A Ghost in the House, review: little courage and a lot of confusion

A Ghost in the House, review: little courage and a lot of confusion

A Ghost in the House, review

Directed by director Christopher B. Landon and produced by Netflix , A Ghost in the House is the new comedy that joins the vast catalog of the US giant, arriving at a time saturated with new films and television series. A house that everyone advises against, a family in search of its serenity and a town that hides horrible secrets that not too many are keen to reveal. A ghost in the house, while trying to tell a story in an apparent dramatic setting, in the end it doesn't propose anything that hasn't already been shown in the past by other productions.

A classic and not very original plot< /h2> The Presley family, tired of living across town, decide to move to a new house. Frank, played by Anthony Mackie ( Captain America: The Winter Soldier , The Falcon and the Winter Soldier ), is the classic family man in constant search of fortune that will allow him to live without thinking too much about the mortgage and the boys' university. Kevin, played by Jahi Winston, is his younger son, an introverted boy of few words. The conflicting relationship with his father, which increases every day and shows no signs of decreasing, takes him further and further away from his arms: he can't stand having moved and having left his lifelong friends, and he doesn't like the new school.

The new house also gives him the creeps. From the outside it looks like an old hovel that threatens to collapse on itself, from inside each room is as if it were telling a story that only the bravest would tell, perhaps around a bonfire while burning a marshmallow. Kevin, hearing more and more frequent noises, begins to wonder what is in the attic that he visited in passing before his family bought the new home. Start hanging out more often, exploring it from top to bottom and only finding objects, including a bunny toy that belonged to a child .

His trip, however, awakens something that appears behind him: it is a ghost. And not a simple spirit suspended in limbo, but David Harbor who plays Ernest, who tries in every way to unsettle the boy without however obtaining any result. The story of A ghost in the house, in fact, begins after this meeting, with stories and sub-plots that intersect and try to tell something new, but failing to fit together in the right way.

A Ghost in the House that neither scares nor makes you laugh

Due to a not very brilliant direction in representing the events, the result it is a work that trudges from start to finish without any kind of depth. It embraces interesting themes, some reasoning works even if it is treated in a mediocre way, but it is the narrative rhythm that damages a plot that is already boring and unoriginal in itself. The writing, in fact, is weak and presents quite evident dissonances that leave the spectator at the mercy of events that follow one another without really conforming, appearing more like pretexts to lengthen the broth.

At a certain point in the story, Ernest is discovered by Frank, who decides to create profiles on social networks to get the fortune he has been chasing for a lifetime. This is supposed to be a hilarious and amusing moment, but it's treated in a clumsy way and lacks the proper twist. He doesn't make you laugh, he doesn't make you think and leaves everything to chance, as if there was no order of events capable of giving relief to the story. Although the relationship between Kevin and Ernest is described more than enough, it is never explored during the story and their friendship seems to arise by chance, out of nowhere, for no reason. Not even the characters, both primary and secondary, have character depth.

We know that Frank is a child father and that Kevin, on the contrary, is a mature boy: their evolution is never clear. Unconvincing and poorly managed, the writing does not involve or entertain, and leaves nothing to the viewer. What hurts even more, thinking about it with a cold mind, is how the actors were used by the director, with some truly iconic and internationally recognized cast members who didn't quite shine as they usually do on other occasions. We think of Anthony Mackie and Jennifer Coolidge ( The White Lotus ) in the role of a medium, which Frank uses to understand Ernest's will to earn fame and money, hoping to guarantee himself a continuous television space on the most popular stations. We have nothing to complain about their interpretative skills, but the others did not appear to us of the same level because they were not exploited in an intelligent way.

The character of Jennifer Coolidge, in addition to carving out only one scene that should make laugh, offers nothing else. David Harbour, in this sense, was the only one to have been treated appropriately. As always, he has provided commendable interpretative proof, which however is destined to end up in oblivion. On the technical side there are huge gaps, especially on the correct use of the camera and special effects, as well as on the staging of some poorly finished action sequences.

In conclusion

Although it has a classic plot, A Ghost in the House is a comedy that is not funny and very easily lost . It deals with delicate issues but does not amalgamate them in a usable way within the narrative, proposing sequences and moments that are drawn a little too long.

Net of the interpretations of David Harbor and Anthony Mackie, there is no there is really nothing memorable in this production, which exhausts its magic and charm as soon as you cross the threshold of the haunted house. A classic missed opportunity marked by little courage and lots and lots of confusion.

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