Newest Ghostbuster film provides laughs, chills, and fun

Published 11:07 am Tuesday, June 4, 2024

This week at the Tryon Theatre, we have the newest and fifth installment in the “Ghostbusters” franchise, “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire.” This film is the second in the rebooted franchise, now set in the modern day and following the Spengler family (descendants of the now-deceased Egon Spengler, played by Harold Ramis in the original trilogy). 

This particular cinematic continuation is not a true reboot but rather a direct sequel to the earlier films, simply separated by the passage of time. Leading this new cast of paranormal investigators is the ever-charming Paul Rudd, whose sarcastically wholesome comedic sensibilities are lent perfectly to the tone of the “Ghostbusters” world. Like the earlier films, “Frozen Empire” is a supernatural comedy, with all of its threads of spookiness and malevolence in service of a lighthearted and comedic time, any tension only providing for a more effective interplay of humor. 

Narratively speaking, this film directly follows the events of “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” the first film in the “rebooted” series. However, anyone unfamiliar with the plot or characters of that film will likely find this new film easy to understand. 

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At the outset of the plot, this film finds the new Ghostbuster team relocating to New York City to team up with Winston Zeddemore and Ray Stantz, reprised respectively by Ernie Hudson and Dan Akroyd. On the public front, the Ghostbusters are facing pressure to shut down from the recurrently antagonistic EPA agent, Walter Peck. Through their probing investigations, they have accidentally triggered the arrival of a new foe, a powerful and ancient god-like spirit, one that threatens to “freeze” the world with fear. 

As with any “Ghostbuster” film, this constructed adversity provides no shortage of obstacles for the team to overcome. “Frozen Empire” successfully strikes the same notes as its predecessors, providing for a perfectly fun and self-aware, silly ride of film. “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” does not take itself too seriously, and neither should you. These films are meant to entertain in that most 1980s way, with minimal required thought and maximum fun.

Admittedly, this far down the line in any franchise, the novel charm of the original film can never quite be recaptured. However, the earnestness with which this film revisits and expands the Ghostbuster world is more than laudable. This movie is a definite popcorn film and one that is surely family-friendly, with a spooky, but not scary, PG-13 rating. 

We hope you will kick off the blockbuster season with us and enjoy some laughs and some frights in “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire!”