Ok…there’s a chance this one might be cheating. I did see Ghostbusters in theatres and I did in fact already write a review for it. You can find that here - . Over the weekend I watched the extended cut, which adds about 20 minutes of footage to the movie. I made the tough decision that this new cut is just different enough to be worth talking about a little more, and also count as one of the horror movies in this marathon. Hey it’s tough to find time to watch 31 movies ok?! When you devote over 2 hours to a movie you gotta make it work!
If you don’t want to read my original review, that definitely hurts my feelings but even still, I’ll summarize my thoughts on Ghostbusters in general – I like it. I think it’s a good movie. I don’t think it comes close to touching the original, which is easily amongst my favourite movies of all time. I don’t think it’s as good as Ghostbusters II either, which I am a huge fan of even though many seem to think otherwise. There was no way this one was going to live up to those original films, but for me it’s another fun addition to the world of Ghostbusters. The jokes don’t always land but there’s very funny stuff in there, I like the cast and think they work well together, and I really like the overall look of the film with its bright and vibrant aesthetic. Watching the extended cut only reiterated my enjoyment of the film and it even helped correct some of the issues I had with the theatrical cut.
The core plot of the movie remains the same. It shows the origins of the new Ghostbusters crew and how they come together, facing their first case at a rock concert before going on to having to save New York from this creepy dude named Rowan who is trying to cause the apocalypse. Nothing in the extended cut alters the core plot in any major ways, simply adding additional character beats along the way that occasionally help to flesh them out.
One of my biggest issues with the movie originally was the villain, Rowan. There was nothing to him. He simply spouted dialogue about the end of the world and how everyone will suffer until eventually he is out of the movie entirely and being played by other actors he has possessed, or giant CGI ghosts. This cut makes some progress there, giving him a couple of extra scenes, but it still doesn’t make him an interesting villain. It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s not quite there.
Kristen Wiig’s character Erin is definitely given the most extra time here. It turns out she had a boyfriend that was completely cut from the film. He’s back here, adding an extra level of embarrassment to her situation when he too thinks she may be crazy with all this ghost stuff. There’s a few scenes here showing her anxiety around people making fun of her about this, both in her past and in the present, that do give her some extra depth. There’s also more dealing with her and Abby (Melissa McCarthy) and their past together. It helps to make their friendship more fleshed out and shows why they were so close. A scene where they recreate one of their old science projects is a stand-out amongst the new footage here. These new scenes help create a better flow for the overall film. Scenes seem to transition better from one to the next and it leads to a much better rhythm.
It's not simply new scenes that make up the difference in this cut. Much of the existing scenes are changed as well, mostly with new lines/jokes inserted in place of the previous ones. Sometimes this means the material can be more foul-mouthed, with this version actually getting in a “Fuck you” delivered by Wiig. Often though, it just means swapping out one joke for another. This is immediately noticeable in the first scene with the tour guide and is prominent throughout. It adds another level to the experience and makes this more than just a padded up version of the theatrical movie. Not all of the new lines are funnier than the old ones, but quite a few of them do hit.
Oh and yes that scene where Chris Hemsworth dances over the end credits is back in the film, though not in the long form it’s in during the credits. It’s not a hilarious scene by any means (though Hemsworth does seem to be having a great time) but it lends a sense of fun to the villain and makes far more sense than in the regular version where he makes them all strike a dance pose and then moves on.
As with most extended/director’s cuts, this version of Ghostbusters is probably not going to change your mind on the overall movie if you had strong feelings one way or the other already. If you hated it before, there is not enough going on here to switch your opinion I wouldn’t think. It does fix some issues I had with the film, but I already enjoyed it to begin with so for me, I just got more of a movie I already was a fan of. Maybe if you thought it was only ok before it’s worth checking out again to see if this helps? I don’t know. This movie still doesn’t deserve the shit it’s getting. It’s time to move on Internet!
One final note – apparently this movie has been rebranded as “Ghostbusters: Answer the Call” for it’s DVD/blu-ray release. That…that is a very strange decision. I’d love to see the data that proves “Yo this is exactly what the movie needs to give it new life in the home market!” You know, for all those people out there who would have seen the movie if the title just had more words.