I didn’t hate the first trailer for The Haunted Mansion, Disney’s do-over on a movie based on the popular theme park ride, and now there is a second, “official” trailer, and I hate it even less. Or rather, I like it even more. 


It might just be how goddamned hot LaKeith Stanfield looks in this movie, but The Haunted Mansion looks kind of fun and cool? Like, obviously, not a scary movie by grown-up standards because we can watch movies like Hereditary and Alien and The Ring, but for an all-ages scary movie, something you can take the kids to and not worry about their mental health after? Totally. Also, did I mention how HOT LaKeith Stanfield looks?

This trailer is full of Easter eggs for Disney Adults, but the only ones I, a person who has been to Disney World a normal amount of times, clocked were the “doom buggy” style chair with Tiffany Haddish, the “dueling ghosts” in the hall, and the “Grim Grinning Ghosts” theme playing at the end of the trailer in the Hasan Minhaj bit, and I only know that because I was at Disneyland once during Halloween and it was stuck on a loop in the outdoor speakers and it slowly earwormed its way into a piece of trivia I will never forget. (This is the theme song of The Haunted Mansion ride at Disney: what is “‘Grim Grinning Ghosts’ for two hundred, Alex?”) But I am credibly informed by a Disney Adult that every ghost and mirror reflection and the face in the tree, it’s all references from the ride. I’m fine with that, the Haunted Mansion is a cool ass ride, that stuff SHOULD look good in a movie.


Anyway, it seems like putting a director with an actual vision behind the camera and a screenwriter who can actually write jokes with a talented ensemble might pay off. Not unlike Barbie, a big part of the appeal of this movie is the unexpectedly interesting creative team, in this case director Justin Simien and writer Katie Dippold, not to mention producer Dan Lin, who notably produced The LEGO Batman movie and It, so a Disney-fied scary movie seems solidly in his wheelhouse.

There’s no doubt in my mind The Little Mermaid will be THE Disney movie this summer (the Disney Adults and the little kids were super excited at the end of my screening), but The Haunted Mansion is probably the one that I, personally, will enjoy the most. 


It looks fun, the ghosts look cool, the house is rad, and did I mention HOW INCREDIBLY HOT LaKaeith Stanfield is? Just like, stupid hot. I did not have “LaKeith Stanfield is a total smokeshow in a Disney movie” on my summer movie bingo card, but there it is.