Wednesday, July 13, 2016

When Should Kids Watch... Ghostbusters (Original)?? - Movie Review

Weren’t theme songs for movies in the 80’s just the best thing ever?

The 80’s classic Ghostbusters starring Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, and directed by Ivan Reitman. It has many great qualities. An interesting story, great effects for its time, fantastic characters, and a good comedic acting. It is one of the first movies I wanted to introduce to my kids because of how good the film is overall. When should you introduce kids to this classic film? While it is a comedy, it also can be scary and could cause some children to be frightened while watching.

There really isn’t bad language in the film. There might be one or two cuss words throughout, but nothing to prevent me from letting either of my children watch. The same can be said for the violence. There is violence in the film, but it is always directed at spiritual creatures. Any action throughout the movie always takes place when the team of misfit scientists are fighting ghosts. They never go up against other humans, well not ones who don’t also turn into dogs. There is also one minor sex scene with a ghost, but I never understood this scene until I was older, and most children won’t either.

The only drawback the movie has before letting kids watch is the scary concept. For me personally when I was a kid I was hardly ever able to make it past when Dana is floating above the bed. I would watch the film constantly on VHS up until that point, and then have to turn it off. It’s funny to think this was the scene which I couldn’t get past. It is just her floating above the bed, nothing more, and it totally freaked me out. The transformations of Dana and Louis into the terror dog creatures is also fairly scary. I can see kids who can become frightened easily being afraid to watch Ghostbusters.

The story is what draws everyone in. For kids the idea of a group of people going out and to capture ghosts is instantly intriguing. There is a whole reality television concept now around the idea. The pseudo-science they use in the film is fantastic, and the tools they use to catch ghosts are instantly things any kid would want to play with. Who doesn’t want their own proton pack? The story of the movie is also easy to follow. The Ghostbusters catch ghosts and there have been more sightings because of the coming of Gozer. We even get great expositions about what is going on because Peter never studied in school. Ray and Egon have to explain things to him so he understands. Which is great for him and us as the audience. Even if kids don’t understand all of the ins and outs of the story they can still just sit back and enjoy all of the action fighting the ghosts.

The special and practical effects in this movie still hold up remarkably well for a movie released over thirty years ago. Some of the scenes with the terror dogs stand out as not looking great now, but everything else still looks fantastic. The scene with Slimmer still looks great, and so does the scene in the Library. The Stay Puff Marshmallow man still holds up and causes just as much awe inspiring joy as it did when I was a kid. Can I now tell some of the scenes with him used miniatures? Yes, but it doesn’t take away from the movie. For a film made before the advent of massive CGI use it stands up extremely well to modern movies. Any kid who watches still can be mesmerized by all of the creatures and ghosts used in the film.

Ghostbusters simply resonates well with people of any age. It is the perfect mix of story, comedy, and action for kids to enjoy. The cool theme song doesn’t hurt the movie either. My twelve year old new the song way before he ever watched the movie, and now my four year old does as well. The movie was on television a few months back and we stopped to watch. My four year old became instantly engaged and we ended up watching the rest of the film, but I put in my DVD so we could skip past commercials. He didn’t get afraid and loved the entire movie.

Four is probably a little young, but he wasn’t afraid and didn’t have any nightmares so maybe it was okay. I think an appropriate age range for viewing the film is anywhere from four to seven depending on the kid. There are scary elements, but if the kid doesn’t scare easy there is no reason not to let them watch. I’m glad both of my boys have enjoyed the movie and will watch it with me whenever I want to put it on. Even though I’ve seen it countless times there is something about Ghostbusters that never gets old.

Let me know when you first remember seeing Ghostbusters. Did any part scare you? When would you let your kids watch Ghostbusters? Comment and let me know

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