Hammerle On… “Haunted Mansion” and “Talk to Me”

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Hammerle on...“Haunted Mansion”

To begin with, forget this boring film and take the time to visit the Haunted Mansion in Disney World. I took my son when he was 7 (he is 55 now!) and he was so scared that he insisted on holding my hand until we hit the exit!

But sadly, this film won’t scare you no matter what your age. It basically tells the story of a mother (Rosario Dawson) and her young son (Chase Dillon) seeking the help of a group of spiritual experts to rid their newly purchased home of a group of supernatural trespassers.

Unfortunately, the film, directed by Justin Simien, employs the services of a group of very good actors who include LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Jamie Lee Curtis and Danny DeVito, among others. However, their services are wasted in a movie that is little more than a series of disconnected events that tempt you to simply get up and leave.

As an example, while the characters played by DeVito and Wilson are supposed to bring some humor to the film, it would have helped if they were funny. The only strength to this cinematic nightmare is brought by Stanfield, who is mourning the death of his beloved wife in a tragedy having nothing to do with the haunted house.

I could go on, but my review would become as boring as the film. At least you were warned.

“Talk to Me”

Though this is a horror movie that has won a lot of praise, I spent the entire film hoping to be repeatedly scared. It didn’t happen.

Aussie teens Mia (Sophie Wilde) and Jade (Alexandra Jensen) attend a party with Jade’s brother, Riley (Joe Bird). They take part in a frenzy that involves grasping a ceramic severed hand. After saying, “Talk to me,” dead people are given access to their bodies.

Things go terribly wrong when the spirits stay longer than a set time limit. Riley is physically brutalized to the edge of death and Mia becomes haunted by her dead mother, who allegedly committed suicide two years earlier.

And there you have the film. Despite some great acting, it failed to gain any cinematic traction. Despite some warm reviews, I left the theater feeling that I flunked the bar exam after three years of law school.•


Robert Hammerle practices criminal law in Indianapolis. When he is not in the courtroom or the office, Bob can likely be found at one of his favorite movie theaters preparing to review the latest films. To read more of his reviews, visit www.bigmouthbobs.com. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

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