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  • Writer's pictureThe Screen Room

Ghostbusters (1984)

Bill Murray Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd in Ghostbusters 80s supernatural comedy movie

I’ve watched quite a few movies recently. Some new and disappointing, some new and surprising, some old and nostalgia-filled and some that prove that new sequels to old films are nearly always inferior no matter how good they are.

One such film and one of my all time favourite comedies is:

Ghostbusters (1984)

You might remember my long and ranty post a while back about the latest Ghostbusters movie, Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021).

Without going through it all again, I basically thought it was pretty good but I felt it lacked the comedy and tone of the original two movies. Everyone else seems to love it but I left the cinema feeling a bit empty and disappointed.

This film however, I thoroughly enjoy every single time I watch it.

If you’ve somehow never seen it (and I can’t believe there’s ANYONE out there that hasn’t) it’s a supernatural comedy/sci-fi/fantasy/adventure starring Bill Murray (Groundhog Day), Dan Aykroyd (The Blues Brothers), Harold Ramis (Stripes), Ernie Hudson (The Crow), Sigourney Weaver (Alien) and Rick Moranis (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids).

This is what it’s about according to the internet:

“After the members of a team of scientists lose their cushy positions at a university in New York City, they decide to become "ghostbusters" to wage a high-tech battle with the supernatural for money. They stumble upon a gateway to another dimension, a doorway that will release evil upon the city. The Ghostbusters must now save New York from complete destruction.”

I’ve seen this film so many times I practically know it inside out, and although I know which jokes and funny lines are coming they still makes me laugh out loud every time. Watching it the other night though I found myself asking how much of my love for it is tied up in nostalgia?

Stay Puft marshmallow man from Ghostbusters: Afterlife movie

I try to be honest with myself about stuff like that because I’d hate to become one of those people who’s so blinded by their love for a movie that they can’t see, or at least admit that it’s not actually that great (I like a lot of films that aren’t that great by the way). Since watching the latest sequel and finding that I’m in the vast minority of people that weren’t blown away by it, I’ve become even more conscious of this.

As I was a atching this movie the other night I couldn’t help but compare it to the new one in terms of comedy and story. I tried to push my love for it aside so I could decide whether it truly is a much better film or whether I have indeed become blinded by nostalgia.

I’m pleased to say that all attachments aside, it just is a far better movie! The film is not only original in terms of story, but it’s comedy genius and 80s film making at its absolute best!

Bill Murray GIF from Ghostbusters 80s supernatural comedy movie

It’s worth remembering that a lot of the comedy actors who were starring in these big comedy movies around the time started out as stand-up comedians and/or came from comedy shows like Saturday Night Live, Second City, and later, In Living Colour.

Actors such as Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, John Candy, Eddie Murphy, Rick Moranis, Chevy Chase and Jim Carrey are all essentially products of those shows, as are some of their movies that came from sketches on them. The same is true for the likes of Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Amy Poehler and loads of other comic actors still making films today.

The comedy in Ghostbusters is funny, clever and perfectly timed. A lot of it is also very subtle. These days there seems to be a generic “comedy format” that has proven so effective and “safe” that it gets used on pretty much everything, causing a lot of comedy films to just blend in amongst all the others regardless of the story. Films that dare to be different stand out as a result and they (in my opinion) are the ones that’ll stand the test of time.

Dan Aykroyd Harold Ramis and Bill Murray in Ghostbusters movie GIF

Ghostbusters, and even Ghostbusters II are classic movies that have inspired countless other films since their release, and the actors who starred in them are now legends, particularly in the comedy world.

I can’t help but think that if Hollywood continues to remake, reboot and churn out sequels to classic films from our youth just to cash in on the already established property there won’t be any original movies to make new sequels to in the future...but perhaps that’s a good thing.

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of watching this movie. If for some inexplicable reason you haven’t seen it, I strongly suggest you give it a watch. You absolutely won’t regret it.

“The flowers are STILL standing!”

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.


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