Fantasy elements

ghosts; haunted house


[Casper and Kat]

Casper the friendly ghost and his three dreadful uncles haunt Whipstaff Manor. The evil Carrigan Crittenden has just inherited the house, and needs the ghosts out so that she can search for the treasure she is sure is hidden there. So she hires Dr Harvey [Bill Pullman], ghost psychiatrist, to remove them, and he and his daughter Kat [Christina Ricci] move in to persuade the ghosts to leave.

[Dr Harvey and the uncles]

The main fun comes from the slapstick humour in the ghostly scenes, and the actors do manage to convince that they are there with the ghosts. The Manor provides a great gothic set -- especially the secret laboratory. But the plot is disjointed and confused, trying to pack too much in, leaving some threads to fizzle out. And the ending is just gooey sentiment (although, to be fair, not quite the massive cop-out that it could have been).

Rating: 4

[ unmissable | worth watching | passes the time | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 27 December 1998