Ghostbusers (2016) – After witnessing ghostly encounters first-hand, Erin Gilbert, Abby Yates, Jillian Holtzmann and Patty Tolan join forces to battle numerous spectres that are appearing around New York city. Using their own scientific methods and inventions, they discover that the phenomenon has been caused by a man obsessed with the occult with the intention of summoning the ghosts back to the Earth. Are the ‘Ghostbusters’ enough to stop the spirits from haunting the living or will this Apocalypse be the end to life as we know it?

Ghostbusters (2016) – Director: Paul Feig

Is Ghostbusters (2016) appropriate for kids

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48847321

Rating: 12

Running Length: 116 minutes

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones

Genre: Comedy, Horror

REVIEW: ‘GHOSTBUSTERS (2016)’

Making the controversial decision to have a female-led cast when remaking the classic male-led ‘Ghostbusters’ of 1984, this new version of the story follows four women as they attempt to battle against the spirit world. With the gender’s swapped for the main four, it has also been swapped for the receptionist; Janine in the original is now Kevin (played by Chris Hemsworth), as comedy relief ‘male bimbo’! There are also cameos of the original cast, including the late Harold Ramis who played Egon Spengler.

While the controversy over the genders of the cast has been proved unnecessary, the movie itself is disappointing. It is a shame that Kevin the receptionist is so over the top that his stupidity verges on disability and the ladies themselves are boring, seeming to lack any desire to even try to be convincing in their roles. Many of the ghosts make no sense, for example why do Macy’s Day Parade balloons (a la 1989’s Batman and not Ghostbusters) become sentient and hell-bent on murder? And why do many of the ghosts apparently ‘die’ after fighting? And why is there physical fighting of ghosts?! Sadly, this is a remake that struggles to move out of the shadow of its predecessor; in completely but self-consciously ignoring the events of the original, it becomes a lacklustre, superficial and unconvincing attempt at horror/comedy which neither has enough horror nor enough comedy that successfully lands to break away as a contemporary movie to be respected in its own right.

The effects are worthy of a summer blockbuster and the spectacle alone may be enough for kids to be entertained but anyone hoping that ‘Ghostbusters’ will be anything other than a poor imitation of the original are likely to be sorely disappointed.

CONTENT: IS ‘GHOSTBUSTERS (2016)’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

The door to a supposedly haunted basement begins to rattle and a man who is standing in front of it, alone in the building stares at the doorknob which begins to slowly turn. The door suddenly bursts open and a loud screech erupts, the man runs away but eventually finds himself on the other side of the door which has now closed and locked itself. As he struggles to get away, a ghost rises up from the floor and as it gets closer to him, he screams in terror.

A female ghost floats towards a woman, her facial expression makes her appear nice but when she gets closer, her face suddenly changes to be become monstrous and skeletal, this is the first time this happens and, as it is unexpected, it could be frightening for a lot of kids.

A character attempts to find someone who has walked onto subway tracks, it is dark and, when she turns around, the person she is looking for runs across the screen behind her. This scene is a little bit tense and, with the darkness and the potentially malevolent intentions of the person, it could be quite scary for younger children, especially as the scene culminates with a very frightening ghost with red glowing eyes that chases the terrified woman.

A woman is possessed by an evil spirit and attacks her friends; she smiles with a blank expression the entire time which is quite unnerving and tries to kill them, almost throwing one out of a window and trying to snap another’s neck. At one point her head impossibly spins around and then goes back to normal.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?
VERDICT: IS ‘GHOSTBUSTERS (2016’ FOR KIDS?

‘Ghostbusters’ is a disappointing remake that really didn’t need to be made. Having a nonsensical plot, superficial characters and sorely lacking the absolutely essential comedy, the spectacle alone doesn’t cut it to be worth the entrance fee. Due to plenty of scary moments, we feel this movie would only be appropriate for kids aged eight and over.

  • Violence 2/5 (a man commits suicide by electrocution, he does not suffer and although the camera focuses on him for a few seconds, it is not overly graphic or distressing)
  • Emotional Distress: 0/5
  • Fear Factor: 4/5 (lots of scary ghosts throughout, hands and faces with glowing red eyes appear on the inside of glass mirrors, trying to escape and one ghost flies directly at the screen)
  • Sexual Content: 1/5
  • Bad Language: 2/5 (frequent mild to moderate blasphemy throughout, infrequent mild to moderate cursing. A character holds both middle fingers up to others, they are quite creative with what they do with them, this lasts around one minute) 
  • Dialogue: 2/5 (a tour guide tells some tourists that a murderer ‘stabbed (servants) to death in their sleep’)
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of the paranormal, possession, trusting scientific method, accepting flaws and working to better them, courage, defying the authorities when it is the right thing to do and acknowledging childhood trauma.

Words by Laura Record

Ghostbusters [Blu-ray] [2016] [Region Free]


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