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What is going on in the new Ghostbusters trailer?

Love them or hate them, reboots and spiritual successors are simultaneously the easiest and the hardest way for any movie or game franchise to make money. On the one hand, you already have an established audience (take a look at anything Star Wars related and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary). On the other hand, this also means that you have an established audience that is ready to tear apart anything that feels out of place (Kylo Ren’s lightsaber has a cross-guard? Blashpemy!), like sharks circling a bucket of chum.

The latest franchise to come under such scrutiny is Ghostbusters, especially now that a trailer has been released. But is the trailer placating the fears of long time fans, or will it alienate anyone who just want to see a good movie?

It's either a dead guy on stilts or someone with excessive leg surgery; either way, it'd be a terrible way to be caught dead
It’s either a dead guy on stilts or someone with excessive leg surgery; either way, it’d be a terrible way to be caught dead

There’s some potential here…

As far as trailers go, the new Ghostbusters trailer isn’t absolutely terrible. Sure, it has that slow piano intro that everyone is so fond of lately, but it does tease an interesting premise: someone made a device that causes ghosts to appear in the streets of New York, including at least one ghost that can posses people. Plus it doesn’t reveal all of the plot points for the sake of showing off (looking at you, Superman vs. Batman).

There's a degree of irony with driving around in a hearse looking for dead people
There’s a degree of irony with driving around in a hearse looking for dead people

Of course, this means that ghosts are going to be a big part of the movie (spoiler alert). Fortunately, the ghosts themselves are aesthetically pleasing, although that is to be expected given how far CGI has come in the past decade. In the same vein, it is fairly clever how the new Ecto-1 is introduced as a hearse and retooled to be more aesthetically appropriate for its new task.

FOR GOD’S SAKE, TURN IT OFF!

Unfortunately, it seems as though the new Ghostbusters trailer just has to rub what may be some of the more mediocre moments of the movie in your face.

Must have been one hell of a party
Must have been one hell of a party

Just over a minute into the trailer, it breaks one of the cardinal rules of storytelling: show, don’t tell. You don’t have to tell people that Holtzmann’s a brilliant engineer if the next shot shows her with some kind of laser-activated bear trap. You don’t have to beat people over the head with how Gilbert’s a quantum physics master if she already said that she’s doctor of particle physics 30 seconds into the trailer. And if anyone says that they know New York, chances are that they are either a) showing off, or b) don’t actually know New York but are too proud to admit it.

Then, as if whoever edited the trailer realized that they should rectify the above mistake, there’s a barrage of scenes featuring some of the more over the top mannerisms of some of the characters.

Putting aside the dangers of putting a loaded weapon near your mouth, that must not be sanitary
Putting aside the dangers of putting a loaded weapon near your mouth, that must not be sanitary

Regrettably, it appears as though subtlety is not something that exists in this new Ghostbusters movie. We get it, Holtzmann is the quirky one, you don’t have to show her licking her gun or doing…whatever it is she is doing with that wig. On the bright side, if you forgot about how overused the phrase “that’s going to leave a mark” is, there’s a nice reminder at the end of the trailer just for you.

About Anson Chan