Ghost Dad Review

Curtis: Evil Master! Your wallet!

Beware: Spoilers may follow.

All right let’s do this one last time: Bill Cosby was a great comedian…on television. His experiences acting in movies on the other hand completely sucked with bomb after bomb. And we found out years down the road he was a rapist. And now it’s pretty much hard to see everything associated with him the same way again whether it be funny or heartfelt. Now you may think referencing Into the Spider-verse opening with Bill Cosby is weird. But that’s kind of the thing with this movie. It’s a weird combination of a movie about the after-life and being a ghost with Bill Cosby. The result of the movie is downright strange and not in the good way.  

The story involves Elliot Hopper (Bill Cosby) who is a widower and fixated on making sure the family is as financially well off as possible trying to secure a business deal that will make sure he and the family are well off for years to come. However, this leaves his children vying for his attention. After a fatal car accident Hopper becomes a ghost can only be seen and heard through strange combinations thus he must work around the strange rules of the afterlife to secure the business deal to ensure his children are well off before he fades away. Along the way he learns to bond with his kids in ways he missed out on.  

Taking out the ghost gimmick the story is pretty much that of “the father who never has time to connect with his children because he’s too busy with work and has to learn to do so.” Its a cliché as old as time itself and there is nothing to care for about it in this movie. What’s even more problematic is that the family in this movie is too simple, too plain, and just overall unrefined. Like the idea that the kids will be left penniless is kind of terrifying but mostly it’s just the kids griping about how difficult their father’s been and it all comes off as bland. There’s nothing really to work Cosby’s nature off of. But even with the ghost gimmick this movie is downright problematic in establishing itself. In many movies involving ghosts, they are defined by certain rules of the afterlife and it’s laid out very straight forward and consistently. This does not have that. This ghost for whatever reason can be seen in the dark but not in the light and they can’t hear him although he can hear himself. And that if he doesn’t concentrate, he can’t touch things nor can his voice match with his body. On top of that there are scenes where light is visible on him and yet he can still be seen. To put it simply this ghost can be anything he wants at any moment with no logic in the logic it’s established. Their only excuse is “it just is.” Also, without giving too much away there’s a twist about the whole ghost thing that looking back on the whole thing t does make sense in terms of astral projection but it kind of ruins the whole thing in why the heck was it called Ghost Dad in the first place. That and there’s something involving a bunny costume which like the rest of the movie isn’t funny.  

But all of this might have been forgiven if the movie were actually funny. But it’s not. If anything in some ways it’s downright disturbing. Stuff like people getting frightened by seeing Hopper as a ghost, speaking like a broken animatronic and his grunts due to being a ghost, faking a urine sample, scaring the crap out of his daughter’s boyfriend, and of course the crazy Satanist cab driver, are, much like Leonard Part 6, just plain confusing, unpleasant (regardless of whether or not Cosby turned out the way he did), and just nasty.  

The way director Sidney Pointier presents the whole thing feels less like a movie and more like a sitcom from the issues presented and once again it’s not funny cause comedy often comes from something relatable, something someone can connect to on some level. And the way these characters talk, the situations they get involved in, none of them feel like real people or even that likable.  

There are only two real things I can give this movie One is that it’s mercifully short only clocking in at 90 minutes. Two is that there is an effect occasionally that is appealing for the time period. But overall this is just one of the most bizarre comedies ever conceived. Like you have to truly wonder how anybody agreed on anything to do with this project. Overall this is one unpleasant, baffling, and is an insult to comedy and ghost lore.