Review of 'Casper'

casper.jpg “Casper” is the big-screen live action adaptation of the television cartoon which started in the 1960s but was earlier a comic book character.

When the spoiled woman Carrigan Crittenden (Cathy Moriarty) is left only the run down house “Whipstaff Manor” in her father's will she is furious but is interested when learning that it contains a treasure. Determined to find the treasure she and her assistant Dibs (Eric Idle) are scared away by the resident ghosts. While “Casper” (voiced by Malachi Pearson) is quite friendly he shares the house with three other ghosts Stretch (voiced by Joe Nipote), Fatso (voiced by Brad Garrett), and Stinkie (voiced by Joe Alaskey) who are not so nice. Crittenden hires Dr. James Harvey (Bill Pullman), a ghost therapist who helps these souls of the dead with unresolved issues finally cross over to the land of the dead, to free her of the apparitions and allow her to find the treasure. Harvey moves into the house with his daughter Kat (Christina Ricci) who immediately strikes up a friendship with Casper though does not trust the other more aggressive ghosts…

A rather boring and silly, banal film based on the, let's face it, equally boring source material. The special effects look great but Ghostbusters, this ain't with the ghosts very cartoon-y, staying true to the source material. However, this is a real-world adoption of the cartoon and it would be expected perhaps this would extend to the characters as well. I suppose the simple story is reasonable enough but the execution feels a bit wooden and uninspired.

The humour is trite, obvious, and derivative while the acting is flat and uninspired despite the excellent cast including Bill Pullman and Eric Idle. I was expecting a much more elaborate film of gentle humour but instead received banal jokes and slapstick humour (que, obviously, Eric Idle) though perhaps this will appeal to a certain segment of audience? Not to mine though. One for the really young who have not yet experienced much of anything else and who demand very little.

Rating: “Average, but who wants to be average?”

Review Date: 2023-02-26

Directed by: Brad Silberling

Studio: Universal Pictures

Year: 1995

Length: 100 minutes

Genre: Fantasy