You’d almost think that it was intended for kids, or something.
But that’s crazy talk! All video games are meant for people of my demographic! …Which, I realized while enduring a PPP robopoll, has permanently shifted from the ‘under 45’ category to the ‘over 45’ category. I was not pleased.
There’s an interesting difference that you can see in the trailer itself, in fact. In the first Ghostbusters movies, proton packs and guns, despite the name, were fundamentally imagined as tools; they had a tool-like appearance, and were clearly designed with an industrial aesthetic. This crew thinks of proton technology as being weapons. This is going to be more of an action-comedy film than its predecessors, I think.
Also: it’s a freaking trailer for a trailer for a movie. I was going to not put it up, for exactly that reason. But it’s so bloody awful in its malignant promise of utter We Have No Idea Why The First Film Was Fun that I feel compelled to show it anyway. I guess that this means that they won, after all?
Also: based on pictures here I expect that the LEGO video game will be dropping pretty dang quickly after the film comes out. Oh, wait, right. Not every person out there has kids addicted to the LEGO video games. Never mind…
Because in three and a half minutes here Harold Ramis manages to pretty much write a hologram for almost the entire movie. Not entirely perfect – no Sigourney Weaver, no Annie Potts – but in terms of plot and characterization you know everything that you need to know. If this is the only clip that survives of Ghostbusters, you could watch it and still know what the movie was all about.
It’s the three and a half minutes that’s really impressive here, too. But that’s also due to director Ivan Reitman, who simply showed you everything, secure in the knowledge that you’d follow along. How did this movie not win an Oscar?
I’m not gonna put up a picture, because the guy’s trying to sell ’em – but I know all of those quotes, and I can tell you when in the movie that they happened, and Ghostbusters is just you know Ghostbusters so I don’t even need a reason.
This Ghostbusters clip is, in its way, an excellent example of: a, why it’s hard to do cosmic horror properly in movies; and b, why horror leans on comedy quite a bit.
Without going too deep into the weeds; the problem here is that Spengler obviously should feel terrified – he’s facing a cosmic horror that’s attempting to destroy the planet – but it’s hard to show something like that on the screen and not make it look clunky. In a weird sort of way, making it funny can at least help making it clear that what you’re seeing is transgressive, or something like that. I don’t know. All I know is that there are at least three bits in this clip that I can quote from memory…