Ghostbusters 2 (1989)

Ivan Reitman directs Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis in this supernatural comedy sequel where a possessed painting of a medieval necromancer sets his sights on Dana Barrett’s baby son.

A lot of people look down their noses at this sequel for being cravenly, indefatigably more of the same. Like, c’mon, who didn’t want more Ghostbusters?! More of the comraderie and genuine banter. More of the spectral SFX that inventively convince. More of the unlikely heroics. This delivers it all in a neat, undemanding package. Sure, if you scratch at the surface it isn’t the smash victory of the original blockbuster. Sigourney Weaver does a lot of narrative propulsion, Bill Murray clearly wants more scenes where he is the sole focus thus splitting the gang into those who fight ghosts and those who schmooze about in their own unrelated bits… And do we ever find out how that pink slime got under New York in the first place? But these are quibbles when you get a funky, off the wall, utterly quotable night in with a cast you have pre-installed affection for. Plus the spooky bits look amazing, truly better than anything else produced in Hollywood horror before and after. I actually wanted to get the image above to be Janosz’s disturbing hallway walk. A throwaway moment of terror where a minor character’s eyes explode into uncanny beams of possessed light. If only all cash-ins could be this loyal and satisfying. “We’re the best… we’re the beautiful… we’re the only… GHOSTBUSTERS!”

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