Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (Movie Review) Spoilers

by Rosa Parra

If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! Yes! I know it is cliche and too on the nose, but I couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by. The latest entry into the franchise, “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire,” is directed by Gil Kenan, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Jason Reitman. It follows up with the Spengler family as they try to navigate their new reality of being a family that lives together and works together as the modern Ghostbusters. When an ancient demon threatens to freeze the entirety of New York City, the new and original Ghostbusters must cooperate to save the day.  

The film opens in the early 1900s when firefighters arrive at a location where a mysterious phenomenon occurred. Upon touching the door, they quickly realize it is extremely cold to the point that it freezes the hand of the person touching it. Tension accumulates when they enter into an unexpected scene, a room entirely frozen with human icicles sitting around. A phonograph is still playing when the camera pans to a mysterious individual holding a brass orb on the floor. As the frame closes up on the orb, it suddenly opens, and we are transported to the current time. 

 I was a big fan of “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” so I was looking forward to this movie. I’m happy to report that this is a fun entry into the franchise. It feels like the original film with its lore, characters and action sequences. Mckenna Grace, as Phoebe, is the standout in this film (just like in Afterlife). We navigate her journey of being a teenager who is still trying to figure things out after she’s abruptly taken off the Ghostbusters team (since she’s too young to be a part of it). As a science nerd myself, I admit Phoebe’s jokes always land. Paul Rudd is fantastic and although Finn Wolfhard isn’t given much to do, he does a good enough job. I appreciated Kumail Nanjiani’s character and his type of humor. Oddly, it somehow fits perfectly in this movie. 

Since she’s no longer allowed to go on missions with the Ghostbusters, Phoebe finds herself with more time and spends most of it seeing how she fits with this new family. An unexpected situation develops when Phoebe plays chess by herself in a park. When the opponent’s pieces begin to move and start playing with her, Phoebe doesn’t seem bothered by the fact that a ghost is playing with her. There, she meets Melody, a teenager who died in a fire several decades ago. This dynamic explores the ultimate (and ironic) question of whether a ghostbuster can be friends with a ghost. 

I appreciate the film’s ability to continue the trend of incorporating callbacks, jokes and characters from the original movie with today’s technological advances and modern times. The visuals/CGI in this film are extraordinary. The ghosts look great, but I must acknowledge that Melody’s ghost looks exceptional. With occasional flames flaring from her body, it constantly reminds us of her tragic and untimely passing.  

One of its weaknesses is having such a large cast. It struggles to take off due to its number of characters working for screen time. A longer runtime could have allowed other characters to shine. The story isn’t groundbreaking; in fact it is formulaic, but its execution is strong enough to make it engaging. 

The villain is genuinely terrifying and intimidating. Learning about its origins and seeing it evolve throughout the movie was fascinating. It certainly pays off in that third act. Also, I wasn’t expecting certain horror elements to haunt me as they did. Some scares work beautifully. 

Overall, “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” delivers a fun, action-packed adventure in the world of ghostbusting. With family at its core, this movie is a perfect blockbuster film that pays homage to the franchise while also appealing to newcomers. A must watch! 

3.5/5  

Film Critic, Rosa Parra, also contributes to The Daily Chela and Rotten Tomatoes. You can also follow her on X.

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