We Have a Ghost: Netflix Film Review

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We Have a Ghost

Release: 2023-02-24Genre: ComedyDuration: 127 minsBudget: $ 0

After Kevin finds a ghost named Ernest haunting his new home, he becomes an overnight social media sensation. But when Kevin and Ernest go rogue to investigate the mystery of the latter's past, they become targets of the CIA.

We Have a Ghost

Release: 2023-02-24Genre: ComedyDuration: 127 minsBudget: $ 0

After Kevin finds a ghost named Ernest haunting his new home, he becomes an overnight social media sensation. But when Kevin and Ernest go rogue to investigate the mystery of the latter's past, they become targets of the CIA.

We Have A Ghost: A Unique Blend of Comedy, Horror, and Ghost Story

In Christopher Landon’s latest film, We Have A Ghost, he introduces us to a fun and mischievous family comedy horror movie that also serves as a ghost story for the social media age. The story begins with a typical haunted house scenario in Chicago, where a family hastily flees from their paranormal encounters. Fast forward one year later, the Presley family – Frank, Melanie, and their teenage sons Fulton and Kevin – move into the same house, seeking a fresh start. However, Kevin, knowing his father’s history of failed attempts at a new beginning, remains unimpressed.

A Ghostly Encounter and the Power of Social Media

One fateful night, Kevin hears mysterious footsteps coming from the attic and decides to investigate. To his amazement, he comes face-to-face with a friendly ghost named Ernest. In a twist of events, instead of being terrified, Kevin captures Ernest on his phone camera. When Frank discovers the footage, he immediately sees a potential goldmine and decides to upload it to YouTube. The video quickly goes viral, attracting the attention of not only the public but also figures like Judy Romano, ‘The West Bay Medium,’ and even the CIA.

Dr. Leslie Monroe, a parapsychologist played by Tig Notaro, also enters the picture, hoping to use the ghostly phenomenon to revamp her failing career. Meanwhile, Kevin, genuinely wanting to help Ernest find peace in the afterlife, enlists the aid of his next-door neighbor, Joy, to uncover the ghost’s past. As the story unfolds, We Have A Ghost takes us on a thrilling journey that intertwines the supernatural with the power of social media and the pursuit of understanding Ernest’s origins.

A Departure for Christopher Landon

We Have A Ghost is based on Geoff Manaugh’s short story from Vice and is brought to life by writer-director Christopher Landon, known for his work on the Paranormal Activity franchise. Landon has recently ventured into high-concept horror films that serve as subgenre pastiches, such as the critically acclaimed Happy Death Day series, which cleverly combined the slasher genre with the time loop concept from Groundhog Day. He further delighted audiences with Freaky, a unique twist on the body-swap trope within the slasher genre. Currently, Landon is producing Time Cut, described as a fusion of Back to the Future and Scream.

We Have A Ghost marks a departure from Landon’s recent projects, as it takes shape as a delightful family comedy horror that particularly caters to the social media-driven generation. Although Landon’s previous works have explored darker themes, this film maintains a lighter and more humorous tone throughout. It offers a captivating blend of genres, forming an intriguing ghost story custom-made for the digital age.

Embracing the Modern Digital Era

As the opening title’s emoji suggests, We Have A Ghost brilliantly embraces contemporary, youth-oriented themes. Landon masterfully incorporates elements of social media and online trends to demonstrate how a video or phenomenon can spread like wildfire in the digital age. Once Kevin’s video of Ernest is uploaded, it becomes the subject of TikTok challenges, Instagram videos, memes, and even conspiracy theories. The film cleverly portrays the interconnectedness and influence of online platforms and captures the essence of how trends emerge and gain popularity in today’s digital landscape.

It is worth noting that Landon has also mentioned the influence of Amblin, renowned for producing classic family-friendly films. We Have A Ghost evokes a similar vibe, as it strikes an impressive balance between being mostly family-friendly and genuinely chilling. Drawing inspiration from the Spielberg-produced Poltergeist, Landon seamlessly blends a sense of wonder and scariness, ensuring an engaging experience for a wide range of audiences.

Incredible Performances and Effective Storytelling

We Have A Ghost captivates viewers with its outstanding cast performances and effective storytelling techniques. David Harbour, known for his role as Chief Hopper in Stranger Things, portrays the ghost Ernest with remarkable ability, despite having limited dialogue. Harbour’s expressive face serves as his primary tool for conveying emotion and empathy, earning the audience’s attachment to the character.

Anthony Mackie brings his undeniable charm to the role of Frank, the opportunistic father looking to capitalize on Ernest’s presence. Mackie’s charisma adds depth to the character and enhances the film’s dynamics. Additionally, Landon’s expertise in the horror genre shines through as he skillfully employs the classic haunted house hallmarks, including crackling electricity, chilling breath, and the eerie ambiance of the aged interior.

We Have A Ghost boasts a visually appealing aesthetic, alternating between warm golden orange hues and vibrant emerald greens. This deliberate choice enhances the film’s visual impact and contributes to its engaging storytelling. The remarkable score by Bear McCreary, a regular collaborator of Landon, further elevates the overall experience.

A Story of Family and Empathy

At its core, We Have A Ghost places significant emphasis on the theme of family. Ernest’s tragic backstory intertwines with the father-son relationship between Kevin and Frank, highlighting the sacrifices and choices made for the well-being of the family unit. The film also introduces Joy, Kevin’s next-door neighbor, who struggles with an overbearing father that unknowingly overwhelms her with multiple activities. This exploration of teenage empathy and complicated family dynamics is a recurring hallmark of Landon’s works, who draws inspiration from filmmaker John Hughes to create relatable and well-rounded characters.

We Have A Ghost successfully updates the traditional ghost story, deftly navigating through various side plots and tonal shifts. The film manages to be mischievous, fun, and heartfelt, making it a worthwhile watch for audiences seeking an enjoyable blend of comedy, horror, and genuine human connections.


In conclusion, Christopher Landon’s We Have A Ghost delivers a refreshing take on the family comedy horror genre, interlaced with a compelling ghost story that reflects the digital age we live in. Landon effectively integrates the power of social media and online trends, highlighting the impact of viral videos and the interconnectedness of the digital landscape. The exceptional performances, engaging storytelling, and atmospheric visuals contribute to a thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is We Have A Ghost suitable for all age groups?

We Have A Ghost primarily targets a teenage and family-oriented audience. While it maintains a mostly family-friendly tone, there are moments of scariness that may not be suitable for very young children.

2. Does We Have A Ghost explore the deeper meaning of ghosts and the afterlife?

While We Have A Ghost primarily focuses on the familial relationships and the blend of comedy and horror, it does touch on the concept of the afterlife and our curiosity surrounding ghosts. However, the exploration of these themes remains light-hearted and does not explore philosophical or spiritual depths.

3. How does We Have A Ghost stand out from other comedy horror films?

We Have A Ghost distinguishes itself by seamlessly incorporating the social media age, showcasing the influence of online platforms in spreading viral phenomena. This film provides a unique blend of comedy, horror, and a heartwarming ghost story, making it stand out from traditional comedy horror films.

4. Can I expect jump scares in We Have A Ghost?

While We Have A Ghost does have moments of tension and suspense, it is not heavily reliant on jump scares. Instead, it offers a more atmospheric and playful approach to horror, making it accessible to a broader range of viewers.

5. When and where can I watch We Have A Ghost?

We Have A Ghost will be available for streaming exclusively on Netflix starting from February 24, 2023. Make sure to mark your calendars for this highly anticipated release!