Ernest is unable to voice himself from the otherworld in Netflix supernatural comedy We Have A Ghost, and there is a touching explanation as to why. We Have A Ghost features a family that discovers their house is haunted by Ernest the ghost, but instead of abandoning their move, the Presleys decide to capitalize on the viral sensation their predicament has become. Unbeknownst to the family, the budding friendship between Ernest and their younger son, Kevin, uncovers deep-rooted secrets that determine the fate of their spectral occupant.

Kevin and Ernest realize fairly quickly that Ernest is confined to some state of purgatory, and his condition limits the ways in which they can communicate with each other. Ernest, played by Stranger Things actor David Harbor, is unable to talk, and has to navigate the Presley family’s online exploitation without the ability to voice or discern what he may know of his past life. Ernest’s inability to speak does seem unfortunate when facing the antagonistic agencies set against him, and keeping David Harbour silent may seem an odd decision. However, Ernest’s voicelessness is purposeful, and an instrumental characteristic for the direction of We Have A Ghost.

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Ernest Not Talking In We Have A Ghost Strengthens His Connection With Kevin

Ernest asking Kevin why he's helping in We Have A Ghost

We Have A Ghost is distinguishable from most movie ghost stories because the true horror is not the apparition, but the greed and cruelty of mortals. Ernest is at odds with both the ghostbusting agency in We Have A Ghost and the consequences of becoming a social media sensation, obsessed over by the domineering population. Battling with the purpose of his existence poses a challenge, especially close-mouthed, but it soon becomes apparent that Ernest’s inability to talk is put in place to strengthen his connection with Kevin – the one person who is able to truly empathize with him and help him toward a solution.

Kevin is misunderstood in his own way, carrying the weight of his father’s mistakes and adjusting to his family’s move to a new environment. When he meets the ghost inhabiting his home, Kevin immediately identifies with him and wants to help. The illustration of modern horror problems in We Have A Ghost finds Kevin and Ernest equally confused and mistaken by their community, and the bond between them is what pushes their journey forward. We Have A Ghost‘s writer and director Christopher Landon (via Cinemablend) spoke to this dynamic specifically, saying, “They don’t have the advantage of conversation…that was really important to me, because it allowed for them to have more of an immediate bond, you know?”

Why Ernest & Kevin’s Bond In We Have A Ghost Is So Important

Ernest transitioning in front of Kevin in We Have A Ghost

If not for the immediate bond between Jahi Di’Allo Winston’s Kevin and David Harbour’s voiceless ghost, We Have A Ghost could have ended with a much more regretful conclusion. Kevin makes it his mission to help Ernest realize the truth behind his purgatory state. Without their established friendship, Ernest may have never understood the circumstances of his death, nor have been able to transition out of limbo. If the duo had been able to communicate freely with each other, like any other PG-13 horror movie, their shared reliance and empathy would have been less instantly apparent.

Of course, the We Have A Ghost‘s resolution finds Ernest absolved of the weight of the Earth and able to pass peacefully. Before his passing, We Have A Ghost not only reveals that Kevin was successful in helping Ernest, but also that Ernest had a hand in impacting Kevin for the better. Although the two were barred from communication, We Have A Ghost maintains that the strength in their friendship can overcome just about anything.

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