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WE HAVE A GHOST Brings Heart to Haunted House Hijinks

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Netflix’s more recent foray into family-friendly horror comedies. Films that serve as the perfect gateway flick for budding young fans of the horror genre. We Have a Ghost fits right in, offering a cute little buddy haunted house experience that winds up tugging at your heartstrings.

The Presley family is looking for a fresh start in Chicago, moving into an infamous old creaky house, unbeknownst to them. The youngest son Kevin (Jahi Winston) is anything but thrilled with the move, but he quickly discovers their new digs are home to a rambunctious ghost (David Harbour) in the attic — filming the encounter before he vanishes.

At school, Kevin meets his new neighbor Joy, who informs him that the house has earned the name of the House of Death. More curious, he returns home and entices the spirit to appear to get to know him. He discovers that the ghost cannot talk, nor does he remember anything about his life. Kevin names him Ernest, the same name etched into his shirt.

But when his older brother finds the ghost video, their dad Frank (Anthony Mackie) posts it online, looking for fame. As the video goes viral, all eyes are on the Presleys and their haunting, but Kevin turns to help Ernest figure out who he is and how he died.

Written and directed by Freaky and Happy Death Day filmmaker Christopher LandonWe Have a Ghost takes viewers on a lighthearted adventure with two unlikely friends, both feeling like outsiders. And what starts as a film about ghostly hijinks will evolve into something more meaningful.

Landon is certainly having a great time poking fun at viral sensations and online/social media culture as a whole. Throughout the film, you will find great pop culture references; and I particularly enjoyed the scene where Kevin shows Ernest Insidious to teach him how to be truly scary.

There’s a lovely cast of characters throughout, including the always iconic Jennifer Coolidge as a schlocky median. But it’s Winston and Harbour who really bring the heart to the story — Harbour most impressively as he doesn’t utter a single word.

We Have a Ghost brings the amusement and wit that also maintains a wonderfully endearing quality. While it has an air of familiarity and perhaps too long of a runtime, it doesn’t do any major injustices to the overall story.

It serves as a nice addition to the under-appreciated subgenre of cinema I like to call, “films that make me wish I had a ghost BFF” (a la classics like Casper). But it’s also a film that continues to show Landon as a sharp writer with a keen sense of what keeps viewers hooked.

We Have a Ghost is currently streaming on Netflix

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