Like Reboots through the hourglass…

Ways Old-Busters and New-Busters diverge to reflect their times:


  • Villains:
    • In 1984, “big government” and this crazy EPA guy who’s worried about polluting the Earth can’t trust a private business to do their job and protect the people.
    • In 2016, four women run into a sulking, ostracized nerd who feels that something he held dear is corrupted. (Even clumsily drawing the line that if he had a friend growing up like Erin did he might’ve turned out differently.)
  • Joke Structure:
    • 1984’s classic was built on the back of its leads: Aykryod, Murray, Ramis—Second City and SNL alums, who had established themselves as reliable comic mainstays. They embued the movie with a story and a tone, and the jokes followed along, keeping it feeling very natural. It’s not just about placing funny people in a place they could be funny; it was a solid example of storytelling.
    • 2016’s reboot style is more in the style of director Paul Feig: Get four comedians—with plenty of SNL alum themselves—in a room together, give them a story and let the improv zingers fly. It feels more like situational comedy, having them do their thing (at a PG-13 level) in a way that feels a bit more like flat riffing when it’s tried to mash into a good, solid story.
  • Relationships
    • The boys in 1984 had mostly established relationships and it’s almost entirely about how their team rises to the occasion of ghosts. The main “relationship” at play is between Peter and Dana; his relentless pursuit of her almost uncomfortably wedged into the plot as a sort-of obligatory 80s film mainstay.
    • The girls of 2016, however, have no romantic interests, and barely objects of lust. Their story is (unevenly) driven by them coming together not just as a team but as friends.
  • New York meets the Ghostbusters:
    • Back in the day four men saving the city from an onslaught of ghosts brought cheers, magazine covers, fame, and fortune.
    • Now (or at least, now with four women) it brings government conspiracy, downplaying, and undermining.

It will haunt you every night…whatever it is, no one should have to encounter that kind of evil. Except you girls, I think you can handle it.

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