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Haunted Mansion's Director Stretched An Iconic Gag Into A Pivotal Scene In The Film

Disney's latest ride-inspired film, "Haunted Mansion," is shaping up to be a frightening and authentic addition to the trend. After the success of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise and the action-packed adventure in "Jungle Cruise," the studio returns to scare, delight, and recreate the unforgettable feeling of embarking on these timeless rides. In "Haunted Mansion," director Justin Simien was determined to showcase the incomparable stretching room from the attraction and even transformed it into a crucial part of the film.

In an illuminating interview with Entertainment Weekly, Simien revealed that the sequence wasn't in the original script. However, it eventually became the perfect glue to pull the film together. As Simen told EW, "We have this set piece in the middle of the movie that was really cool and we're trying all these things, and I'm like, 'Stretching room. That's the candy. That's the thing we're all looking for.'" On the fundamental ride at Disneyland, the stretching room foreshadows the unfortunate outcomes of the models in the paintings upon entry, which sets its sinister tone and reveals how they became ghosts.

This helps individualize the spirits and elevates the story, as evidenced by the star-studded trailer that's even scarier than expected. The director continued discussing how the important quality drove the film and even paid homage to the ingenious aspect of the spine-chilling experience. 

Director Justin Simien's keen senses drove him to include the memorable stretching room feature

Simien's inclination to incorporate the stretching room stemmed from an appreciation of the aspect that ended up fitting quite well in the film. He worked out the specifics and found the perfect way to utilize the dramatic effect from the ride. As he told EW, "As we all know, there's 999 haunts in this house, and they have slightly different objectives. As the cast figures out if the hauntings are for good or for ill, who's working for who, and who's helping us and who wants us to stay here, the stretching room becomes a missing piece of that puzzle. They start to figure out exactly who it is that's after them and who's with them." Essentially, the unnerving area helps the vulnerable humans in the belly of the beast differentiate their allies from their enemies while navigating the endless supply of scares. 

It also has the added benefit of featuring even more elements from the ride, which is exactly what fans love about the look of the film. Not only does it appeal to the audience's desire for nostalgia, but it also pays tribute to the park's innovative design. For Simien, this meant making the illusion even more grand and mystifying on-screen, "The other thing was about how do we make it cinematic? It's a cool effect when you're sitting in that elevator and moving from floor to floor [on the ride], but how do we make that adventure and escapism? How do we take some of the ideas in those paintings and expand them into a real set piece that feels satisfying?"

That meant extending the engaging factor into yet another dangerously twisted obstacle for the inhabitants with a notable reference.