Just wonderfully captivating, silly but smart at the same time, this is a movie that deserves the long held praise and ‘classic’ title. I write this review because a) it’s remake has now hit our screens and b) because why not!?
Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) and Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) get a call to the New York Public Library after a librarian witnessed a paranormal activity. Soon the trio are out of their jobs but find work themselves as self titled ‘Ghostbusters’. More and more ghouls begin taunting the streets of New York as Zuul plagues an apartment. The trio gain the help of Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) as they hope to send the ghosts back to whence they came.
It’s a superbly 80’s feature and though it may have dated in certain visual places thanks to the fact we’re all so used to the rise of CGI, it gifts the movie an unmistakable charm and for the day I could imagine the destruction and ghost effects were something possibly impressive to see back in the day. What crackles the most is the energy between the Ghostbusters as they come to terms with their knowledge being right and their growing fame in the city. The four of them each get a time to shine and their comedy moments further boost the humorous quality of the film.
Ivan Reitman directs this ghoulish caper in a way that feels like a perfect buddy flick. The comradery is focused upon as is the maddening amount of carnage that unfolds. The screwball comedy doesn’t drag down the film, as even though there is a huge amount of zaniness to catch, there’s a touch of heart as they save the day and work together. Reitman does best in ensuring this movie can be enjoyed by all ages, there is 100% something in there for everyone.
Elmer Bernstein’s score trickles over the action in a suitably cheesy 80’s tense way, then you have the utterly brilliant Ray Parker, Jr. song of the same name to the movie which is funky and ridiculous but one of the best movie themed tracks of all time. It’s a shame the reboot decided to play around with the song with dance and then urban vibes.
The movie never seems to feel slow, it’s paced and edited well and yes even though a majority of the effects are clunky and there’s not as much tension in the plot like the new one has, you have to welcome the joy of the doofy ghosts as they crop up around the boroughs of NY. Slimer is a marvellously gloopy creation and stands as a very recognisable image from the film, he’s fun and outlandish and you want more from him.
It’s Bill Murray that totally steals the spotlight from everyone in this movie. He has such a brilliant deadpan tone to his performance, so when he delivers the dialogue, it’s drawled out in such a sarcastic monotone way that actually helps his character be even funnier. He’s unbelieving of the spirits, he’s a sleaze and he’s rude but Murray makes Venkman someone you want to know. The rest of the bustin’ team are all brilliant also, adding to the dynamics of the crew. Rick Moranis is great in playing the overly dweeby Louis and Sigourney Weaver gets some fun as she becomes possessed by the demon.
A thoroughly terrific comedy that is one of the bests still over 30 years later.