Eternally stuck in puberty

Brad Silberling (1995)

Another addition to the list of films I’ve seen countless times as a child, and then many years passed before watching them again. Does the magic still operate after all this time?

Greedy heiress Carrigan is upset when her only inheritance turns out to be a haunted manor in Maine, home to friendly ghost Casper and his trio of terrifying uncles. Convinced she’ll find a treasure within the walls, she hires therapist for ghosts James Harvey, a widower that travels the country with teenage daughter Kat, to get rid of the ghosts.

The Bad: The plot is probably a weak point here, nothing much happens and the villains are almost treated like an after thought.

The Good: I think visually the movie holds up very well, there is not an overabundance of CG, the ghosts still look good, and the work on practical sets is spectacular, Whipstaff Manor is quite splendid and feels very real. One of the things I remembered the most and that probably elevates the movie to better than it really is, is the music by James Horner. There are truly gorgeous pieces that deliver poetic moments.

My opinion: Obviously aimed at kids, and therefore with a mostly light-hearted feel, I enjoy the more somber notes spread throughout, dealing with death and regret, adding welcomed nuance and depth. I can’t watch 1990’s movies like this one without experiencing heavy doses of nostalgia, so I can’t help the fondness for them too.

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