First of all, I will admit I was somewhat put off by the title. After all, I don’t like anything having to do with the “supernatural” as a rule, and ghosts are something I tend to shy away from. However, since this film earned the Dove Family-Approved Seal for All ages (read more about that here), and since I was asked to review it, I went in with an open mind. And I can now say I am so grateful I did as the film was completely different from I could have ever dreamed.
Before seeing this film, I had never heard of any of the actors in the film. In fact, I would say that although most of the actors are somewhat seasoned, I couldn’t recall ever seeing these actors in other works. I was most impressed with the young acting talents of Toby Nichols who played the child lead, Lucas. In fact, I think the success and credibility of the film rested on his shoulders, and he pulled it off beautifully–quite beyond his years. I found myself believing that he was this boy who had unwitting success and was obsessed with death. Furthermore, his interactions with the others in the film appeared to be genuine and well-done. I certainly hope to see Toby in future projects as I could see his having quite an acting career in the upcoming years.
Toby’s dealings with Tim Meadows (who played Chris Brighton) were rather intriguing. In fact, those were some of my favorite scenes in the film. For me, it was refreshing to see a young boy and a man from two different walks of life enjoying each other’s company. In fact, since Lucas’s parents were nursing their own grief for much of the film instead of being fully functional parents that Lucas needed, it was outstanding to see the character Chris step up and become the positive role model for Lucas. I truly enjoyed seeing their interactions and hearing the wisdom/conversations they exchanged. Both had unique experiences with death, and both bonded over their questions about what happens when one dies.
In addition to those strong roles, I also appreciated seeing the dynamic changes within Lucas’s parents, played by W. Earl Brown and Robyn Lively. While I had never seen them in anything else, they were the typical parents who struggled through suddenly losing a son, celebrating their son’s overnight fame, and ultimately beginning to discover their dormant love for each other. These actors related to each other well, and it was nice to see the positive changes that occurred over the course of time within their marriage and family.
Also notable in the cast is Meyrick Murphy who plays Kimberly, the girl next door with whom Lucas is smitten. She plays the perfect “nerd girl,” and she and Lucas have so much in common. This trio were my favorites in the film, and I hope to see them in other films in the future. Although the movie can be described as “B” film, there is no doubt that this is quality and tells a story that the entire family can enjoy. This is completely family friendly (though not Christian–don’t expect discussions about heaven and hell). However, if the entire family watches it, I believe this movie can open the door to family discussions about death. Most children have unanswered and sometimes unspoken questions and fears about death, and this just may be the film that will open this up real conversation.
For more information, be sure to check out the links below: