Ghostbusters is easily was one of the biggest movies I was looking forward this summer and it did not disappoint. Being a fan of the original two films that I recently revisited and reviewed both Ghostbusters (1984), Ghostbuster II (1989). I was a little worried that the new film wouldn’t live up to expectations. Boy was I wrong and right! Let me explain.
I won’t go into spoilers here, I’ll just review in broad strokes. I tried to check my bias at the door. It should be noted that I saw this movie with My Wife, and six-year-old Daughter. The opening is equal parts snarky humor and terrifying horror. As it does in the 1984 original the title card is shown after the scream of the first victim. When the Ray Parker theme plays it felt as if I were a kid again. I looked over to see My Daughter whom minutes before was hunched over anticipating to be scared was now dancing in her seat. That’s when I let all my bias wash away and just let the film tell me it’s story.
Yes, the story formula is the same as the former films, but most films follow the same ABC formula. There’s the intro to the characters or heroes which is A. The conflict is then presented, B. The C is the conflict coming to a head while being confronted by the heroes introduced in A. That’s the basic outline. Four women, Dr. Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), Dr. Abbey Yates (Melissa McCarthy), Dr. Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) from different backgrounds (three scientists and one tough New York expert respectively) come to together to take on a paranormal terrorist Rowan (Neil Casey). There are similarities, yes to its predecessor film, but it takes the basic premise and runs in a delightfully different direction.
It has new ghosts which the special effects are mind-blowingly realistic especially in IMAX 3D , as I saw it. The paranormal horror elements and tension they provide in the film are on par with some of the best horror films. There are moments that you don’t know where the movie will go and if there will be a jump scare or not. In those moments My Daughter was so tense, hands ready to cover her eyes. Surprises abound.
There are cameos of the original cast in different roles as well. There is even one by Harold Ramis who played Egon Spengler in the original films, but blink and you’ll miss it. When they’d come on screen for the first time you could hear a collective “oh” in the audience as in relishing in delight at their appearance. The humor is really good too with the chemistry between the leads being exquisite. Chris Hemsworth is very funny as dimwitted secretary, Kevin. The movie isn’t just scary funny it has heart as well. At it’s core the film is about people who have been judged unfairly in life (both the heroes and villain) trying to prove themselves in this world. Not unlike the film itself in a meta way. The movie has three’s H’s; horror, humor, and heart. There’s a forth My Wife added, Hemsworth or hunk. It was a delightful family film that is scary funny. I look forward to seeing these Ghostbusters bustin’ some more ghosts which if you stay until the end will be rewarded with a stinger that is one part setup for a sequel and one part easter egg. It earns its rating of four out of five thumbs up. Highly Recommended.
Check out the trailer below or additional Ghostbusters clips here.