In the last few years, Stranger Things star David Harbour has been making something of a meal from inhabiting kooky characters in offbeat genre projects, such as his take on a pissed-off Santa Claus in 2022 box office success Violent Night. That trend looks to keep right on rolling in this first reveal of Netflix’s upcoming We Have a Ghost, starring Harbour as the titular spirit, whose discovery upends the life of a suburban family. The first trailer can be seen below, with the film hitting Netflix on Feb. 24, 2023.
We Have a Ghost follows a family (with patriarch Anthony Mackie) moving into a stereotypical “haunted house” that is infamous in their small, suburban community, where the youngest member of the clan (Jahi Winston) discovers a friendly if socially awkward ghost named Ernest (Harbour). The mute Ernest is quite the sight, with his wispy comb over and ugly bowling shirt—one gets the sense that this fellow was not exactly considered an Adonis in life. However, after viral videos of the locals interacting with Ernest spread online, the family finds themselves on the run with their transparent friend, fleeing from the U.S. government as it attempts to capture Ernest, presumably to study life after death. The structure looks remarkably like that of a “kid finds a magical friend, but has to hide him” story, ‘ala E.T.. It’s directed by Freaky and Happy Death Day helmer Christopher Landon, which feels on brand.
What makes We Have a Ghost stand out most, looking at this footage, is perhaps the kooky ensemble cast that has been assembled around Harbour’s mute central performance—you’ve got White Lotus standout Jennifer Coolidge as a tacky spiritual medium/clairvoyant, and Tig Notaro of all people as a CIA ghost hunter, seemingly in the role of primary antagonist. Bit of an odd choice if you ask us, but hopefully Notaro is able to have some fun with it.
Check out the trailer, set to a rather garish cover of The Doors “Break on Through,” below. We Have a Ghost hits Netflix on Feb. 24, 2023.