Anthony's Film Review

Ghostbusters (1984)

Subtle humor and campy action are mixed in with a clever, original, and engaging plot...

Ghostbusters succeeds in being a movie with scary ghosts and monsters that barely frightens the audience. It's not intended to be a horror movie. That's a good thing, because a serious dark movie about professors turned ghost exterminators would not work as well. For one thing, the idea of these characters might not be taken as seriously in such a genre. Hence, Ghostbusters attempts to be a comedy, one that is funny but not over the top.

If you ask me, I don't really consider this movie a comedy. I didn't laugh much but only because I didn't want to. I was much more engaged in the plot premise. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) are university professors specializing in the paranormal. They are asked to investigate unusual activity in a library. At the same time, they are fired from campus for running a controversial academic department. It doesn't seem to shock them. Maybe they were expecting this to happen. In any event, they decide to start a business of removing ghosts wherever they are spotted.

Just after their first real job of catching a ghost, these Ghostbusters quickly gain popularity among the public. They hire Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson) as a fourth Ghostbuster. The business really involves these four plus their secretary, Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts). But there is a connection among all the ghosts they catch. They soon discover that something big is about to happen involving Zuul and Gozer, and two characters will lead them there: Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) and Louis Tully (Rick Moranis), both of whom live in the same apartment building.

I do like how it's about a group of heroes without showing them as tough men from the start. We see the gradual process of starting from the bottom. Now, because the film is a so-called comedy, the four Ghostbusters never act macho at any point. Even in the face of the most dire situations, they are still making wisecracks here and there. Of course, the humor is still subtle compared to the amount I consider to be necessary for a true comedy. I would say that Ghostbusters maintains 20% humor and 80% sci-fi all the way through.

Whether you call it sci-fi, action, comedy, or any combination of these, Ghostbusters is just good fun. That's all it is. You will likely find one of these elements to engage you and let you enjoy the ride. To top it off, the soundtrack delivers some upbeat music, especially the title song by Ray Parker, Jr. that I still like to hear from time to time. If you want a film with some campy fun, who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Ghostbusters, visit the Internet Movie Database.

In addition, check out my review of Ghostbusters II and the 2016 reboot Ghostbusters.


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