT the 4K or Walmart Exclusive in this review


Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com). He is also the Moderator/MC of the Live Podcast Stage and on the Podcast Awards Committee for PopCon (popcon.us). In the past 10 years at Why So Blu, Brandon has amassed over 1,500 reviews of 4K, Blu-ray and DVD titles.

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