We Have A Ghost is a cute movie that is fun at times, but ultimately falls flat as never picks a lane — unable to decide its genre and audience age.
Netflix’s We Have A Ghost is silly and fun at times, while also delivering some completely shocking and unexpected plot twists. That being said, it ultimately falls flat as it doesn’t really know who its audience is or what genre it wants to be. Don’t get us wrong, a horror comedy can work if done right, this movie just never gets there. Still, there are some good things about it.
When a new family moves into an old house, they quickly discover it is haunted. A ghost named Ernest (David Harbour) lives there, but he cannot talk or remember what happened to him. He quickly bonds with Kevin (Jahi Winston), who sets his sights on finding the truth about Ernest’s death. When Kevin’s family gets involved, however, they use Ernest as a means of income, filming him and releasing videos to the public. This could cause a mass hysteria but instead the public falls in love with Ernest.
What Works With We Have A Ghost
The overall story of We Have A Ghost is quite sweet. There are powerful messages about not judging a book by its cover, racism, and the pressure that parents put on their children. At the same time, however, it throws in a mystery, a friendly ghost, and a teen romance. Yeah, it’s a lot.
David Harbour is the absolute standout here. He does a wonderful job with his role and steals nearly every scene, despite not saying one word the whole movie. The ghost effects are actually done really well, as we see him walk through walls quite a bit and it never looks fake or off.
Probably the best thing about this movie is the shocking twist towards the end, that comes so far out of left field it works, and makes up for a lot of the disjointedness that comes before it.
What Doesn’t Work With We Have A Ghost
Freaky is one of the best horror comedies out there, so with the same director perhaps expectations were set too high.
As you can probably tell from our explanation above, there are a lot of plot points stuffed into these two hours. This causes it to be convoluted and lose what makes it so good. There are elements of mystery, comedy, horror, and even family-friendly in here, which ends up making the whole thing messy.
Which brings us to the biggest problem — this movie does not know what age it was made for. With a few tweaks, We Have A Ghost could have been a fun family film like Casper the Friendly Ghost. Even with how dark it gets, it easily could have worked. Instead it tries a bit too hard to be edgy and often what they think is making it more entertaining for older kids, just makes it cringey and corny (boner pills, anyone?).
On top of all that, the extremely talented Jennifer Coolidge feels far too underused. Her character is bizarre and says some things that could make viewers feel uncomfortable. She deserves better than this. We have all seen what she can do with a good script.
We Have A Ghost could have been a great movie for families to enjoy together if it was just dialed down a bit. The script feels like it shot for this, for the most part, however a few choice words and situations make it a movie that is not for younger audiences. This is unfortunate because it should have excelled in this space.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
About We Have A Ghost
Finding a ghost named Ernest haunting their new home turns Kevin’s family into overnight social media sensations. But when Kevin and Ernest go rogue to investigate the mystery of Ernest’s past, they become a target of the CIA.
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.