‘We Have a Ghost’ Shows Plenty of Ambition, but Ends up Overstaying Its Welcome

Courtesy of Netflix © 2022.

Having confirmed his price in turning low price range and excessive idea genre-benders into vital and business success tales, author and director Christopher Landon was due his shot at not only a a lot larger manufacturing, however an enlargement of his filmmaking horizons. Netflix’s We Have a Ghost is actually that, however the supernatural household comedy doesn’t have the means to justify its extreme working time.

Blissful Dying Day, its sequel, and Freaky confirmed that Landon was a dab hand when it got here to merging offbeat humor and jarring bursts of violence with the acquainted tropes and trappings of horror, however there’s solely so usually you possibly can repeat the identical methods with out changing into bored. Actively in search of a recent problem, a blockbuster-sized fantasy for the market-leading streaming service with a price range rumored to be hovering across the $75 million mark is actually that, however We Have a Ghost received’t linger lengthy within the reminiscence.

Whereas there’s no scarcity of ambition, an expansion of wonderful performances, a few standout sequences, and one or two genuinely emotional moments peppered all through, the movie is indicative of the issues that come from increasing a thrifty quick story right into a feature-length journey, in addition to the indulgences that usually creep in when artistic minds are given the sweeping freedom afforded by making one thing that’s by no means going to see the within of a theater.

We Have A Ghost. (L to R) David Harbour as Ernest, Anthony Mackie as Frank, Jahi Winston as Kevin in We Have A Ghost.
Courtesy of Netflix © 2022.

The core idea is a doozy, although, with the Presley household getting much more than they bargained for once they transfer right into a dilapidated previous home. Jahi Di’Allo Winston’s Kevin is our entry level into the story; {the teenager} feels more and more remoted as he tries to dwell his life with out being positioned below scrutiny by his father, with Anthony Mackie doing his charismatic finest to raise a personality who comes throughout as a little bit of a self-obsessed asshole on the floor.

Heading into the attic, Kevin discovers that his new house is haunted, however in essentially the most harmless and healthful vogue attainable. David Harbour’s Ernest can’t communicate, and resolutely fails to frighten the freshly-installed inhabitant, resulting in a mixture of highway journey film, odd couple comedy, household drama, and supernatural chase story all awkwardly rolled into one as they retrace steps courting again many years to uncover his origins.

All Kevin has to go on to attempt to unravel the thriller of Ernest’s demise and state of purgatory is the very fact he’s received a bowling shirt together with his title on it, forcing him to workforce up with Isabella Russo’s subsequent door neighbor Pleasure to attempt to unravel the issue. Alongside the best way, father Frank and Niles Fitch’s brother Fulton attempt their finest to make a fast fortune by importing of footage of their spectral apparition on the web within the hopes of changing into viral sensations.

We’ve not even talked about Jennifer Coolidge’s scene-stealing medium, Tig Notaro as an creator who will get tied into the overarching thriller, the CIA figuring out that the paranormal is a discovery price attempting to monopolize and weaponize, a 3rd act twist that pivots into surprising style territory, a dizzying automobile chase, reflections on how the invention of ghosts as being 100% actual could be handled within the social media age, or any of the opposite varied shifting elements. Briefly, there’s loads happening, however not sufficient of it lands or resonates.

We Have A Ghost. (L to R) Anthony Mackie as Frank, Jennifer Coolidge as Judy Romano in We Have A Ghost.
Cr. Scott Saltzman/Netflix © 2022

At 127 minutes, there’s a excessive probability you’ll end up rising weary of We Have a Ghost lengthy earlier than the credit come up, even when there’s sufficient visible polish and attention-grabbing technical wizardry on show to underline that Landon has a vibrant future enjoying in a a lot larger sandbox than the lo-fi horror one which constructed his status. Sadly, a nice-looking film with stable turns from just about each member of the ensemble isn’t sufficient to overcompensate for a narrative that’s unwieldy, overstuffed, and half-baked suddenly.

The Paranormal Exercise veteran’s filmography has been outlined largely by razor-sharp and jet-black wit, a joyous subversive streak, and a bristling propulsive power. None of that’s current in his newest, and whereas he’s been vocal in admitting it fulfilled his long-held need to make one thing impressed by the spirit of the good Amblin classics of the previous, it feels frustratingly secure and watered-down in consequence.

We Have a Ghost goals excessive by attempting to cowl as many bases as attainable, but it surely finally finally ends up taking pictures itself within the foot in consequence. A number of of the plot developments come out of nowhere, whereas others are signposted from a mile off, all whereas the sentimentality and schmaltz threatens to succeed in sickeningly cloying ranges. There’s quite a lot of good to be discovered, however there was positively a vastly superior model lurking simply beneath the floor have been a few of the extra fats to be trimmed, and the main target narrowed.


‘We Have a Ghost’ exhibits loads of ambition as author and director Christopher Landon broadens his horizons, but it surely by no means feels something greater than a sequence of disparate elements failing to return collectively as a satisfying complete.