4k Movie, Streaming, Blu-Ray Disc, and Home Theater Product Reviews & News | High Def Digest
Film & TV All News Blu-Ray Reviews Release Dates News Pre-orders 4K Ultra HD Reviews Release Dates News Pre-orders Gear Reviews News Home Theater 101 Best Gear Film & TV
Ultra HD : Worth a Look
Release Date: October 17th, 2023 Movie Release Year: 2023

Haunted Mansion - Best Buy Exclusive 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray SteelBook

Overview -

Disney takes a second stab at bringing a famed theme park ride to life with Justin Simien’s new Haunted Mansion. The film is ultimately a good bit of fun but a laborious first half haunts the best efforts of a comedically talented cast threatening to banish this film into an early grave. On 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, the film scores a middling 2160p HDR10 transfer that struggles with darkness while an impressive Atmos track keeps the spooks happy. It's amusing diverting entertainment, but a tighter film would have helped - Worth A Look

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 that includes LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, Dan Levy, Jamie Lee Curtis and Jared Leto, Haunted Mansion was written by Katie Dippold and directed by Justin Simien. The film’s producers are Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich, with Nick Reynolds and Tom Peitzman serving as executive producers.

Bonus Features*

  • Making Haunted Mansion (13:05) Hear from cast, crew and filmmakers about creating this grim grinning adventure based on the world-famous ride. See how the ghosts were "brought to life," what role new technology played, and how the wildly popular attraction inspired the film's design.
  • 999 Happy Haunts (7:05) There are 999 Happy Haunts inside the Disney Parks' attraction...but always room for one more! See all the Easter eggs (well, maybe not all of them) where characters big, small, alive, departed, human and otherwise appear in both the movie and the ride.

Take a look at some moments that passed on before the final version of Haunted Mansion was finished.

  • Carol (0:45)
  • 1 Star (0:44)
  • Harriet’s House Of Intuition (3:11)
  • They Say The Place Is Haunted (1:16)
  • Between Realms (1:42)
  • Crump Manor (1:07)
  • Emergency Baptism (1:01)
  • A Good Head For Business (0:32)


  • Who knew making a scary movie could be so funny!

Worth a Look
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray + Blu-ray + Digital
Video Resolution/Codec:
Aspect Ratio(s):
Audio Formats:
Dolby Atmos
English SDH, Spanish, French
Release Date:
October 17th, 2023

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


Horror, like any genre, likes to roll with trends in themes and sub-genres. At the moment “grief and loss” seem to be the primary affliction plaguing any number of horror characters. Sometimes it works with devastatingly chilling results like Talk to Me, other times it’s an unsavory undercooked ham. Given this is a ghostly tale, grief and loss are an understandable backdrop inside Haunted Mansion. However, the theme is so thoroughly and laboriously explored that the film often forgets why it's here – to spook and entertain a family audience and actually have fun

Our story opens with one-time astrophysicist extraordinaire Ben Matthias (LaKeith Stanfield). Wracked by the grief of losing his wife (there’s that theme again!) he now spends his days hungover and showing tourists the haunted sites around New Orleans. But because he once developed a camera lens that can capture the so-called “Ghost Particle” he’s called upon by Father Kent (Owen Wilson) to help out the lovely Gabbie (Rosario Dawson) and her son Travis (Chase Dillon) who happened to recently purchase an old mansion… that’s haunted! Skeptical of their plight, Ben takes the job for the quick cash, but when the ghosts won’t let him leave, it’s going to take Harriet (Tiffany Haddish) the best Medium in New Orleans, and famed historian Professor Bruce Davis (Danny DeVito) to figure out what the ghosts want so they’ll leave this earthly plane in peace. 

Truth be told, I wasn’t feeling Haunted Mansion when I first ran it. I was looking forward to seeing it, I actually kinda of liked the Eddie Murphy version, and it was my favorite ride from the one time I went to Disney World because it was the only one that had ample air conditioning. I was in the mood for some family-friendly hijinks and silliness with a ghoulish horror backdrop. Only this movie forgets the hijinks, silliness, and even the ghosts for most of the first hour. And this is a two-hour movie. The first hour feels like you're stuck waiting for the ride in the Florida sun. It's is a tough ride to sit through with extraneous exposition that just slows the film down and a weird lack of anything slightly spooky or even funny. 

Thankfully, the film finds its footing once Tiffany Haddish performs her first seance, the plot gets moving, and we finally start to see some ghosts! Then the comedy actually clicks in and the film actually starts to feel like a ride as our cast of characters work overtime trying to find the dark secrets of the house and the mysterious ghoul called Crump (Jared Leto). There’s even a fun Winona Ryder cameo tossed in for extra flavor! It's a great last half that saves the film. The principal problem with this film is that there are such distinctly tonally different halves. One is overly dramatic, long, and just plain not fun. Even Danny DeVito fails to come alive in his few early scenes. Then Jamie Lee Curtis’ gaseous head appears in a crystal ball and the film starts cruising and having a good time. We needed that movie to start playing much earlier.

