Home Musical score Full Circle Flashback / Showdown: “Ghostbusters” review

Full Circle Flashback / Showdown: “Ghostbusters” review


The writers and moviegoers here at Full Circle Cinema know that opinions about movies are divisive and can get quite argumentative. But to encourage a friendly and lively debate, we have Full Circle Showdown. This series involves an in-depth discussion and collaborative review from two writers who have different opinions and ways of viewing films. In preparation for Ghostbusters: the afterlife, we decided to do a retrospective on all the films in which ghosts get arrested. And what better way to start this retrospective than with the one that started it all, the years 1984 ghost hunters?

Review # 1: Katie Rentschler (Chief Reviewer)

ghost hunters is one of the most iconic franchises to hit nerds old and young. Starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis as the iconic Ghostbusters trio, this 1984 film directed by Ivan Reitman hasn’t aged as well as some older films.

ghost hunters follows three eccentric parapsychologists, Peter Venkman (Murray), Ray Stantz (Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Ramis) as they start a ghost hunting business. They developed unprecedented technology in the 1980s, and although business was slow at first, it picked up. They meet Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) who complains of paranormal activity in her apartment. Venkman finds nothing in his sweep of the apartment other than a chance to flirt with Barrett, and they stop.

ghost hunters

Paranormal activity continues to increase across the city and the Ghostbusters are gaining notoriety. Barrett finds Venkman and agrees to meet him. But before she can, she is possessed by Zuul, the Guardian, while her obtuse neighbor Louis (Rick Moranis) is possessed by the Key Master. While this is happening, government employees come in to stop the Ghostbusters and in doing so free any ghosts they’ve captured. This leads to the best part of the movie, with the fewest words from Venkman, and just a hysterical showdown between the Ghostbusters and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man to save New York City.

When i tell people ghost hunters never intrigued me, they always seem shocked. Despite my love for Supernatural, there are very few paranormal things that I find love for in movies or on TV. And this film follows in that direction. It has traditional ’80s visual effects, with the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man being a highlight. The designs are all decent, but it just doesn’t age well.

ghost hunters

Although this movie is from the 80s, where the portrayal of women was very different in the movie, I can’t stand it. Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts) doesn’t feel out of place here at all. It’s the group’s most-beaten joke, and she hates work. She’s only there for Egon, but he barely notices her. Barrett is the most elegantly portrayed woman in the cast. But there’s never a moment for directors to put Louis down. Sure, he’s in a good mood, but why not ask Barrett to just tell him that she isn’t interested. It’s frustrating to watch her sneak into her own apartment. In fact, she tells Venkman in a way that she has no interest in, but he goes on and on and doesn’t stop. It’s frustrating.

Globally, ghost hunters just don’t call my name. I understand that it is a cultural phenomenon. It is not for me. The plot wanders aimlessly, focusing more on Venkman’s pursuit of women much younger than him. The movie drags like a treadmill with long walks and a few short sprints in the middle, then a big sprint at the end to try and finish strong. 37 years later, this is not a remarkable film. – Katie Rentschler

Rating: 5/10

Review # 2: Jacob Mauceri (Review)

In my house it was a pre-Halloween tradition to watch the Ivan Reitman classic ghost hunters. The cast, soundtrack, and overall vibe make up one of the greatest sci-fi / junior horror experiences you can watch. It’s not without its dated tropes, but as long as you recognize its dated nature, it’s a good time!
For starters, the casting is like a buffet of exceptional actors. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Rick Moranis would make all comedy go down in the early 1980s. Although Ernie Hudson’s career in comedy is relatively lighter than the aforementioned actors, he also puts on a stellar performance. You have the smart, the stupid, the smart ass, the serious and the klutz. Each actor plays characters who strike different notes and in turn create a note of hilarity.

A stellar score by legendary composer Elmer Bernstein manages to immerse the viewer in an environment and ambiance that would not have worked without it. Plus, Ray Parker Jr’s legendary title song? The soundtrack was excellent back then and still stands to this day. The musical score of a film should increase the emotional engagement of the viewer and what we get with it ghost hunters is brilliant.

ghost hunters skillfully blends a horror tone with a comedic forehead making this film accessible to all audiences. It’s not “scary” at all, but there are some quality scary moments that might put you on the edge of your seat. Plus, the jokes throughout the movie are handled well. From character to character, like a comedic hot potato game. Now, parts of this movie are drastically dated, and I won’t deny that this is unacceptable. But, as long as you rate yourself with that expectation, it’s an otherwise complete comedic experience.

I can understand any hatred that this film can arouse. Much of my love for this film comes from nostalgia. I mean, I used to have the soundtrack CD in my car in high school. But a movie that makes you nostalgic for a time when you didn’t exist is great according to my book!

Rating: 8/10

Final verdict

ghost hunters does not apologize for being a product of his time. From his portrayal of women to Venkman himself, there are times when comedy enters uncomfortable territory. While the two critics have different responses to this form of humor, there’s no denying that it exists. But if you can get over that – like Jacob did – the movie is a fun time. You don’t often see films that lean towards horror and comedy without falling into an identity crisis. On the contrary, he has a level of confidence worthy of a classic of the genre. – Katie Rentschler & Jacob Mauceri

Combined rating: 6.5 / 10

ghost hunters is available on Blu-ray and Digital HD.