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Is ‘Haunted Mansion’ a family-friendly movie? A look at why the movie is rated PG-13

Worried about taking your kids to the horror-comedy? Here is why ‘Haunted Mansion’ earned a PG-13 rating

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Owen Wilson, Rosario Dawson, LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish and Danny DeVito in a scene from “Haunted Mansion.”

This image released by Disney Enterprises shows, from left, Owen Wilson, Rosario Dawson, LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish and Danny DeVito in a scene from “Haunted Mansion.”

Disney Enterprises via Associated Press

It’s been 20 years since “The Haunted Mansion,” starring Eddie Murphy, landed in theaters. Now comes the spooky movie’s PG-13 sequel. The 2003 “Haunted Mansion” movie was made for young audiences, but the sequel is expected to be a little scarier and directed at older audiences.

“This one’s a fun one and it’s PG-13. The thing that was great about Eddie’s was that it was PG, so a lot of my friends’ kids could watch it a little younger,” Rosario Dawson, who stars in “Haunted Mansion,” told People.

“I’m having to get people to get babysitters to watch mine ‘cause it’s a little older. But it’s good. It’s a nice continuation of the theme and the world, but they’re two very separate films.”

“Haunted Mansion” earned a PG-13 rating for violence and frightening scenes. Let’s take a deeper look at what parents can expect from “Haunted Mansion” and why it is rated PG-13.

Why is ‘Haunted Mansion’ rated PG-13?

According to Common Sense Media, “Haunted Mansion” is rated PG-13 for violence, frightening scenes, supernatural elements such as dark magic and the appearance of a Ouija board and some alcohol use. The site recommends the movie for kids 11 years old and older.

“Haunted Mansion” is not rated PG-13 for language. According to IMDb, there is very little profanity in the movie.

Common Sense Media praised the film for featuring diverse representation and positive messages, such as learning to understand and express grief.

“Parents need to know that ‘Haunted Mansion’ is a tween-friendly supernatural comedy,” writes Common Sense Media. “Spirits have an edge of silliness to them, but a couple (like an axe-wielding bride with demon eyes) are genuinely unsettling. Ghosts swirl through the screen in bulk, and characters — including a child — are in constant peril. All of this makes the movie more appropriate for older tweens and teens than younger or more sensitive children.”

The Motion Picture Association gave “Haunted Mansion” a PG-13 rating for some thematic elements and scary action, according to IMDb.

‘Haunted Mansion’ features frightening scenes

“Haunted Mansion” is full of frightening scenes that might not be suitable for young children.

There are countless scenes with supernatural violence, according to Parent Previews. Suicide is mentioned, a character is seen possessed, people are chased by ghosts, there are frequent mentions of death, and a child sees his dead mother in a casket. Children are seen in peril.

‘Haunted Mansion’ is a comedy based on a Disneyland ride

The spooky film balances scary scenes with humor — just like the beloved Disneyland ride. “Haunted Mansion” is actually filled with references to the California theme park ride, according to USA Today.

Director Justin Simien revealed in an interview with MovieWeb that his connection to “Haunted Mansion” dates back to his childhood experiences on the Disneyland ride.

“That’s how the ride was made, it was a back and forth. They could not decide if this ride should be funny or scary, or for children or for adults. These are the actual conversations that Walt Disney and the Imagineers had making the ride,” director Justin Simien told MovieWeb. “They somehow landed on this weird, magical formula.”

“It has this wonderful mix of humor and tragedy. It doesn’t pull punches,” added Simien. “You see a man hanging from the stretching room the moment it starts. You’re literally moving through a graveyard. This is a scary, weird ride. It was one that I rode at 9 years old. It made me feel like I could handle scary stuff. It didn’t take me out of the fight.”

“It became something that I could ride over and over again. I grew up, still really enjoying it, and feel like it spoke to me. That was the guiding star,” he explained. “My brain just kind of functions that way. It’s a tragic comedy at all times in here. It felt very natural to me.”

Despite being filled with spooky scenes, for older kids, “Haunted Mansion” is mostly a comedy. The majority of scary scenes are brief and followed with comedic relief.

Critics are calling ‘Haunted Mansion’ a ‘family-friendly horror-comedy’

Early critic reviews of “Haunted Mansion” are categorizing the movie under “family-friendly.”

“Family-friendly horror-comedies have always been a tough subgenre: You need the scares to prove your horror bona fides, but go too far and the children will run screaming from the theater; rely too much on comedy and you’ll undermine the thrills,” wrote Vulture. “That’s a lot to ask of any film. It’s amazing that anything in ‘Haunted Mansion’ works.”

“This ghoulish gathering is a family-friendly affair,” wrote USA Today. “‘Haunted Mansion’ pulls off a pleasant and fantastical brush with the hereafter and is a good first horror movie for youngsters where a ghostly mummy won’t have them running for their mommy.”

When does ‘Haunted Mansion’ come out?

“Haunted Mansion” was released in theaters on July 28.

Watch the trailer for ‘Haunted Mansion’ below