‘We Have A Ghost’ Ending, Explained: Did Randy Finally Cross Over?

Director Christopher Landon has dedicated himself to the genre of horror-comedy for quite a while now, making the best use of these oft-paired varieties by adding the edgy, mature seasoning of black comedy with the meaty portion of gore and otherworldly scares, as seen in his entries in the “Paranormal Activity” franchise and both “Death Day” movies. In his latest work, Netflix’s “We Have a Ghost,” however, he had to dial down both cards as the movie adaptation of Geoff Manaugh’s short story “Ernest” is a family-friendly one. A few chase scenes, some slow-motion, and even some Ghostbuster-esque action have been added to substitute for the rawness of his style of horror comedy, which has resulted in a very predictable, generic “buddy ghost in the house” story. Something that even David Harbour’s stellar performance as the unspeaking ghost can’t save.


Spoilers Ahead

‘We Have A Ghost’ Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?

A teenage high schooler named Kevin moves into a dilapidated house with his family, which apparently has a reputation for being haunted. Kevin’s father, Frank, has sustained his family of four by working odd jobs through the years, which leads them to move through places very often. When a realtor approaches them with a lucrative offer for the ramshackle residence, Frank grabs it with both hands. Kevin, the youngest member of the family, isn’t too thrilled about moving to a new place and, over the years, has distanced himself a bit from his father.


A few days after moving in, Kevin goes to the attic room of the house at night while looking for a source of noise and encounters the astral form of a spirit—a ghost—residing there. Despite the ghost’s desperate attempt to scare him, all his middle-aged, balding, lanky, goofy appearance manages to do is make Kevin burst into laughter. Kevin records the entire occurrence, and fed up, the ghost disappears. Kevin later learns about spirits remaining trapped or displaced by the severe trauma they suffer while living. Kevin also befriends his neighborhood girl Joy in school, with whom he shares the incident of the haunting. Later, Kevin visits the spirit once again and comes to know that the unspeaking spirit doesn’t know how or where he died. From the name written on the bowling shirt he wears, Kevin assumes his name to be Ernest and befriends him.

Soon enough, both Frank and Kevin’s elder brother Fulton get to know about the ghostly sighting, and they agree not to let Frank’s wife, Mel, find out about it. Frank uploads the video to social media and attracts significant online attention. Later, Frank urges Kevin to communicate with the ghost as he records. Kevin reaches out to the ghost by singing, and Ernest appears, scaring the wits out of Mel. Frank shares this on social media, where it goes viral in no time. The family’s fortune is changed overnight after people come in flocks to visit Ernest. Meanwhile, Kevin discovers, with a little help from Joy, that Ernest Scheller used to be the owner of the house. A medium visiting their house goes hilariously wrong, which further propels the family’s prospect of a better life, and this attracts the attention of CIA officials, one of whom is the eccentric paranormal researcher Dr. Leslie Munroe, whose lifelong obsession with spiritual energies has made her hell-bent on incriminating all spirits. Munroe goes to Frank’s family to warn them of the dangerous potential of Ernest’s spirit but gets promptly dismissed by Frank, who now considers the spirit to be his ticket to a better life.


Joy meets Kevin to inform him that Ernest Scheller is, in fact, alive, and that the identity of the spirit residing at their home might be something else. They contemplate that Scheller might have been somehow related to the spirit in question during his lifetime, which led to him getting trapped inside the house through the years. Upon further investigation, Joy finds out that Ernest worked at a bar nearby, and by inquiring there, they get Scheller’s current address, which may help them discover the spirit’s real identity. A photo showing Scheller and the spirit’s human form confirms their speculation. Just as the trio returns home, a suppressed past memory of the spirit is triggered by seeing a little girl on park rides, and he accidentally ends up frightening her. After returning to his home, Kevin gets into an argument with his father, Frank, regarding the media vilifying the spirit. While Kevin’s primary concern is to help the spirit get free, Frank only thinks of making a profit out of him to help his family financially.

