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Legacy Review

Muppets Haunted Mansion (2021)

For how cheap and rushed it should feel, given that it’s a 50-minute special advertising a theme park attraction, Muppets Haunted Mansion is surprisingly well-realized. It’s an expansive and inclusive vision of spookiness, with a full-fledged arc for Gonzo to boot.

To me, Muppets is something that exists in the late-mid-century haze of the generation before my birth, so I get an ooky feeling whenever Miss Piggy makes a WiFi joke, or some other 2021 shit. Beyond that, though, it’s vintage Muppets — lots of cameos, very punny and brisk, with a handful of jokes that build out over a whole scene (there’s a good gag about rhyming that made me laugh quite hard).

This film leans hard into its spooky premise and setting. We see a huge variety of creepy/supernatural creatures and scenarios. It rarely lets the atmosphere build to anything too dark, though a chilling depiction of Gonzo aging with increasingly decrepit puppets is quite memorable.

The whole thing moves really quickly, with a bunch of fun set pieces and musical numbers, so that I think there will be decent replay value in this. That said, it’s nowhere near the magic of, e.g., Muppet Christmas Carol, so if you were hoping for another holiday classic in that vain, you should temper your expectations.

Is It Good?

Nearly Good (4/8)

Note: This review was originally published elsewhere. Please excuse brevity or inconsistencies in style. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment or contact me.


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