Everybody knows the name Casper the Friendly Ghost. Even in Spain, whenever I mention the name people smile slightly as if remembering part of the early childhood. So what better film to look at and review for Halloween than the ghost beloved by all?
Casper has had a few films in his time, not to mention all the television programmes, but the film I think is most important is the one from 1995 which starred Bill Pullman, Cristina Ricci, Eric Idle and Cathy Moriarty. This was the first feature length film that I’d watched about the character and even now it is one of my favourite.
The premise is that Cathy Moriarty’s character, Carrigan Crittenden, inherits an old house from her father but the house is haunted by Casper and his three uncles. The uncles cause many problems and try to stop all attempts to renovate the house. All seems lost until Carrigan sees an interview with the ghost psychologist, Dr James Harvey. She employs him and him and his daughter move into the house in the hopes of being able to make the ghosts pass on. His daughter, Kathleen “Kat” Harvey, doesn’t at first believe in ghosts and thinks that her dad’s profession is embarrassing and a little pointless. However she quickly changes her mind after Casper makes himself known to her.
The film mainly focuses on the growing bond between Casper and Kat and also James’s relationship with the three uncles.Within these relationships we see the growth of the characters. The three uncles begin to care about somebody other than themselves which implies that they aren’t as bad as people first perceived them to be. The accidental death of James Harvey is an important part of the film as it shows Casper’s selflessness in sacrificing his chance to live once more so that Kat can have her dad back. It gives out important messages whilst also having a fantastic script that keeps you enthralled with the story.
This is one of those films that you are going to come back to over and over again without questioning the reasons behind why you like it. You may go a few years without it but you will one day remember and find yourself experiencing that giddiness from childhood as you put it on again as you watch it.
Rating: 4/5 stars