Film only: Why does every single synopsis (including on this very wiki) state that Susie was "raped and killed"? Because if I remember correctly, at no point in the movie is it said or even implied that Harvey raped her. I know that this was explicitly stated in the book, and that there were good reasons to remove it from the film. But still, watching the film as it is, Harvey might as well "only" have killed her. The same goes for all his other victims. And don't say this goes without saying, there have been plenty of serial killers who gained pleasure solely from the killing itself and did not sexually violate their victims.
The way Harvey acts and just looks at the girls he either kills(Susie) or thinks about killing seems to suggest a very blatant sexual desire.
One of Susie's lines about Harvey's victims is "he had only wanted to touch her". That implies something sexual was involved. Alternately, they're just using the book's synopsis.
Another one from the book: years after her murder, Mr Harvey returns to Susie's old neighborhood; as his car passes by, Susie's psychic classmate, Ruth, sees the spirits of the girls he's murdered, and the shock somehow causes her to switch places with Susie temporarily. Susie seems to be aware she's not going to be on Earth for very long. Rather than tip off the police about the location of the serial killer they've been chasing for years - or talk to her family one last time - she takes the opportunity to have sex with the boy she liked in middle school?! Luckily spirit Ruth doesn't seem to mind her own body being used this way, even though the boy's her best friend and she's a lesbian.
This troper interpreted things differently. Susie envied her sister for doing the things that she couldn't, including being with the boy she loved. The whole book is about acceptance, and Susie accepted long ago that Harvey killed her. Plus he got what he deserved at the end. Ruth on the other hand was waiting and watching in heaven where she met with all the girls and women whose presence she felt on Earth. To her it was a fair trade.
Speaking of, what's up with Susie being able to possess Ruth in the first place? Could she do that the whole time? Why didn't she do that before? And why only Ruth? In the book, Ruth is explicitly clairvoyant, but prior to the possession scene, this is only alluded to once, in the form of a very vague throwaway line that could have just as easily been describing Ruth as autistic or something.
While we're on that subject, why didn't Susie tell Ray (or Ruth, for that matter) that her body was in the safe when she knew it was in there- the police were ALREADY searching for Harvey, who hadn't gone that far? I guess making out with Ray was more important?
Presumably it was a part of the concept of moving on. Susie spent most of the movie urging her father to get revenge for her death. When it looks like he'd finally get it, he was nearly killed and she had to watch.
My issues with that sort of sentiment is twofold: First off, the fact that Harvey wound up getting away and only died due to a freak accident doesn't give proper closure to Susie's family. The fact that they weren't even able to bury their daughter, a basic dignity that should be afforded any grieving parent, was just wrong. So in refusing to actually DO something about the fact that Harvey was within grasp of the law just to fulfill some baser lust, we see Susie acting rather...selfishly. Secondly, accepting a person's death and accepting your own fate is definitely something one should come to terms with, but since when has accepting your death meant that you should disregard the fact that the depraved monster who raped and killed you was right there and could have been apprehended by the law had you acted; especially considering that doing so would have given Susie's family true closure in regards to her death? And finally, how is getting a depraved serial killer arrested "revenge?" Since when has proper justice being exacted counted as "revenge?" Susie's father murdering Harvey with a baseball bat in an act of vigilante rage, yeah...
This troper interpreted it as a moral about choosing to live a little bit more life rather than wasting the opportunity trying to destroy someone else's, however deserving.
This troper thought that scene with Ray and Susie/Ruth was a total Squick scene and skipped that chapter.
Somehow Susie was able to tell her little brother that she was in the In-Between. Why not tell him who the murderer was?
Susie states in the novel that she doesn't know if Buckley actually knows she's in the In-Between or if he's just making it up.
The one thing that bugs me is how was Susie not able to tell that Harvey was a creep? I know she trusted him because he was a friend of her parents, but what would you think if some guy you hardly know invited you into an underground area and tells you it's "kids only"? He even sounded creepy by the way he talked.
Not to mention that the man makes dollhouses in his spare time. Squick.
It was the 70s, long before everyone played spot the pedo. She would have just dismissed him as a harmless eccentric.
Susie did seem nervous about following him and she kept trying to leave, suggesting she really didn't trust him. Why she didn't follow her instincts is anyone's guess.
The answer is the same reason real girls sometimes get killed by creepy men, surely?
In the book it's implied that Susie psychically causes an icicle to drop onto her murderer killing him. The metaphysics that ghost can somehow get revenge by directly killing someone rises the question: many of history's greatest monsters have gone on to live long rich lives, so what make her so special that she gets blood when so many others don't?
Well, she's the narrator, and she never says "I made the icicle drop on Mr. Harvey", so any part she played in his death is, at best, vaguely implied. It could also just be a coincidence.
Could be that monsters who survived had ghosts who found it easier to move on. Could be they never walked under loose icicles that ghosts could manage to manipulate. Could be they found their comeuppance in other ways; plenty of history's greatest monsters have been uncovered or met fitting ends as well. Several things, really.
Susie is a spirit who was killed in a devastating and emotional way (raped & murdered), and could possibly be able to manifest as some sort of poltergeist. Perhaps because Susie felt so strongly in that moment that was able to influence her desire.