For those of a certain age, there will be fond memories of the original Ghostbusters and all conquering theme song from Ray Parker Jr.
This new imagining from the original directors son Jason Reitman, trades heavily on nostalgia and ignores the more recent 2016 all female led film.
Single mum “Callie” (Carrie Coon) decides to move her two young kids, “Trevor” (Finn Wolfhard) and “Phoebe” (Mckenna Grace), to a run down and spooky farmhouse in small town Oklahoma. The property was left in the will of her late estranged father, which is fortunate as the family have just been evicted from their present accommodation.
Despite the fact no one in their right mind would move to such a house, the area also suffers from daily “earthquakes” despite not being on any recognisable fault lines. This is eloquently pointed out by the local summer teacher “Grooberson” (Paul Rudd), whose teaching method comprises jamming a old horror movie into the ancient VHS and leaving his students to it.
As supernatural events start to increase, from moving chess pieces to full on “Muncher” ghosts chewing up the town, the situation gets crazy. Fortunately the kids have unknowingly been bequeathed the tools required to deal with this sudden eruption of spectres.
Fans of the original film will be at home, with the “Ecto 1” ambulance making an appearance, along with ghost traps, Ghostbusting suits and backpacks, with attendant audio effects any child of the 80’s will instantly remember.
As before, the film treads a delicate line balancing the mild horror with the absurd and comical CGI effects, from gate keeper hounds to animated mini marsh mallow men. The mini animated characters proceed to skewer and burn each other before suffering unfortunate fates in a kitchen blender, funnier than it sounds on paper.
The emphasis is on fun and the talented kids are clearly enjoying the ride, with Phoebe and her new buddy “Podcast” (Logan Kim) stand-outs. Rudd gets little to do, but does that well enough and Coon plays a mother more reality based than most movie mom’s.
Those not steeped in Ghostbuster nostalgia may wonder what the fuss is all about but should be entertained enough by the youth orientated cast. Those old enough to remember the original can wallow in their childhood reminiscences for a couple of hours.
Do we get to see our heroes from the past and encounter a respectful send off for the missing original Ghostbuster?
An easy bet to make and whilst arguably adding little to the action, it’s good to see this effort has their endorsement. Certainly the film does not sully the earlier film, something die-hard fans had feared when originally announced.
Arguably not necessary, but an entertaining couple of hours if expectation is set to an appropriate level.
Despite the obligatory credit crawl coda, there may not be enough slime in the tank for another outing but, decent $200m worldwide box office during pandemic times may suggest otherwise.