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My Movie Pitch: 'Ghost Jerks'

Inspired by The Conjuring movie franchise, I came up with a movie idea for a ghost comedy. Let me know what you think.

By Sean PatrickPublished 22 days ago 4 min read
My Movie Pitch: 'Ghost Jerks'
Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

Ghost Jerks 2030

Directed by Sean Patrick

Written by Sean Patrick

Starring Kevin James, Vince Vaughn, Winona Ryder, Christoph Waltz

Premise Two bored ghosts play innocent pranks on the family that now lives in their former home. Things change when an evil ghost moves in and tries to harm the family forcing the slacker ghosts to become heroes and risk their cushy ghostly lives in the process.

Pitch: Mitch (Kevin James) and Dave (Vince Vaughn) are dead. They died years ago, years apart, while living in the same suburban home. For the past 30 years they've tormented and pranked families, chasing them out of this otherwise idyllic home by turning pictures upside down, moving dressers and generally being ghostly pests. There 'after-life' changes forever when another new family moves in. The Forrester girls, Maggie (Winona Ryder), and her two daughters, 16 year old Ivy and 10 year old Dakota, have bought the house at a super low price due to the home's reputation for being haunted.

Imagine this poster but the title 'Ghost Jerks'

Mitch and Dave, being selfish and proud, set about trying to get rid of the new family until they find out that Dakota can speak to the spirits. Not only can Dakota see Mitch and Dave, she can talk to them and the two ghosts, whether out of boredom, or the longing for their own long lost family, begin to befriend Dakota, playing pranks on her mean-girl older sister, various different babysitters, and their favorite target, Dakota's uptight, high strung aunt.

The plot kicks in however when a malevolent ghost, played by Christoph Waltz enters the picture. He wants to use Dakota's powers to free him to be reborn on to the Earth so that he can enact a plague that will help him to conquer the world. He's been around for hundreds of years and has not really updated to the times. He was imprisoned in a cave for over a century so he still has 19th century manners and tastes and affectations, stuff Mitch and Dave can poke fun at. When the evil ghost employs a pair of criminals in the real world to help him capture and hold the family while he attacks Dakota, it's up to Mitch and Dave to test the boundaries of their own ghostly powers to protect their new young friend and her family.

Hijinks ensue.

These guys are all about the hijinks that ensue.

This idea was born while I was watching The Conjuring movies. Scene after scene in The Conjuring as well as movies like the Paranormal Activities movies, feature scenes where ghosts are just annoying. There are scenes where they knock stuff off of the wall or the move furniture or leave a door open and its almost always unmotivated and adds nothing to the movie. Generally speaking, the living characters are oblivious to the dangers of the demon, puzzling over why their couch got moved but mostly rationalizing away the idea of ghosts by blaming their kids or an unruly dog or some such thing.

That made me think, what if we saw one of those movies from the ghost's perspective. What if we saw why the ghost made this person's closet collapse or why the ghost decided to turn the crosses in the house upside down or knocked picture frames off of the wall. Ghost Jerks is that story. It's the story where we see that the reason things keep getting knocked over is because Mitch and Dave are fighting, fighting each other, fighting the new evil ghosts, and so on.

By Anya Batalova on Unsplash

We show Mitch and Dave setting up spooky traps to get people to move out of their house. We see them bond with Dakota and become her allies and protectors and we see some stakes for them as well when Dakota's mom finally hires a psychic medium to fight back against the evil Christoph Waltz ghost, and Mitch and Dave are forced to confront that they don't know what will happen if they were to be Exorcised. A little conflict, a little bit of skin in the game even for the ghosts. Will Mitch and Dave choose to be heroes and risk being blinked out of existence? Or will they remain slackers and let Christoph Waltz take over the world?

The ending is rather obvious, they are going to be heroes and save the little girl and her family, but not before they have an existential crisis and consider accepting the offer to have their house back after the family is driven to madness and death by Waltz's villain. There are so many great gag possibilities with the premise of ghosts pranking the living, befriending a psychic child, learning to develop their ghostly powers to protect the girls and finally having a showdown with the big bad guy that saves the little girl and her family and allows Mitch and Dave to move on in the afterlife.

What do you think? I don't love the title, Ghost Jerks, there's probably a better title. Feel free to share a better title in the comments. Would you see Ghost Jerks if it were made into a movie? Let me know. This is vague treatment so if someone wants to buy and develop Ghost Jerks, hit me up, I'm happy to discuss it. I am not a screenwriter, I struggle with the form and the dialogue, I'm far better off as a critic but this is a fun thought experiment and I'd love to share it with someone.

Writing Exercise

About the Creator

Sean Patrick

Hello, my name is Sean Patrick He/Him, and I am a film critic and podcast host for Everyone's a Critic Movie Review Podcast. I am a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the group behind the annual Critics Choice Awards.

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