Friday Streaming - Netflix's lightweight horror comedy, We Have a Ghost maybe flawed but it's cute enough to make you smile

Shachi Lavingia
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We Have a Ghost

Directed by Christopher Landon, We Have a Ghost is a surprisingly heartwarming movie that's based on the emotional bond between a teenager and a middle-aged ghost while also exploring the complex relationship between father and son.

Based on a short story called Ernest by Geoff Manaugh, We Have a Ghost is a sweet film about a friendly but sad ghost who's unable to move on. And inspite of being filled with tropes it makes for a rather sweet watch especially at a time when we're surrounded by really serious cinema. With David Harbour playing the friendly neighbourhood ghost on mute, this family watch shows you various sides of being human via Kevin's compassionate and kind approach towards Ernest, the ghost and Frank trying to profit off Ernest's misery.

Cast - David Harbour plays Ernest, the ghost who reminds you of Pankaj Tripathi right from the first scene maybe because of his vulnerable, sad and stuck guy demeanour. Jahi Di'Allo Winston plays Kevin Presley, the youngest member of the house who becomes friends with Ernest. Anthony Mackie is very disappointing as Frank Presley because he fails to bring up any emotion in you as an audience. Isabella Russo plays Joy, Kevin's cute neighbour.

Storyline - The Presley's move into a large mansion with a creepy attic and from the first time you see Kevin, it's evident that he doesn't quite like or get along with his father. The night after this family moves in, Kevin goes lurking in the dark when he hears some noise and ends up spotting some paranormal activity in the form of Ernest, a ghost who's trying extremely hard to scare him. Much to Ernest's dismay, Kevin ends up laughing at him. This goes on to set the foundation of their friendship and inspite of wanting to keep Ernest's presence a secret, Kevin's father and brother discover this and leave no stone unturned to monetise off him. As disgusted as Kevin is, he stays focused on uncovering the reason behind Ernest being stuck in this form.

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Watch the trailer here!

What I liked - Isabella Russo steals the show in every scene she's a part of. Watching Ernest enjoy the car ride was probably the cutest scene in this one! I loved the look of pure glee on his face - so child like and innocent. After Frank struggles at being a good dad, Kevin finds a father figure in Ernest which is probably why he's so sad when Ernest moves on to a better place - this is portrayed in the most subtle manner which makes it very touching. Harbour's performance is so heartwarming inspite of having zero dialogues in this one!

What I didn't quite like - We Have a Ghost is ridiculously long and feels too dragged in places where the CIA is introduced and the TV host segment that involves Jennifer Coolidge. A good hearted ghost going viral on social media is an extremely interesting plot that Landon could've worked with and built on it, instead it's filled with unnecessary characters like the guy dressed like Jesus outside the Presley house. Except Frank and Kevin, none of the other Presley's have any role in this film which makes you wonder why they have so much screen time. The proof of afterlife concept could've been explored so much, instead it's limited to people following a ghost around town.

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