Ghost Cat

  • Review Date: July 16, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 87 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Tame ghost story has mild scares but some intense themes.
  • Review Date: July 16, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 87 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie discusses the importance of protecting farms from opportunistic developers.

Positive role models

Through tremendous financial difficulties, Brenda runs an animal shelter. Her assistant, Shawn, started working there as part of his community service after getting in trouble with the law, but learned to be a better person through his time there, and stayed on after the community service was finished.

Violence

A man tries to asphyxiate all the animals in an animal shelter by cutting off all the oxygen in a barn and turning on a gas-powered engine inside the barn. Later, with the help of another man, this person pours gas everywhere in the barn and tries to set it on fire with the animals inside. During the fire, a girl is trapped in the barn when her foot gets stuck beneath a broken floorboard. A sports car spins out of control on a windy road and rolls down a ditch. The two people inside are injured, but conscious.

Sex

Brief kissing between a teen boy and girl.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Brief scenes in a bar, where characters drink but do not act intoxicated.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Ghost Cat is a made-for-TV movie from 2004 that stars a pre-Juno Ellen Page. As ghost stories go, the "scares" in this one are pretty tame, as the titular feline generally doesn't do much more than knock things over, but the cat does cause an automobile accident by scratching the bad guys in their faces. A man tries to asphyxiate all the animals in an animal shelter. Aside from this, the biggest concern for younger viewers involves scenes with death or dying, as a beloved elderly character is shown dying on her loveseat, and younger characters discuss the recent passings of their parents.

Parents say

Not yet rated
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Kids say

What's the story?

Natalie (Ellen Page) is moving to Ringwood, a small town forty miles from their Manhattan home so her father (Michael Ontkean) can work on his next book debunking the paranormal in history, and Natalie will have some time and space to recover from the loss of her mother. While checking out their new home, they meet the previous owners, the kind Mrs. Ashboro, her greedy nephew Boyd, and a sweet cat named Margaret. But when Mrs. Ashboro and Margaret pass away within weeks of each other, strange things begin to happen. Margaret is a ghost, appearing so, at first, only Natalie can see her, but appearing at opportune times to help prevent Boyd and a greedy developer from stealing the $50,000 bequeathed to an animal shelter by Mrs. Ashboro. As Boyd and the developer scheme to remove the animal shelter so they can complete the development of a cookie-cutter subdivision, it's up to Natalie, with the help of her new boyfriend Shawn, his little brother Pearson, and, of course, Margaret, to save the shelter and keep Mrs. Ashboro's money in the right hands.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

GHOST CAT is an engaging, if formulaic, ghost story. The ghostly "scares" -- such as they are -- are relatively tame compared to other ghost stories. If there is anything that would be too intense for younger viewers, it's not the appearance of Margaret the ghost cat knocking over cat food, but rather, scenes where characters die, or kids discuss the deaths of their parents. Such willingness to discuss these matters makes this film a bit heavier than most ghost stories, especially as the movie also is unafraid to discuss greed, overdevelopment, and the loss of community at the hands of those who wish to turn farmlands into cookie-cutter subdivisions.

Also, this movie shows a pre-Juno Ellen Page turning in a very good performance, offering a hint at the talent she would display in later movies. Overall, while somewhat predictable, Ghost Cat is a safe bet for cat lovers or kids who are too sensitive for scary movies.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about ghost stories. What similarities and differences do you see between this and other movies involving ghosts?

  • How does the movie treat the issue of farmlands being converted into suburban neighborhoods?

  • How does this movie address death and dying?

Movie details

DVD release date:October 13, 2004
Cast:Ellen Page, Lori Hallier, Michael Ontkean
Director:Don McBrearty
Studio:Lionsgate
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Cats, dogs, and mice
Run time:87 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Ghost Cat was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old May 18, 2014
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Great Movie

The "Ghost Cat" was a good movie. This movie is not as scary as it sounds. There were some parts that startled me. There was some action at the end.

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