Directed by: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis
Three parapsychology professors are fired from their jobs at Columbia University. These three know the paranormal and decide to start a business called Ghostbusters. They plan to rid New York City of paranormal activity through the use of specialised equipment and their vast knowledge of the subject.
The props team did a great job in making the ghostbusting equipment memorable and fun to look at. Unfortunately, the script lacked satisfactory explanations of the science behind the equipment.
After a successful stint with only three Ghostbusters, they have to add a fourth due to demand. They make national headlines and are then noticed by the Environmental Protection Agency, as they are operating as unlicensed waste handlers. The Ghostbusters have been keeping these paranormal catches in a speciality containment unit in the abandoned firehouse they have fixed up to be their office. The EPA deactivates the ghost containment system, this causes a massive explosion that releases all of the previously captured ghosts.
At this point, we get the main conflict of the film. Dana Barrett, who has retained the Ghostbusters to protect her apartment, has been possessed by Zuul. Her neighbor Louis, who is romantically interested in her, has been possessed by Clortho. The possessed pair must be kept separated, or Gozer, an ancient evil god, will be summoned to destroy humanity.
Unfortunately, the previously mentioned explosion distracts the Ghostbusters for long enough to allow Zuul and Clortho to open the gate between Gozer’s realm and Earth.
Now the fun continues as Gozer appears. Gozer takes the form of whatever the Ghostbusters are thinking of. They do their best to quell thoughts of anything threatening from their minds. At this point, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man makes his grand entrance and begins to ransack the city.
This is almost a genius concept. Nobody would be afraid of this monster; he is made out of marshmallow, after all. But he is over 100 feet tall!
The effects work is tremendous throughout the entirety of the film. The cast has great comedic chemistry and play off each other beautifully. I loved the ghostbusting car and the title song by Ray Parker Jr. Annie Potts, cast as the Ghostbusters' receptionist, was an excellent choice.
The movie isn’t perfect. The characters are not fleshed out very well. The dialogue was, at times, subpar. I also didn’t think the fourth ghostbuster was necessary for the film.
I highly recommend this film to any fan of the comedy genre. It is also a fairly unique film for blending horror and comedy, but leaning overtly towards comedy. The vast majority of the film relies upon the strength of the cast, who all deliver in different ways.
The effects work, although slightly outdated, is still enjoyable to look at and the theme song will have you singing along as you prepare to embark on this unique journey. Even though the film is 35 years old, all of its elements still feel as fresh today as they did back in 1984.
Written by Tom C.