The incident at the park apparently allows the CIA to have warrants against Frank’s family for harboring a public threat, and it was an opportunity the paranormal research team was waiting for. Led by Dr. Munroe, the CIA team breaks into Frank’s household and takes them away for questioning. However, they aren’t able to get a hold of Kevin, who has already left town with Jo and the spirit, to reach Scheller’s house to learn about the spirit. Upon reaching it, they meet an old Ernest Scheller and his paraplegic wife, who reveals from the character of the image that the spirit is that of Randy McGovern, who is her sister’s husband. Scheller remarks that Randy resorted to drinking after the death of his wife, Kathryn, and abandoned their daughter. Shaken after hearing this, Kevin and Randy’s spirit get caught off guard for a bit, and Randy is taken away by the CIA, who were tracking them. Randy’s spirit is put inside a containment chamber to be used for experimentation by the CIA.


Kevin regrets Randy’s predicament and partially holds himself responsible for everything that happened. A repentant Frank apologizes to his son for trying to exploit Randy’s existence for his family’s betterment and praises the kind of human being Kevin is going to become. Meanwhile, a sudden change of heart in Dr. Munroe allows Randy to escape his captivity. Ernest Scheller has returned to his old house (Frank’s household), unable to turn away from his old memories. It turns out Scheller was deliberately slandering against Randy to cover up their dirty deeds in the past. It is revealed that after the death of Kathryn, the childless couple of Schellers had decided to take the daughter of Randy and Kathryn as their own – and murdered Randy in the same house his spirit is trapped in. And now Scheller is on the hunt for Kevin and his family, whom he thinks to know too much to be kept alive. As Scheller overpowers Kevin during a fight in the attic room, Randy reaches just in time to rescue him. Scheller prepares for retaliation, but Frank tackles him to save his son, sending Scheller out through the window to his death. Kevin’s family reunites in an embrace as things settle down.

‘We Have a Ghost’ Ending Explained – Did Ernest Finally Cross Over?

In the aftermath of the incident, months later, we see Kevin being held in a CIA interrogation where the paranormal research director is asking him what happened with Randy’s spirit. Replying to the question, Kevin says that perhaps Ernest got his closure after the man responsible for his death was found and therefore did not want to be there anymore. The research director finds his answers hard to believe, but he has no other option left anyway.


In a flashback sequence, we are shown what really happened with Randy. Kevin’s father, Frank, took Randy’s now-grown daughter to meet with him in a tranquil piece of landscape. A beyond-living-death reunion takes place between father and daughter as Randy remembers the fond memories he had of his daughter’s childhood. Later, as Randy is sitting with Kevin and practicing rock skipping, we find out that his astral form is slowly evaporating. Shocked and devastated over this revelation, a teary-eyed Kevin embraces his ghost friend one last time, and Randy turns around, winks at the rest of them, and vanishes. Sometime later, we are brought back to Kevin’s house once more, only this time to say farewell as the family is once again moving somewhere else. As Joy and Kevin stand in the attic room for the last time, Kevin asks whether Randy sees them from where he is. The duo moves downstairs, and we see the light in the attic suddenly flickering.

Kevin’s relationship with Randy and his father, Frank, constituted the emotional backbone of the movie and connected the character pretty well. Since the beginning, Kevin never thought about using the paranormal occurrence for his gain but was invested in the idea of helping Randy’s hapless soul. Kevin, who is stuck in a life that, by his admission, is scarier than a haunting, knows how liberating freedom can be. Randy’s spirit getting stuck inside the house stemmed from his untimely death, which took him away from his daughter. Frankly, a desperate father understandably saw the social media sensationalization as a chance to provide his family with a better life, and even though he shouldn’t be blamed for that after Randy saves his son, he sees the error in his ways. He confesses to Kevin about his failures, and the father and son eventually reconcile. As a father, he knows how tremendously important to Randy’s spirit it might be, so as a supreme act of goodwill, he helps the father to reunite with his daughter. After meeting his daughter, Randy’s spirit gets closure and can finally be free of his earthly existence. But it doesn’t seem like Randy’s adventure with humans is just about to end, as the light flickering at the end might indicate future installments on the way, which will either see Kevin and Randy reuniting again or Randy waiting for new families to show up whom he will either scare or befriend.


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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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