Around 30 years ago, a classic film was made for the summer of 1984. That movie was Ghostbusters. It seems almost poetic that Ghostbusters is back in the news. Reputable movie sites have been reporting that there is going to be a reboot of the series with an all female cast. Oh, and Krispy Kreme have been selling Ghostbusters themed donuts for the entire month.
Seeing that the series is getting a lot of attention and it is the time for ghosts and monsters to roam the earth (and how I seem to forget to review the first film even after I reviewed Ghostbusters II a while back), I guess this is the best time to review Ghostbusters!
Paranormal physicists Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stanz (Dan Aykroyd) and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) lose their funding and are fired from Columbia University. Noticing the upsurge of paranormal occurrences in New York city, the trio start a business wherein the capture ghosts and the Ghostbusters are born. Business is so good that they need to hire someone new: ordinary blue collar worker Winston Zedmore. Dana Barrett, fearing that her apartment is haunted, hires the Ghostbusters to investigate. The entity, known as Zuul, isn’t just in control of Dana’s apartment, but of the entire apartment building. Zuul hopes to open up a gateway to another dimension to summon Gozer.
Ghostbusters was a huge hit way back in 1984. But, if you watch it now, does it hold up? Frankly, yes! Ghostbusters is still a great film. Heck, I’d have to say it’s better than a lot of movies today! It’s almost difficult to fit this film into a specific genre as its an excellent mix of horror, sci-fi and comedy! The amazing thing is that it manages to cover those three genres so well.
I guess it’s a tribute to the characters themselves. You have Peter’s wisecracking jabs, who doesn’t take things too seriously. You have the Ray’s hyperactive excitement and innocence. You have Egon’s logical, deadpan reactions. Even Winston, who only appears more than halfway into the film, manages to show how underprepared he is for the job of being a Ghostbuster!
The visuals are also fantastic. The set designs are amazing and the look of the Ghostbusters Firehouse and the Ecto-1 are iconic for a reason! Maybe they can do a better job with today’s special effects, but even still, the effects all look incredible up to now. Since CGI wasn’t really developed then, Ghostbusters used a lot of practical special effects and to really great effect! When you see the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man come and attack our heroes, you actually believe you’re seeing a 100-foot monster made of marshmallow rampaging throughout New York! Some of them could’ve been better (the stop-motion effects are very noticeable) but, overall, it’s a feast for the eyes!
Oh, and the music and sound effects! The sound design is great as well! The audio effects they selected for each prop was spot on. The sound of the proton packs charging up. The blaring siren of the Ecto-1. The sizzling sound effect when a ghost is captured. The satisfying sparking sound of a proton stream striking a ghost (or a wall… or something else). They’re all spot on. Of course, no review wouldn’t be complete without a compliment for the film’s extremely catchy theme song! Even that still holds up even today!
I do have a couple of specific nitpicks regarding the overall flow of the story. For example, when the Ghostbusters arrive to Dana’s apartment building to take out Zuul, they get swallowed up by an earthquake and then emerge a few seconds later. It seems like there was supposed to be an extra scene where they actually battle something while underground but was cut out for one reason or another. There are these little weird things scattered throughout the movie but they’re totally forgivable and you probably won’t notice it unless you’re looking for it.
Overall, the original Ghostbusters film is an iconic film for good reason. It’s something that you should see at least once in your lifetime! If the reports of a reboot is true, well, they’ve got their work cut out for them!
What’s your take on the original Ghostbusters film? What are your thoughts on the potential reboot? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!