The loss of a loved one can wreck families and leave you lost in a world of sadness. Death creates a hole and and fills it with unanswered questions. Yet, through the pain, maybe living is the real struggle. “Chasing Ghosts” available on Netflix, takes you through the world of grief through the eyes of eleven year old Lucas Simons in an emotionally humorous and touching 2014 film. Writer Josh Chesler’s poignant screen play is brought to life by the impressive directing of Joshua Shreve and the remarkable acting by the young Toby Nichols who plays the mourning lead character.
In “Chasing Ghosts” Lucas Simons and his parents deal with the death of Lucas’s older brother in distance and silence. To deal with his own grief Lucas preoccupies himself with death and spends his time filming funerals and watching horror films. While taping one particular funeral Lucas catches a mysterious ghostly figure and after posting it online instantly becomes a Youtube sensation. Thrust in the spotlight Lucas struggles with his new found fame, his parents, and his understanding of life and death. Joshua Shreve fills the screen with fervent scenes and picks unusually perfect music to help in aiding in desolation and humor. Toby Nichols shows massive amount of range in showing a child’s sadness, anger, and desire of knowledge, while remaining a kid and not a fast talking adult in a child’s body. He makes viewers laugh and choke up, sometimes in the same scene. Although not brilliant the acting of Tim Meadows, of Saturday Night fame, is decent as Chris Brighton, a local author who had suffered his own death experience of dying for nine minutes . Brighton becomes not only young Lucas’s friend, but his mentor in dealing with death, and more importantly living. Robyn Lively plays Lucas’s mom Lydia and W. Earl Brown plays Luca’s father Roger. Both roles are well acted as parents struggling to keep their family together while unhealthily keeping their emotions inside. Young actress Meyrick Murphy is adorable as Lucas’s neighbor and friend Kimberly, who is just as strange and fun as Lucas.
Some of the best emotional movies have not only sadness but moment of elation. “Chasing Ghosts” is an exceptional film that does everything a well scripted film should have. It turns quickly back and forth and surprises you with raw emotion and amazing performances. A tearjerker film it will also fill your heart and bring a smile to your face. It inspires you and makes you think and talk. “Chasing Ghosts” is a definite movie to watch just make sure you have someone close by to snuggle with and wipe away your tears.