The night’s crawling along, the cinema’s espresso machine is shut, and I’m weary from a long day at work. I had half a mind to stay home and crash, but I was on a mission: Ghostbusters, or… well, bust.
Ghostbusters follows four women, Erin (Kristen Wiig), Abby (Melissa McCarthy), Patty (Leslie Jones) and Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), in their research of the paranormal. At first, it was all theory. But it wasn’t long before it became reality. Ghosts began terrorising New York City, and the citizens needed someone to call. But with Kevin (Chris Hemsworth) behind the receptionist desk, I’m not sure the Ghostbuster got the call.
So: No expectation. I knew of the original Ghostbusters and its screaming 80s themes. I knew of the massive following, and I knew of the pre-determined hatred this remake had received. However, I was not deterred by either, because I knew a female cast wouldn’t ruin a film (…duh…) but also knew that remakes tend to fall short of the mark. So I went into that theatre with no expectations.
And I left feeling ecstatic.
The female cast of Ghostbusters has created a wonderful team of varying characteristics. It has the straight-shooter scientist Erin; the go-getter Abby; the whacky-scientist Holtzmann; and the grounded yet terrified Patty. Each were wonderful in their own right, with the quick witted humour usually bouncing between Erin and Abby. Patty brought the fantastic and petrified “this is nonsense” humour, and was even the one to have me in tears of laughter (I was laughing so much that I began felt sorry for the other cinema patrons). But the constant source of hilarity, and my favourite character, is Holtzmann. Holtzmann has a fair bit of cliché and scientific mumbo jumbo dialogue to spurt out, but never once did it jar the conversation or pull you from the fictional world. Why? Because Kate McKinnon didn’t deliver one line straight. And she made it work!
The laughter starts very early on and, one day later, my friend and I are still giggling. Both of us agree that the highlight of the whole film is when the team has to catch a ghost at a heavy metal concert. It’s also where I jumped out of my skin.
The film can easily be enjoyed by little ones, but that doesn’t mean the jump scares won’t get you. There are plenty throughout and the ghost’s that cause them were fantastic. From the get go, the audience is greeted with wonderfully stylized ghosts and ectoplasm that pay homage to the traditional films. I would even liken the style to Disney’s Haunted House ride and The Pirates of the Caribbean mixed with immensely vibrant colours, all coming to a fantastic collision in the final battle.
There is definitely a point in the film where the humour takes a back seat and the plot takes over. No doubt, the humour is still there, but these Ghost Busters need a villain. Rowan North, played by Neil Casey, is the bad guy behind all the madness and although cliché, fills the spot well. But not great. His monologues pull the audience from the story, and they had me thinking he was just a pawn worried he would mess up his master’s plan. That would at least give reason to his constant ramblings. But, alas, he is the big bad who, in the end, is literally a BIG bad.
Ghostbusters has recreated a fantastic world of florescent ghosts and crazy humour. The portrayal of each character, with the exception of Rowan North, was spectacular, and even the music had me wanted to buy this movie’s soundtrack. With its fun jump scares and wonderful cast, 2016’s Ghost Busters gets a well-deserved 8 ectoplasmic splatters out of 10.