As a psychic/medium, who not only has been seeing the dearly departed since I was a toddler, but has been called in to do many house investigations, I have to say that We Have a Ghost is worth watching. Did they get it right?
We Have a Ghost
We Have a Ghost is a 2023 supernatural horror/comedy based on a 2017 short story by Geoff Manaugh. The film, written and directed by Christopher Landon and starring David Harbour, Jahi Winston, Tig Notaro, Jennifer Coolidge, Isabella Russo, and Anthony Mackie, begins with a family fleeing from an old Victorian house. The house is haunted, but the real estate agent (Faith Ford) keeps that little bit of information from the new buyers. The Presleys, which include Frank (Anthony Mackie), Mel (Erica Ash), older brother, Fulton (Niles Fitch) and younger brother, Kevin (Jahi Winston) have moved into the house hoping to start a new life.
We zoom in immediately on the friction between Kevin and dad. Kevin is not happy about the move, and he is more than pissed at dad because Frank never succeeds at starting his own business. The only bright spot in Kevin’s life is his next-door neighbor, Joy (Isabella Russo) who is in the same school as the boys. Kevin is a gentle soul and on his first trip up to the attic to unpack some of his boxes, he encounters the spirit that chased out the first family. The ghost, wearing a shirt with the name Ernest printed on it, is played by the fabulous David Harbour, who is confused as to why Kevin is not frightened. Kevin is able to video the ghost before it vanishes.
Kevin was drawn to that attic, which means that he might just have psychic abilities. Keven is also able to befriend the ghost who can not speak, and who can’t remember who he is or why he is haunting the house. While Kevin tries to help the ghost, his father and brother take advantage of the video on Kevin’s phone and post it to social media. Frank is trying to gain fame and fortune from these videos in order to prove to his family that he isn’t the loser they all think he is. He is not a bad man, but the thought of making money from all the attention is driving him to get more footage on Ernest, which leads to a TV spot on a local medium’s show.
I don’t know about you, but Jennifer Coolidge is absolutely amazing in any film that she is in, and her portrayal of a diva medium is funny as hell. Thank goodness for Ernest and Kevin that Joy is a wizard with obtaining information off the internet. She learns the identity of the original owners, and Kevin and Joy visit the real Ernest (Tom Bower), who tells them that the ghost’s real name is Randy, and that Randy’s wife and Ernest’s wife were sisters. Ernest also tells Kevin and Joy that Randy abandoned his four-year-old daughter and vanished from the face of the earth.
If this wasn’t enough action for us, a government agent, Dr. Leslie Monroe (Tig Notaro) is trying to capture Ernest for a government project…and that is when Ernest, Joy, and Randy take off to learn the truth on how he died, and what happened to his daughter.
I absolutely loved We Have a Ghost. Sure, it’s campy, but there was just the right amount of scares and giggles to make me happy, and the storyline and the acting are above par. Now…let’s talk about what the film got right from my perspective. Remember that I have been seeing the dead since I was a toddler, so here goes:
Can a spirit touch you? Yes! They can scratch you, knock things over, move objects, and mess with electronics…but it takes a lot of energy to do this.
Can a spirit be trapped in a house? We have free will while alive and even after we cross over. When a spirit hangs around it is because there is unfinished business or because their death was so traumatic that they are not aware that they are dead…as in Randy’s case.
Can a spirit leave the house it is haunting? Hell yes! They are not stuck in one place. I will give you an example. My dead people follow me wherever I go, especially my dad. I had recently sold my house to my youngest grandson, but on an overnight stay there…my husband, my dad, and my mom made their presence known in a very physical way. My husband was walking around in the attic, and we all heard it. My dad was playing with the doorbell in the middle of the night even though the security cameras showed that no one was there. And, if that did not convince my grandson and his future wife that my dead people follow me…my mother lifted a dish from the dishrack and dropped it carefully into the next room with me and my granddaughter watching. Need I say more? The dead love to travel.
I have to say that the film got a lot of things right, so watch We Have a Ghost on Netflix, and maybe get back to me on any hauntings you have encountered.