Director Justin Simien filled his Haunted Mansion film with 999 happy horrors inspired by the famous Disney parks ride — including one we might miss on the first watch.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Simien talks about the most difficult easter egg in the movie. “There’s a painting on the wall of the seance room that people don’t really notice. It’s the painting of the woman who ages slowly as you walk by her, and, if you look at that painting throughout the film, she ages as you get closer to the end of the film. But, we never really call it out, we never really zoomed in on it. Gradually, through the film, she gets older, just like she does on the ride.”
The woman in the painting is properly known as Miss April-December, and she inhabited the ride’s portrait hallway, her age drastically changing from April to December.
“We got down to the point where we were obsessing over the angle you first see the mansion when you walk onto the ride in Disneyland, when we see it through the gates and we see the pillars. That angle has to hit. That’s how specific we were,” he said. “When you first glide through the dining hall and you see the waltzing dancers, that angle had to be right, because that’s the one where you gasp on the ride.”
Haunted Mansion revolves around a single mother (Rosario Dawson) who seeks the assistance of paranormal specialists (LaKeith Stanfield, Danny DeVito, Owen Wilson, Tiffany Haddish, and Jamie Lee Curtis) to get of spirits in her home.
The movie is in theaters nationwide.