On February 24, Netflix released the comedy We’ve Got a Ghost, starring David Harbor and Anthony Mackie. Its plot is based on Jeff Mano’s short story “Ernest”, which was published in Vice magazine in the fall of 2017. In this review, we tell you whether David Harbor turned out to be a good ghost.
“We Have a Ghost” / We Have a Ghost
Genre family comedy
Directed by Christopher Landon
Starring David Harbor, Anthony Mackie, Tig Notaro, Jennifer Coolidge, Tom Bauer
Release year 2023
With the confidence of a true superhero, family man Frank Presley is determined to move into a new house with his wife and two teenage sons. The place looks a bit forbidding, like a cross between the gloomy building from The Amityville Horror and the cabin from the opening credits of Home Alone. But the extremely low price tempts Frank to stay here.
While the father tries to establish a difficult relationship with the youngest son, 16-year-old Kevin, the latter discovers a real ghost in the attic. Despite the otherworldly entity’s attempt to frighten the little boy, the boy does not get lost and even finds the whimsical inhabitant amusing. Over time, they manage to become friends, and even later, other family members learn about the supernatural neighbor, whom they decide to call Ernest.
When Frank uploads videos of Ernest to the Internet, they become viral and attract a lot of attention from the media and the general public. In addition to them, an agent of a government organization is also interested in the unusual find, and she wants to hunt down the ghost at any cost. As a result, this becomes a big problem for the main characters.
“We have a ghost” is the new work of the director Christopher Landon, who once dealt with the afterlife in the so-so horror film “Paranormal: Fatal Mark”. After that, the director brought scouts against zombies on the same battlefield, but the real success was thanks to the fun slasher “Happy Death Day”. Then came the less successful sequel and, finally, the controversial Chimeras.
It is clear that Landon feels confident in the genre of comedy slasher and is not afraid to play with wooden genre tropes (in “Days of the Dead” it was the day of the groundhog + the hunt for the conditional Ghost face, in “Chimeras” – body swapping).
Therefore, in this work he had to work with the story about the “haunted house”. But the difference with the director’s past experience is that “We have a ghost” is a project designed for pleasant family viewing on Netflix. As usual, there is no place to expand here: no bloody massacres or humor on the verge of a foul.
However, like evening entertainment in a cozy circle of relatives or friends, the tape does not work. Of the supernatural, there is only a translucent and half-bald David Harbor in the frame. From funny, there is a bright Jennifer Coolidge, who jumps out of the window in the best traditions of action heroes. And from the fantastic – 85-year-old Tom Bauer from the second “Strong Nut”, who gives a scratch to the healthy uncle, who was preparing his biceps for the role of Captain America, for a moment.
The problem of the film is especially evident during the adventures of the young heroes and their ghostly friend. They are banally not interesting to watch, and these wanderings are mostly aimed at a teenage audience.
Garbor, who after the role of Santa Claus on the verge of a nervous breakdown, again portrays a fantastic character, does the trick of Twin from the second “Matrix”, but such tricks are unlikely to surprise anyone. Among other things, the creators try to make fun of the modern era of chasing sensations, social networks and the phenomenon of trending videos, which looks interesting.
Still fresh in my memory are Tiktok dances to Lady Gaga in the style of Wednesday Addams, from which there was no escape. In the film, Ernest calmly walks through the wall, and numerous TikTok users make this a trend. You take it, accelerate and crash into the wall with all your might – everyone is having fun, the likes are pouring in.
Although some depth is added to this simple and not particularly exciting story about the friendship and relationship of children with their parents, not even the elements of the thriller in the climax, but the dramatic notes associated with the character of Garbor. They allow us to arrive at a sentimental ending that is dictated by the genre (and the original source), which slightly smoothes the overall impression of what we saw.
Landon doesn’t forget to say hello to the cult “Ghost” with Patrick Swayze. Only his own creation, unlike Jerry Zucker’s tape, will not be remembered by anyone in the future.
Pros: Some funny episodes, David Harbor’s dramatic character line, his silent acting, irony on social media culture, albeit a criminally short-lived, but excellent appearance by Jennifer Coolidge Cons: This is a comedy that doesn’t laugh, and an adventure that doesn’t thrill Conclusion:
The story of Ernest’s ghost looks interesting within the confines of a short story-primary source. But in the format of an uninventive and boring two-hour film, it is completely unconvincing