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Ghostbusters (1984) Review

With Ghostbusters about to get the Hollywood reboot treatment on July 15th and inevitable cinematic universe. I decided to revisit the film that started it all, Ghostbusters (1984). The film stars Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson as the titular Ghostbusters with Sigourney Weaver playing their client Dana Barrett and part-time dog. Annie Potts and Rick Moranis also star in supporting roles.


The plot is as follows three scientists, Peter Venkman, Egon Spengler, and Ray Stantz develop ghost trapping weapons and start a business out of it. They are then contacted by Dana Barrett who is being troubled by ghosts in her apartment. In the meantime, the Ghostbusters become famous for trapping ghosts and have celebrity status because of it. They hire on another buster, Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson). Venkman attempts a personal relationship with Dana. Dana Barrett and her neighbor Louis Tully(Rick Moranis) become possessed by Zuul The Gatekeeper and Vinz Clortho The Keymaster respectively. They are hellbent on unleashing Gozer The Traveler, a supernatural force onto the world. The ghost sightings increase and come to a head when a douche bag EPA agent shuts down the Ghostbusters’ containment grid holding all the ghosts releasing them back into the world setting forth the return of Gozer. The Ghostbusters square off with Gozer who takes the form of The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man to save New York.

The performances are superb with Murray a standout as always, exuding his trademark snarky charm.  Sigourney Weaver transitions perfectly from a sweet innocent cellist Dana Barrett terrorized by ghosts to being possessed by Zuul The Gatekeeper in a hauntingly sexual way. The special effects are great and for the most part still stand up today save for a few scenes of the Terror Dog while its chasing Louis Tully. Its able to balance comedy and the supernatural horror without one overwhelming the other. The lines exchanged between Dana Barrett  and Dr. Venkman pretty much sum up the movie beautifully, “You know you don’t act like a scientist,” Venkman interjects, “They’re usually pretty stiff,” which Dana replies “You’re more like a game show host.” Its part comedy, part action-adventure, and part sci-fi/horror, but all fun. I give it a five out of five thumbs rating.

 


Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary Trailer


 


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