Ghostbusters is a 1984 comedy about a team of scientists who form a paranormal extermination company. The flick stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson as the titular Ghostbusters. Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis also play supporting roles as two possessed apartment residents.
In a film possessing a great comedic cast, Bill Murray stands out as Peter Venkman, the self-imposed leader of the team. His role as the sarcastic ladies man works perfectly with both Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis’ straight-edged characters, and it is his interactions with the team that drive much of the comedy of the film.
The film really hits its comedic stride during the first ghost call. The banter between Bill Murray and his companions during their attempted capture of Slimer, the green slimy ghost, really transitions the film from simply an odd silly movie to a great comedy. After re-watching the movie, there are a number of jokes that simply would have flown over my head as a kid, but now I find make the movie experience that much more enjoyable. From Dan Aykroyd’s surprise “nighttime encounter” with a ghost, to Bill Murray’s classic “Are you menstruating right now?”, the film does a great job at being a family flick while still appealing to adults.
For a film from the 80s, Ghostbusters does a surprisingly good job with the special effects. While they in no way compare to some of the effects that can be produced today, they still get their message across. Scenes such as Sigourney Weaver’s possession add a good dose of horror to the film, and the special effects play a large role. The special effects are good enough to not completely take over the movie, but help to enhance an already strong film. In addition, the soundtrack is outstanding, from the underlying background tunes to the catchy theme song.
The one grievance I do have about the film is the ending – it just seems to take too long to get to the climax of the movie. The arrest of the Ghostbusters seemed to slow down the film considerably and appeared to be somewhat unnecessary, with their subsequent release 5 minutes later. The Ghostbusters team also somehow has time to actually greet and mingle with the crowd that has gathered to watch them take on the big bad Gozer, instead of rushing to meet the god of destruction who can potentially destroy the city. However, these are very minor flaws in a film that doesn’t need to be overanalyzed to be something it isn’t. Ghostbusters is a wonderful choice for a light-hearted comedy that will get you in the mood for Halloween.