Haunted Mansion

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Short takes

Not suitable under 10; parental guidance to 12 (scary Scenes; violence, supernatural themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Haunted Mansion
  • a review of Haunted Mansion completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 24 August 2023.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Not suitable due to scary scenes and supernatural themes.
Children aged 10–12 Parental guidance recommended due to supernatural themes.
Children aged 13 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Haunted Mansion
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild supernatural themes, violence and coarse language, some scenes may scare young children
Length: 123 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Gabbie (Rosario Cawson) and her son Travis (Chase Dillon) move into their new home to discover that it is haunted by ghosts. They run away but find that the ghosts follow them everywhere. Reluctantly, they return to the mansion and employ a priest, Father Kent (Owen Wilson), who isn’t actually a priest, to exorcise their home. He, in turn, pays a spectral photographer, Ben (LaKeith Stanfield) to capture the ghost-like images on his camera. Having entered the mansion, Kent and Ben are now also haunted by ghosts wherever they go.

Kent and Ben return to the mansion to try and help Gabbie and Travis. Trapped inside the mansion, the foursome discovers the secrets of the dead ancestors who are still inhabiting their home. They bring in a psychic, Harriet (Tiffany Haddish), and an historian, Bruce (Danny DeVito), to help them. They learn that a particularly evil and powerful spirit, formerly Alistair Crump (Jared Leto), has killed 999 souls within the mansion. They discover he needs one more soul to keep them all trapped in the mansion for eternity. The group have to outwit Crump before one more person dies.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Supernatural; Death of a parent.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • A man threatens a priest with a bottle.
  • Ben and Bruce fight, accidentally setting fire to a bench top.
  • Harriet bashes into Bruce, knocking him into the path of an approaching truck. Bruce ends up in hospital.
  • Two ghosts shoot each other in a duel. Ben feels the bullet go through him.
  • An alligator chases Travis up a ladder, snapping at his feet.
  • Bruce has a heart attack but doesn’t die.
  • Trees start falling on a car, preventing the escape of its occupants.
  • Crump prepares a fiery pit for his final victim but it is himself that goes into it, covered in purple flames.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Many scary images of haunted houses – dark, creepy buildings within dark, misty settings. The inside of the mansion is also scary – everything is in darkness, no electricity so shown in torchlight. Furniture is covered over and everything is covered in cobwebs.
  • Images of ghosts flying about the house.
  • Many sudden events which are alarming.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • When Gabbie and Travis enter the house, thunder and lightning occur. Strange noises can be heard and Travis’s torch goes out. He screams. An armoured soldier comes to life and speaks in a low, scary voice. The soldier chases them out of the house.
  • Gabbie and Travis are obviously terrified by the ghosts that Ben can’t see. However, he does capture their images on his camera.
  • Objects fly around in the house.
  • A séance is held by Harriet where they all sit in a circle, holding hands and calling up spirits. Everyone jumps when Harriet comes out of a trance. A pen starts writing on its own. A door shuts suddenly and a loud cackling voice is heard. Harriet goes flying in her chair and is tipped out, outside the house.
  • In the hospital, Bruce’s bed starts shaking about and lifting off the ground.
  • Harriet talks about the space between the living and the dead where spirits can be contacted. She also talks about the death of her father.
  • A ghost calls to Ben in a husky voice. He leads him up a staircase into an attic and the door shuts suddenly behind him. Ben hears lots of loud noises and objects start to move. He thinks he sees a ghost in the mirror but it’s his own face. He then sees the ghost of a woman in a bride’s dress, with a sunken face and lights for eyes. She starts screaming.
  • A woman’s face is seen inside a crystal ball. She starts to speak and tells them of the history of the house.
  • The floor of the mansion turns to quicksand and then water floods in, bringing in an alligator.
  • Travis goes into a crypt where all the bodies are buried. He finds a skull covered in spiders.
  • Bruce is taken over by Crump, who tries to poison Ben and Kent. When they don’t take the drink, Bruce and Kent fight each other, punching and wrestling.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Ben wakes to loud knocking on his door. He opens it to find the ocean at his doorstep which starts spraying into his room. His apartment becomes flooded and Ben gets thrown out in a huge wave.
  • Kent says that a ghost that follows him has half her face missing.
  • A fiery apparition strikes out at Ben and says in a deep voice, “you should be scared”.
  • There is talk of ancestors dying in a duel and of a wife who chopped up her husband.
  • Harriet tries to summon the ghost of Alistair Crump but it goes inside Ben instead. Ben follows him into the spirit world. He sees lots of ghosts with strange faces. He sees two ghosts having a duel. Ghostly singing is heard with organ music. Crump speaks in an eerie voice – has black eyes and no nose. In his trancelike state, Ben briefly opens his eyes which are also black. Crump starts to talk through Ben.
  • Ben talks of his wife who died in a car accident. He starts to cry.
  • There is mention of Crump’s body being found decapitated.
  • Bruce’s body floats into the air and then drops suddenly. An evil laugh is heard.
  • Crump tries to trick Travis into the after-world to see his dad who’s dead. Travis thinks he hears his father calling to him but it’s Crump.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • Nothing further noted.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • PayPal
  • Amazon
  • Yankee Candles
  • Burger King.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • There is talk of Crump having a mistress and his wife finding out about the affair.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Drinking in a bar and other venues.
  • Ghosts are seen drinking.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Damn
  • Oh my God
  • Pissed off.

In a nutshell

Haunted Mansion is a comedic, ghost story that has enough laughs and light moments to balance the dark side of this Disney movie. The film is, however, quite scary in parts, particularly for young children. Therefore, it isn’t suitable for children under 10 and parental guidance is recommended for children aged 10 to 12 due to the supernatural themes.

The main messages from this movie are to have confidence in your own abilities and that working together as a team you are much stronger than on your own.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Courage
  • Overcoming one’s fears
  • Compassion
  • Empathy.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • How people deal with grief, such as the loss of a partner, and for Travis, the loss of his father. Communication and openness are shown to be a good thing.