TL;DR – A frustrating film sometimes, but when it finds its feet, you feel its strength and spooks.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this film.
We Have a Ghost Review –
I always like to see when a filmmaker takes a spin on what they are known for. Christopher Landon has a long career in horror space with Paranormal Activity and Happy Death Day, but could he make a more family-orientated supernatural film land as well? Well, this is the question we ask as we dive into a world of ghosts, or well at least a world of a ghost.
So to set the scene, one night, while the Moon was full, all was quiet until screams erupted from a house bathed in eerily green light. All at once a family rushes to their car and drives away, and the house closes itself up. Kevin (Jahi Di’Allo Winston) and his family move into the rundown house one year later. There is a lot of tension between Kevin and his father, Frank (Anthony Mackie), over the move, as it is one of many the family has gone through. But as Kevin walks through the house at night, it suddenly gets cold, a chair starts moving by itself, and then a spectral presence explodes out of the walls. But instead of being scared, Kevin laughs, beginning a very different relationship with the ghost Ernest (David Harbour) as they team up to help each other.
While the film is oddly dismissive of people who work in the digital space, We Have a Ghost completely nails how an internet sensation like this would pan out. The reaction videos, the memes, the counter-narratives, the weird self-possessive people, and then, of course, the dumb, actually dangerous challenge of running into a wall full-tilt. It also understands the shift that has happened recently with the rise of TikTok and how that changes the digital response.
I struggled with this film at the start because they go out of their way to make almost every character in the movie insufferably annoying. Part of this is that every character is written to the extremes, leaving little room for nuance. I know it is done on purpose, but Frank is one of the most frustrating characters I have seen. You can see his character arc baked into those first few moments of the film, and you immediately know where it would end up. Add to this some guest characters in Tig Notaro and Jennifer Coolidge that feel like they were a touch more restrained than they should have been.
However, while there are some frustrations, what makes the film work is the bond between Kevin and Ernest. You feel their care for each other as they try to find just what happened to leave Ernest a ghost haunting the house. David Harbour barely has any lines in this film, yet you feel his performance in every scene. He is the film’s heart, and thankfully We Have a Ghost understands this. They incorporate this well into several action scenes, including a gnarly car chase. Also, while this is generally a family tones film, I did like that one scene when the film cut loose a little bit, with more of those horror elements on show.
In the end, do we recommend We Have a Ghost? To be honest, this is a film with frustrations, including with some of the characters, and it did not need to be 2 hours long. However, the emotional bond at the heart of the film is strong, pulling me through. If you liked We Have a Ghost, I would recommend to you Werewolf by Night.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
Have you watched We Have a Ghost?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of We Have a Ghost
Directed by – Christopher Landon
Story by – Geoff Manaugh
Screenplay by – Christopher Landon
Based on – Ernest by Geoff Manaugh
Music by – Bear McCreary
Cinematography by – Marc Spicer
Edited by – Ben Baudhuin,
Production/Distribution Companies – Legendary Pictures, Temple Hill Entertainment & Netflix
Starring – David Harbour, Jahi Di’Allo Winston, Anthony Mackie, Tig Notaro, Jennifer Coolidge, Isabella Russo, Erica Ash, Niles Fitch, Faith Ford & Steve Coulter
Rating – Australia: M;