Reviewed by: Tim Emmerich
We all hear ghost stories since we are old enough to respond with goosebumps. As we get older, we disbelieve since we have never seen any ghosts. But do they really exist? If so, where do they come from and what is their mission? While Casper won’t answer these questions (check out the Bible for some answers), it might just bring back a few of those goosebumps! Younger viewers will be sitting on their seat’s edge saying, “look at Casper” and “how can he go through walls?”
While the expectations for a Casper comic book fan were probably greater than the movie could deliver, the special effects were neat. Further, Christina Ricci does a good job portraying Kat Harvey as she and her father, Dr. Harvey (Bill Pullman), move into the deserted Whipstaff Manor. Of course, the Manor is haunted!
While the ghosts are getting acquainted with their new housemates, it turns out that Dr. Harvey is a “Ghost therapist,” possibly because he hasn’t accepted his wife’s death. Casper has made a new friend in Kat while his Ghostly uncles cause trouble, trying to convince the new tenants to hit the road. Further, the owner of Whipstaff Manor, Carrigan Crittenden (Cathy Moriarty), is scheming to get at some secret within the Manor. Assisting her is Dibs (Eric Idle). They get a little more excitement than they bargained for!
From a Christian perspective, the whole idea of ghosts may be frightening for younger viewers, especially the mean uncles: Stretch, Stinkie and Fatso. Although, Casper is a friendly ghost, it may be difficult to explain ghosts to many viewers. While angels are definitely at work in the world, few are seen as clearly as these Hollywood ghosts are. My biggest gripe with this movie is about 10 uses of curse words or crude references! Why is this in a kid’s movie! This was particularly upsetting since the movie is targeting young viewers. A further Hollywood mistruth that can be derived from this movie is that you can see the spirit (ghosts) of previous loved ones.
I would recommend this movie to any Casper comic book fans. Please bear in mind the warnings mentioned above and brace yourself for the misplaced profanity and crude references. If you take young ones with you, be prepared to explain ghosts and spirits of those that have passed on.