A Chilling ‘GHOSTBUSTERS’ Review

A Chilling ‘GHOSTBUSTERS’ Review

By: Serenity Clark

Generally, people (me included) moan, groan and complain upon seeing a trailer for yet
another reboot/remake/re-animated/re-mastered/the-same-but-at-a-different-angle movie, but
hear me out, alright?

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire wasn’t so bad!

Two years after the events of “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” (2021), the Spengler family,
consisting of no-longer-single mom Callie (Carrie Coon), her now-eighteen-year-old son Trevor
(Finn Wolfhard), her youngest Phoebe (McKenna Grace), their self-titled “step-teacher,” Gary
Grooberson (Paul Rudd), relocates from Summerville, Oklahoma to New York City. Among
these four, there is an emotionally beautiful, yet still developing, family dynamic.

As the Spenglers work from home, the opening scene with all four main characters shows
them chasing what Trevor has deemed “Hell’s Kitchen’s sewer dragon” through the city, which
is a hell of a lot more populated than little ol’ Oklahoma, as we all know.

One thing I’ve learned when watching movies with superheroes in New York is that
residents are way too comfortable with the architectural damage happening in their city, but I
suppose they’re all used to this kind of thing.

The cops even say, “Nah, they got it,” as the old Ectomobile blasts through the streets
with its shrill siren.

Though the police have adjusted, it seems the mayor Walter Peck (William Atherton) still
definitely has it out for the Ghostbusters – for good reason; they do keep causing major problems and damage across his city – because he ruins their celebration of catching Hell’s Kitchen sewer
dragon by asking the realest question anyone in a movie like this has ever asked: “Who’s going
to pay for this mess?”

These are the kinds of questions people in the Marvel universe should’ve been asking
instead of asking Iron Man for his autograph. Then he sticks the last nail in the coffin by saying,
“We don’t let kids become cops or firefighters, and we certainly don’t let them become ghost

In order to avoid being shut down completely, Callie and Gary have to make the tough
decision to bench their star player, Phoebe.

And though this movie does have a pretty intense storyline (evil spirit gets unleashed
from its brass prison by accident and threatens to destroy the planet – you know, the usual), it is
also a painfully relatable depiction of teenage girlhood.

Fifteen year old Phoebe is the reason any of them are here in the first place – in New
York, in the old firehouse, busting ghosts and protecting the masses – and she gets tossed to the
sideline without a second glance.

Being fifteen, of course she internalizes this and develops a grudge against her family,
bitter and upset because she feels (and knows) on the inside, that she is the most passionate about
ghost busting out of all of them.

This is her thing – and it gets taken away from her, and now one bothers to comfort her,
or ask her how she’s feeling, nor do they offer her any kind of coping mechanism or backup

So what does Phoebe do?

She befriends a ghost, obviously. Playing chess in the park, she is joined by the ghost of a
girl named Melody, who burned with her family in a house fire. Melody becomes her closest
friend, her only confidant. Like many heart-wrenching early high school friendships, Melody
turns her back on Phoebe, using her to bring the big bad evil out of its cage because she was
promised it was the only way to pass on.

There is a lesson to be learned for each of them – especially Phoebe and Melody too
–over and over, until the very end.

Being a fifteen-year-old girl is incredibly hard, whether you’re a ghost or not. At the end
of everything, Melody gives Phoebe her matchbook, the only thing she brought into the afterlife
with her.

She says, “You were right. I’ll see you in the fabric of the universe.”

Phoebe is left to mourn, to celebrate the end of the big bad, to grow and to learn. It is a
story of learning and loving, heartbreak and mourning. It is both coming of age and the end of an

Though I do definitely think rehashing old movies and doing remakes over and over
again is tired and unoriginal, “Frozen Empire” exists for good reason.

Full of laughter and sort-of-embarrassing Gen Z jokes (seriously, one of the main
defenders against the big bad evil says, “Look, man, why don’t you let me go home and you
head back to Narnia and we just call it even, okay?”), tender, blooming friendships and
emotional familial bonds, “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” proves why it deserves to be on the big

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