Ghostbusters (1984)

It’s hard to find anything new to write about “Ghostbusters,” when most everyone already has a fully formed opinion about it. That being said, it’s always a delight to revisit it once every few years, like seeing an old friend you haven’t seen in a while and picking up right where you left off. Everything here is just about perfect, beginning with the concept: It seems inspired by 1940s ghost comedies like “The Ghost Breakers” and the “Golfer’s Story” segment of 1945’s “Dead of Night,” and that retro charm translates extraordinarily well to 1980s big studio filmmaking standards. Additionally, Elmer Bertstein’s omnipresent musical score is unmistakable, while the screenplay (by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis) and Ivan Reitman’s direction are pitch perfect, perfectly balancing laughs and scares (indeed, this is the movie that introduced an entire generation to horror) and not wasting a single line or moment on unnecessary details or tiresome filler. The movie is filled with memorable scenes, like the first encounter with Slimer inside the Millenium Biltmore Hotel and the ghosts invading New York City after being released from the firehouse, all of which magnificently blend staging, music and editing. Finally, of course, there’s the first-rate cast, each of whom is totally at ease with the movie’s material and tone, and you’re left with a justifiably beloved, immortal comedy classic that continues to entertain people of all generations.

Rating: ★★★★★ (out of 5)

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