A paranormal expert and his daughter bunk in an abandoned house populated by 3 mischievous ghosts and one friendly one.
Release Year: 1995
Rating: 5.8/10 (38,556 voted)
Stars: Bill Pullman, Christina Ricci, Cathy Moriarty
Furious that her late father only willed her his gloomy-looking mansion rather than his millions, Carrigan Crittenden is ready to burn the place to the ground when she discovers a map to a treasure hidden in the house. But when she enters the rickety mansion to seek her claim, she is frightened away by a wicked wave of ghosts. Determined to get her hands on this hidden fortune, she hires afterlife therapist Dr. James Harvey to exorcise the ghosts from the mansion. Harvey and his daughter Kat move in, and soon Kat meets Casper, the ghost of a young boy who's "the friendliest ghost you know." But not so friendly are Casper's uncles–Stretch, Fatso and Stinkie–who are determined to drive all "fleshies" away. Ultimately, it is up to Harvey and Kat to help the ghosts cross over to the other side.
Writers: Joseph Oriolo, Sherri Stoner
Paul 'Dibbs' Plutzker
Father Guido Sarducci
(as Mr. Rogers)
Herself ('Hard Copy')
Dr. James Harvey
Kathleen 'Kat' Harvey
Harvey Patient Being Interviewed
(as Douglas J.O. Bruckner)
Seeing is believing
Release Date: 26 May 1995
Filming Locations: Colonial Mansion, Backlot, Universal Studios – 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, California, USA
Box Office Details
Did You Know?
A live-action sequel was proposed, and a preliminary script was drafted, when production wrapped. Unfortunately, the movie was a box-office disappointment, despite grossing more than $100 million in the US. Christina Ricci and Bill Pullman were attached to other projects, and would not be available for more than a year. The producers decided to produce a cartoon series instead.
In the classroom, Casper ties Amber's shoelaces together before anyone else's. When Amber stands up to protest the party being at Kat's house instead of hers, she doesn't trip over them. She sits back down, but when the bell rings and she gets up, she trips.
Sometimes I worry that I'm starting to forget.
My mom. Just certain things. The sound of her making breakfast downstairs. The way she'd put on her lipstick, so carefully. I do remember, she always used Ivory soap, and when she'd hug me, I'd breathe her in, so deep. And I remember before I'd go to sleep she'd whisper in my ear, "stardust in the eyes, rosy cheeks, and a happy girl in the morning." Casper?
If my mom's a ghost, did she forget about me?
No. She'd never forget you. Kat?
[about to sleep]
If I were alive, would you go to the Halloween dance with me?
There's something enormously touching about this film and the way it
deals with losses — Pullman's wife and Casper's mother, in particular.
And what's so clever about it is how it uses them as a tool of audience
manipulation AND has the evil ghosts use Pullman in exactly the same
way that we're being used. This is a smartly written screenplay. The
story itself is pretty conventional and predictable: the loner girl
gets teased by a popular girl (that nobody really likes) who's out to
destroy her; the popular girl has a cute boyfriend that the loner girl
has the hots for, etc. etc., story will resolve itself with everyone
falling in love with loner girl.
I can't quite understand why this movie has such a low rating. The only
explanation I can think of is that people prefer emotionally "safe"
movies like "Toy Story" (of the same year) that are equally brilliant
technically (and have as many references), but don't sacrifice coolness
by showing sentimental, sad emotion. It's possible that the movie got
marketed incorrectly. The film isn't about spooks; like one of those
early, wonderful Tim Burton fantasies (this film also shares with them
an outstanding score), the film deals — quite movingly, I think —
with regaining that lost sense of childhood: that moment where Casper
tries to remember being alive is just wrenching. And the scene relates
just as profoundly to us: just as he can't remember being alive, we
can't, really, remember being kids. I was ten when I first saw this,
and it had an effect on me then (Ricci's description of sunny side-up
eggs making her gag subconsciously made me avoid anything less than
hard boiled for ten years); this is something that I really cherish as
being part of my young emotional and visual education, and it stands up
I haven't seen the director's other films, so I have no idea whether
this whole thing was a fluke or whether everything just settled in to
my particular sensibility, but even outside of the emotion I think the
technical aspects, the giant basement set, are enough to keep interest.
And even outside of that, the acting is terrific. Cathy Moriarty is an
absolute riot. 7/10