Ghostbusters Trailer – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Yesterday the long-awaited Ghostbusters trailer exploded onto the Internet. The first trailer is here, and it’s not a teaser, it’s a glorious full two and a half minutes. The reboot takes place ‘thirty years after the beloved original franchise took the world by storm.’ With the original cast listed on IMDB for cameos, it’s likely this new installment takes place in the universe of the original movies. For a first trailer, this gives fans a lot to work with in terms of details, style, characters, possible storylines, and of course the ghosts.

The biggest thing that stood out in this trailer is the concept of ghosts now possessing people. It’s been alluded to in the previous movies. Ghostbusters (1984) had Dana Barrett and Louis Tully possessed by Gozer’s minions. Vigo briefly possesses Ray in Ghostbusters II (1989), as a last ditch effort escape his painting prison. This idea of multiple lower class ghosts having the ability to possess people brings great possibilities in terms of plot and character dynamics. The incredibly popular CW show Supernatural could have spawned this new concept. Supernatural has explored all types of human possession from angels, demons, and even ghosts with ectoplasm.

The Supernatural influence theory is an idea on appealing to younger audiences, but of course The Exorcist is the older and wiser pop culture reference. The Exorcist is one of the best ghost stories from horror’s high time in the 70s. These ghost jokes are for the adults too, not just the young hot things. Hopefully Paul Feig doesn’t go too heavy on the pop culture references, lest the movie gets scant on original material.

Now the direct translation of the Ghostbusters’ original characters to female version is obvious. Melissa McCarthy is the new Peter Venkman, Kristen Wiig is the new Raymond Stantz, Kate McKinnon is the Egon Spangler, and Leslie Jones is the new Winston Zeddmore. Now this is important, because it will be the rationale later as to why Patty Tolan is the only non-scientist in the troup. The Mary Sue wrote a succinct article on how the trailer portrays this. It goes back to issues I have re-watching the original films in how Winston has so little screen time. Leslie Jones looks hilarious on this trailer, cue hilarious The Exorcist jokes, but Patty runs the risk as a stereotypical character with how she’s portrayed here. Hopefully Patty has a great and complex character background for the audience to enjoy.

The trailer also gives audiences a shot at some interesting ghosts that reference the original movies. Of course with today’s CGI, the ghosts look incredible and weirdly different. It’s a thing that fans will have to reconcile with their nostalgia. Two ghosts stand out, the librarian ghost and good old Slimer. “He’s an ugly little spud isn’t he?” “I think he can hear you Ray.” There’s no Ghostbusters without that bright green ghost making a mess. Aesthetically, Slimer is the starting point of the new neon-coloured style Feig has chosen to take with this reboot. Having a unique and striking style in terms of the reboot will also help fans get on board.

Fans know the trailer came out yesterday, but did everyone catch the nerdy Ghostbusters featurette? Well this brings up the great mini montage of the new team’s updated technology. The proton packs look great of course, but there are also handguns, an electronic bear trap, and hopefully some other stuff audiences haven’t seen yet. This is where the reboot looks to take it a step up from the original movies. Traditionally, the science stuff in Ghostbusters felt incredibly dumbed down for the sake of the audience. This always felt slightly counter-intuitive in terms of the main characters as scientists. Ghost-trapping tech would be a great way to get into this without boring the audience. It also of course works to further the new flashy aesthetic.

Ghostbusters hits theatres on July 15 of this year.

Jess Morton
Jess Morton
Jess is a film theory geek who spends too much time watching Netflix. As a never-ending side project Jess writes feature articles on web series. She lives with her cat Aira in Toronto.