Los Angeles Times - 11/26/2003
"...Lots of fun....This is a fright show artfully designed for the whole family..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 04/16/2004
"Terence Stamp steals scenes as the butler..."
Eddie Murphy stars in this spooky, CGI effect-packed Disney film, based on the famous Disney World attraction. He plays Jerry, a workaholic real estate agent who interrupts his family's vacation to check out a remote mansion that's for sale. But soon he and his family are trapped in the haunted house and are screaming for their lives. Terence Stamp is the ghost butler, and Nathaniel Parker is the ghost owner who falls for Jerry's wife, Sara (Marsha Thomason), believing she is the reincarnation of his lost love and providing for both a refreshingly interracial, and frighteningly inter-dimensional romance. Jennifer Tilly has a great bit as a loudmouthed head in the crystal ball; Wallace Shawn and Dina Walters are the ghost servants. Zombies rise up from their graves to attack the living, but generally the film is harmless kid stuff that is bursting with cheerful color, noise, bloodless shocks and refreshingly bathroom-free humor. Fans of the ride should be pleased, as it hits nearly every bump, from the barbershop quartet busts, to the ghostly passenger in the coach. Murphy hams it up royally and the rest of the cast is up for the challenge, especially Stamp, whose droll line readings provide a perfect balance of menace and mirth. Makeup maestro Rick Baker provided the non-CGI special effects.
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