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Casper is great for kids - and not terrible for parents
Okay, so after doing some definitely scary moves and an oldie last week, today and tomorrow I'm going a little lighter.
Now, if you take a cartoon like Casper, the Friendly Ghost and turn it into a movie, there are certain elements you know are going to happen:
- There are the obligatory "Ah! It's a g-g-g-ghost!" moments
- He's going to realize that his decision to become a ghost wasn't the best one he ever made and then wish he were alive again
- Somebody's going to dress up as a ghost to scare everyone else but they'll see a real ghost and piss themselves in public
- And of course there's going to be a lot of introspection involving the whole life/death situation. You know. Because kids are just suckers for introspecting themselves
Casper is fairly by-the-numbers, but that doesn't mean kids can't enjoy it. It may be a bit predictable for their parents, though.
The movie follows a young girl named Kat -- played by a young Christina Ricci, just after a two movie stint as Wednesday Addams in the Addams Family movies and she is oh-so-engeniously stretching her filmography here. Her father (Bill Pullman) is a paranormal psychologist who helps those who've died to finally move out of their parent's basement and seize the day. He is hired by a woman named Carrigan Crittenden (Cathy Moriarty) who has just inherited a condemned house that she's led to believe holds a great treasure and is convinced holds ghosts. Her assistant, 'Dibbs' (Eric Idol) takes no end of grief from her but sticks with her anyway, for some reason.
There are the customary antics here. If you're familiar with the cartoon, you don't get too many surprises. But it's actually not bad for kids.
And it does have heart. There's a moment toward the end where Casper gets a visit from a certain other dead person who has been alluded to throughout the movie and oh-my-gosh-it's-her! It's actually quite touching. I was taken by surprise and was genuinely moved. I'd seen it before, years ago, but it still kinda got to me.
Anyway, it's the kind of movie that's great for kids (especially since so many halloween movies are totally not for kids) but that parents shouldn't have any trouble sitting through.
For me, it's a 6 / 10, but kids'll still love it.
Casper is rated PG for mild language and thematic elements.
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