By that time it might be too little too late for a number of folks out there. Hell, even I almost gave up on it. I’m glad I stuck through long enough to see it redeem itself but I can’t shake that if Haunted Mansion had a tighter front end, was maybe a half hour shorter, and leaned into its fun rollercoaster ride premise earlier remembering it was there to entertain little kids and parents, it could have been a better flick. To which I go back to my introductory point - I’m tired of the “grief and loss” theme weighing down every horror film. Even for a family-friendly comedy with horror elements and ghosts, it’s a whole lot of too much that just brings this theme park ride to a screeching halt often leaving the audience to dangle wondering when it’ll get going again. The first half is a sloggy 2/5 with the second half rolling a respectably funny, spooky, and genuinely entertaining 4/5. - but can you make it through that first hour?

Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 

Disney’s Haunted Mansion scares up a home video release on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray in a two-disc 4K UHD + Blu-ray + Digital set. Ironically given recent news Disney sent us the Best Buy Exclusive SteelBook to review and I do have to say it is a lovely SteelBook. The art is terrific with raised features and just an all-around appealing and stylish design. The 4K is pressed on a BD-66 disc with a BD-50 reserved for the 1080p. Discs load to Disney’s standard language menu system before giving you the option of jumping right into the feature film or going to the main menu. Now given the recent news about Best Buy, this SteelBook might just be a hot-ticket collector’s item someday! 

NOTE as of publishing time we could only source images from the 1080p disc. When we can, we’ll try to circle back to punch in some 4K-sourced images and maybe video sample.


Video Review


Presented in 2160p with an HDR10 grade, I have to say I’m not that impressed with this transfer. Being a very dark film with very limited light sources for long stretches, it can be damned difficult to see a lot of what’s going on. Sure, part of that is by design because this is supposed to be some sort of a family-friendly little horror comedy film so it needs those dark spaces to satisfy the horror elements, but it is very dark in 4K HDR. On my primary screen, I had to blast my presets up to “vivid” to make these dark moments somewhat visible and appreciable. On my cheap office non-reference quality Samsung screen - fuhgeddaboutit.

Daylight scenes are no trouble, if there are ample candles in the room, or if there are plenty of glowing ethereal ghosts floating about, it’s effective and lovely And generally works. My AppleTV box seems to be doing its own thing these days so I haven’t seen the Disney+ Dolby Vision streaming version for comparison, but once those glowing ghosts come in or Jamie Lee Curtis’ head appears in that crystal ball, the HDR effect on lighting and shadows is quite nice. You can appreciate the fine details and facial features, and the impressive production design work throughout the mansion and you're able to appreciate all of the little easter eggs from the ride. But those deep dark scenes are a bit of a bear to deal with.

In contrast, rolling the included 1080p disc, I didn’t have those lighting and darkness problems. It was bright enough that you could see and appreciate what was happening but it wasn’t so over-bright that it betrayed the spooky shadows. Some of those fine details might not be as sharp and clear as the 4K disc, but I have to say unless you’re watching it at night with the lights out in a perfectly darkened room, you may get more visual mileage out of the standard Blu-ray.

Audio Review


On the audio side this 4K disc does come with a spooky and effective Atmos audio track. A lot like the film itself, the audio doesn’t get many moments of dynamic action until those restless ghouls finally appear, but there’s some nice staging throughout. Various locations enjoy plenty of surround presence from the busy New Orleans streets to the creeks and groans of floorboards in the mansion. Height channels are more often utilized to extend the atmosphere of any given space, but once the ghosts start swirling around, those height elements see more care and focus in the soundscape. Throughout the show, dialog is nicely prioritized without any issues. Kris Bowers’ score is effective in playing up the silly parts as well as leaning into the scary bits. All around a solid Atmos track.

Special Features


As has been the case for most Disney releases of late, the bonus features enjoy their eternal rest on the included Blu-ray disc. Nothing on the 4K disc. What we have here is some pretty basic EPK content and filler features. The making-of has some interesting tidbits but nothing too extensive and the deleted scenes are simply extensions or gags that just didn't work.

  • Making Haunted Mansion (HD 13:18)
  • 999 Happy Haunts (HD 6:59)
  • Deleted Scenes (HD 10:46 Total)
    • Carol
    • 1 Star
    • Harriets House of Intuition
    • They Say the Place is Haunted
    • Between Realms
    • Crump Manor
    • Emergency Baptism
  • A Good Head for Business 
  • Bloopers (HD 2:33)

No, Haunted Mansion isn’t a terrible or unwatchable film, but I can’t deny it is a bit of a misfire. An unfocused front end that forgets to bring the spooks and sillies saddles the back end of an already long film to salvage the ride. Overall I found it diverting and entertaining, but I didn’t love it. It was my favorite ride at Disney World, but this is not my favorite movie. On 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, the film comes in with a sometimes beautiful HDR10 transfer that does suffer from darkness issues that frustratingly don’t harm the 1080p transfer. Thankfully the Atmos track is lively and effective and the film’s brighter ghost-filled last half makes up for any visual shortfalls. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it, can’t altogether recommend it, but at least Worth A Look