Ghostbusters (1984)

Ignoring the 2016 version (you know the one, the feminist reboot that made no attempt to redress the racial imbalance of the original) this is the 1984 Ghostbusters, not to be confused with Goatbusters AKA chupacabras. Who you gonna kill? Goats, presumably.

Representing Ivan Reitman’s finest efforts since Rabid, this classic comedy about a bunch of haphazard scientists who start a New York ghost-catching business is made hugely likeable by strong comic instincts both in front of and behind the camera. The characters themselves may be self-serving (initially at least) but it’s their clear motivations that make them sympathetic, which helps ground the wacky premise.

Though Bill Murray’s character lets Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis do the hard work, he’s indispensable when it comes to executing their funny, quotable script. His deadpan delivery and natural timing form the film’s backbone, while Sigourney Weaver can always be relied upon to elevate the hokiest of sci-fi.

The movie’s homemade, untested-looking tech adds to the believability of it all, as well as the underdog feeling that permeated so much of Ramis’ work. It’s this combination of subversive family fun and pleasing monster effects (the combination that characterised Gremlins the same year) that makes Ghostbusters so enjoyable, and makes remaking it as pointless as reviewing it 30 years later.

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