Ghostbusters (1984)

ghostbusters poster 1984 movie
9.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great laughs, good story

Some dated FX, Gozer scene is a letdown

Movie Info

Movie Name: Ghostbusters

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Genre(s): Comedy/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror

Release Date(s): June 7, 1984

MPAA Rating: PG

ghostbusters slimer

It’s not Slimer and the Real Ghostbusters…yet

Who you gonna call?  Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) have some strange beliefs in the unknown.  Fired from their university positions, the group decides to form a supernatural research company called Ghostbusters…and it could be right in time!  Something is brewing in New York City and it seems to be focused around the apartment building and apartment of Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) and her neighbor Louis Tully (Rick Moranis).  As the supernatural acts begin to increase and the Ghostbusters find their business booming, the addition of Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts) and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) might still not be enough when the source of spirits is revealed.  The world could be in danger, end times might be coming, and the only hope could be the Ghostbusters!

ghostbusters sigourney weaver rick moranis sex

We will not talk about this again…ever

Directed by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, Ghostbusters is a supernatural comedy action film.  The movie became a blockbuster and spawned a franchise.  The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Visual Effects and Best Original Song (“Ghostbusters”).  It was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2015.

Ghostbusters was a childhood classic.  I can remember my neighbor getting to see it before me and describing scenes of the movie to me as I tried to decipher what he meant.  It was the type of movie you watched at parties, rented over-and-over again, and knew by heart…objectively, I can see some faults in the movie, but for pure pleasure viewing, it is perfect.

ghostbuster gozer slavitza jovan

I bet Gozer does something cool!!! …or she could just do a flip and disappear

The movie finds a great happy medium between action and comedy and it even provides a couple of scares (the librarian at the start was terrifying as a kid) without being a “horror” movie.  It is all very convenient that the Ghostbusters are in a position to save the city at the perfect time with their popularity growing and you could argue that the Ghostbusters truly are the danger as Walter Peck played by William Atherton points out since their gathered supernatural energy really unleashes Gozer.

The cast likewise is peak 1980s.  You have Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Bill Murray and though it seems very adlibbed most of Murray’s quips were scripted.  Sigourney Weaver provides a great female lead and I always felt a little bad for Ernie Hudson who never got to be a real Ghostbuster until they were desperate at the end.  Rick Moranis and Annie Potts also fill out the cast.    Some of the original cast plans included Paul Reubens, Eddie Murphy, Sandra Bernhard, John Candy, and John Belushi who died before production.  While some of the choices are interesting, the cast feels flawless how it ended up.

ghostbusters vs stay puff marshmallow man

Toast that marshmallow!!!

The movie was pretty high tech at the time.  Some of the effects haven’t aged as well, but the more practical effects of the movie kept it a bit more current than heavily computer-effects loaded movies of the 1990s…I was always kind of disappointed in Gozer’s final form (Slavitza Jovan) and the Claymation Keymaster and Gatekeeper monsters don’t always mesh well.

Ghostbusters remains a classic and it is the type of movie that young and new viewers can still rally around.  Ghostbusters was followed by The Real Ghostbusters animated series (1986-1991) and the rather disappointing Ghostbusters II in 1989.  The series had a “re-envisioned” all female reboot version in 2016 and an official third entry in the series Ghostbuster:  Afterlife released in 2021.

Related Links:

Ghostbusters II (1989)

Ghostbusters (2016)

The Real Ghostbusters—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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