Ghostbusters: It’s something strange, and it don’t look good

Connor MacGregor

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The reaction to the new Ghostbusters trailer has taken its cast and crew by surprise. Despite the hype about the film’s all-female cast, the trailer currently sits with a disappointing 22 million views and almost 390,000 dislikes.

Some have painted criticism of the trailer as a sexist tidal wave, uniting trolls and misogynists who are against the idea of an all-female cast. But, in reality, it’s slightly more complex.

In fact, many people who’ve criticised the trailer have pointed out that they have no problem with the casting – it’s simply the case that the trailer flat-out sucks.

Firstly, it just isn’t funny. The laughs are forced and many of the scenes are straight rips-offs of the original films without any new clever twists.

There is also a problem with the film’s use of CGI. Cinema fans have long been critical of the increase of CGI in major blockbuster films. Twenty or 30 years ago, special effects were a mixture of various styles such as puppetry, animatronics and computer effects. Now it seems that CGI has completely taken over. As a result, the Ghostbusters trailer looks fake and amateur.

Many fans also feel that Ghostbusters has paid too much attention to a marketing checklist of dos & don’ts, with little regard for style – hence the dodgy continuity (yes, I know it’s a reboot) and lazy comedy. Tick-box filmmaking has become standard in Hollywood, and fans are seeing right through it.

It’s true, for the sake of a few feminist credentials, Ghostbusters feels like it’s labouring the point of an all-female cast. For a film that is meant to be a horror-comedy, the trailer is distinctly lacking in scares, with poor characterisation and, quite frankly, false advertising in regards to its genre.

Despite feminist critics claims of sexism and misogyny, the Ghostbusters backlash is pretty uninterested in the four female leads. This really isn’t a gender issue.

The Ghostbusters marketing team now have four months to overturn what has been a disastrous start for the film’s promotion – or else face financial doom come opening weekend.

Connor MacGregor is a writer based in Reading.

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