The Horrifying Reality Of 'Casper's Forgotten 'Ghostbusters' Cameo
Casper is already a somewhat dark film, about a boy and his uncles who all died horrible deaths while very young and are now stuck in a haunted house together, never to be loved, accepted, or even acknowledge, but it was almost so so much worse.
See, at a certain point in the film, people realize that the place is haunted and, since this was the mid-'90s, who else are you going to call about it?
Yes, Dan Akroyd's character from Ghostbusters actually shows up in Casper, and the implications are horrifying. A man who once went toe to toe with a God is thrown out of the house -- how powerful are the Casper ghosts? And more than that, how many dead children have the Ghostbusters been locking up in an atomic locker in the basement until the end of the world? How many kindergartens of children was Peck trying to save?
Of course, this being the '90s, cameos didn't have to mean anything because cinematic universes weren't really a thing … Except this movie almost featured another cameo that would've made the Casper Extended Universe the first big cinema film series franchise, decades before Tony Stark put on a suit. One of the ideas was to have the psychic from Poltergeist come and help the family out as well, which creates a horrible reality in which ghosts are just a constant in your lives.
This but in a kid’s movie.
Doesn't matter if you live in the suburbs, or a haunted mansion, or New York City, ghosts are coming from all directions -- and why? Well, it's not like Ghostbusters implies that it's almost the End of Days or anything.
The Casper Extended Universe is one in which the world over ghosts are rising, and a small group of scientists have figured out how to fix it, but they're the only ones. They can't help everyone, and a group of clever teenage ghosts is enough to send them packing. It's a nightmare world, better than anything the Universal Dark Universe or the Saw franchise could ever concoct, about people living in the End of Days as the world falls apart at the seams and the only people who can do anything about it are too busy talking about Twinkies or hitting on Sigourney Weaver while the rest of the world struggles in vain against the hordes of the undead that they can do nothing about.
To be fair, it's a giant Twinkie.
And it gets even worse because it turns out that there is a clear solution to the problem of ghosts, and it lays at the bottom of Casper's basement -- a machine to de-ghostify anyone. The Lazarus can bring the dead back to life, and once anyone finds out that this machine exists, the entire world will fall over itself trying to recreate it, copy it, or destroy it entirely, forcing Casper and his horrible ghost pals to defend it.
Given they can handle the Ghostbusters pretty well, it's easier done than said but who else will come? Indiana Jones? Will the psychic from Poltergeist finally show up? The clairvoyant from Insidious? Matilda, but she's grown-up? The possibilities are endless because, unlike Marvel, Ghostbusters, Casper, and Poltergeist did not belong to the same studios, but they crossed over. Hell(raiser), Pinhead and the Cenobites could've shown up.
Top Image: Universal Pictures, Columbia Picture