Yes, we’re going from the f**** up and adult nature of The Craft to a film about death, loss, and the desperate lonliness in the beyond… for kids? That’s right, I’m talking about 1995’s Casper.
The Score: We need to get out of the way something that doesn’t get mentioned enough about this film; the music. Let’s remember that this was a live-action kids movie about an old cartoon and James Horner (composer) did THAT with the score. He didn’t have to do that. He did that for us.
Connection: While on the beautifully haunting score for this movie we have to give it the writers and cast for bringing to life scenes that together deliver something spectacular.
I believe we know what scene I’m talking about but just in case… It’s the moment Casper and Kat are lying in bed talking about her mother and death. You know, casual.
Casper tells her that he doesn’t remember anything about his life at all and Kat wonders if the same happened to her mother with her. Casper reasures her that she could never forget her daughter and likewise, sadly, Kat admits that she fears forgetting her mother in regards to the small things she would do. As Kat dozes off Casper whispers, “Can I keep you?” Dead kid asking a living girl if he can keep her to some might be creepy or romantic, you pick, but there’s no doubt its one of the most impactful moments of the movie!
Casper is dead and has been dead for a long time. He craves life and to feel connected to others and real childhood. His request to Kat as she falls asleep is so earnest and heartbreaking…and one of my favorites of this thing! It’s what we all truly want out of this short and unexpected life; to feel truly seen, heard, and belong.
Cathy Moriarty: That’s the tweet. This woman’s iconic raspy voice and no bulls*** villainy along with Eric Idle’s performance is gold. Villains in kids movies I tend to find exhausting, as they’re usually so formulaic, but I never get tired of watching this duo.
Devon Sawa: The first lady boner of a GENERATION. We all rememember… We just finished crying because Casper has to, well, stay dead, and he is given a white magic Cinderella story. Kat is there in her old white dress that in no way shape or form is a costume (honestly, someone should have called her out) when this blonde drink of water comes up to her-with so much swag!- and without a word mesmerizes her to the dance floor… we all died a little.
Ultimately this spell was total S*** because he turned back into a ghost in like five minutes. However! Despite it being the end of the movie I have no doubt that if Kat kept living in that house…? You BET your a** she spent every waking hour in that damp basement trying to figure out how to bring her prince back to life!!
Casper is charming and is one of the most enchanting sets for a kids film I can remember; even if it’s supposed to be old creepy and abandoned!
It teaches the value of living vs. existing and making sure we make every moment count we possibly can.
I give Casper a 10/10 as a superb movie for Halloween.