We Have a Ghost Parent Guide
Too violent for children and too juvenile for adults, this movie has no idea who its audience is. There likely isn't one.
Parent Movie Review
Seeking a new start, the Presley family move into a rundown old house that’s listed for a suspiciously cheap price. They soon find out why: a ghost named Ernest (David Harbour) lives in the attic. As youngest son Kevin (Jahi Di’Allo Winston) befriends their supernatural housemate, he makes a goal to help Ernest remember his former life and find peace. At the same time, the family’s videos of their ghost friend are going viral online, which attracts a few interested parties.
One of the first rules of writing, for film or otherwise, is having a sense of who your audience is. We Have a Ghost’s doesn’t have a clue. I spent the entire runtime scratching my head and wondering “Who is this for?” There’s far too much swearing and violence for a child audience, but it’s also too juvenile for adults. Maybe it was originally aimed at teens but then swung too hard into the PG-13 rating? I’m really not sure.
This lack of focus is disappointing because there is a good film buried in here somewhere. It has a fun premise, a great cast, and decent production values. Sadly, the premise isn’t translated into a story with a clear direction or tone. It wants to be a horror spoof, a family drama, and a comedy all at once and it shifts dramatically between those tones. The actors, though great, seem to be in different movies. Jahi Di’Allo Winston is playing Kevin as serious as a car crash, while other actors are hamming it up. The best performance, predictably, is Jennifer Coolidge who portrays a TV medium. She is only in two scenes but steals the entire movie. Ms. Coolidge has a tendency to do that, and I, for one, welcome it.
As mentioned, this film is not family-friendly entertainment. There is a lot of swearing (over five dozen profanities), along with weapons violence, and some sexual references. There is also a scene with some grotesque body horror and significant scares. Another issue is the length: two hours is far too long, and it feels like it. The entire second act drags on for an eternity. I made, ate, and cleaned up dinner while watching and was only at the halfway mark. Perhaps I was trapped in some sort of purgatory, much like Ernest. It sure felt that way.Directed by Christopher Landon. Starring Jahi Di'Allo Winston, David Harbour, Anthony Mackie. Running time: 126 minutes. Theatrical release February 24, 2023. Updated February 24, 2023
Watch the trailer for We Have a Ghost
We Have a Ghost
Rating & Content Info
Why is We Have a Ghost rated PG-13? We Have a Ghost is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for language, some sexual/suggestive references and violence
Violence: A ghost contorts his limbs in a disturbing manner and makes his face melt off. A ghost chokes a woman. Guns are used in multiple scenes. A brief reference to suicide. A man is hit in the head with a blunt object and dies. A man is hit in the head and passes out, some blood is seen. A man falls out of a window and dies.
Sexual Content: Some sexual references and innuendo. Two teens share a bed in a non-sexual context and are seen cuddling fully clothed. A teen couple kiss.
Profanity: There are around 50 mild and moderate expletives along with over 15 uses of terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Some references to drinking. A scene takes place in a bar.
Page last updated February 24, 2023
We Have a Ghost Parents' Guide
What affect does Ernest’s fame have on the Presley family? How do each of them feel about it and how does it affect their relationships with each other?
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