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It’s spooky season, yet Netflix’s top scary movie is a classic family ghost story

It might not be the scariest ghost story we've seen, but it is still capturing people's hearts.

Caspar and Christina Ricci spooked in the 1995 film
Image credit: Universal Pictures

Every year, the approach of Halloween sends viewers on a quest for spooky movies to watch, resulting in some surprising films shooting to the top of the Netflix rankings. Those looking for a more family-friendly ghost story to watch have latched on to 1995’s Caspar starring Christina Ricci and Bill Pullman, making it the top film in the site’s Scary Movie category in the US.

While we think Netflix is taking some liberties with the definition of a scary movie, the film does have a special place in our hearts. It was an admittedly strange concept for a film at the time, taking a mostly-forgotten character who hadn’t been on American TV since the '70s and giving them the big screen treatment, but the use of CGI to create Caspar and his ghoulish uncles still holds up. It was the first time that a movie had a completely computer-animated main character, something that has become increasingly commonplace in the almost three decades since its release. It even offers up some darker elements, acknowledging that Caspar had to die as a child to become the adorable ghostly figure we see in the film.

1995’s Caspar might be the version that pops into most people’s minds now, but the character actually has his origins way back in 1945 as part of Paramount’s Noveltoon series of short cartoons. Since then he has featured in multiple TV series, films, and video games. The movie also features cameos by Dan Akroyd as a beleaguered Ghostbuster as well as Clint Eastwood, Rodney Dangerfield, and Mel Gibson.