WHEN: 7:30 pm EST on March 2nd, 2013
WHERE: Number 1
FORMAT: DVD on a Teletraan 1
I was looking over what some other people have said about Ghostbusters, and what a lot of people tend to say is that it is a scary movie. What? How can anyone think this movie is scary? I think everyone is confusing the word “scary” with a different word. I am not sure what that word is, but it is far from what the word “scary” actually means. One of the big reasons this movie is NOT scary is the lack of anything that could potentially be scary. As I have said before, there are hardly any ghosts in all of Ghostbusters. There are four ghosts, one dream ghost, two demi-gods, and Gozer.
The ghosts are not designed to be terribly scary at all. Let’s look at Slimer. Firstly, Slimer is never referred to by name and was officially named in The Real Ghostbusters. Before then he was just called The Green Ghost. But Slimer’s design is just goofy. He looks like someone put a bunch of green shaving cream out and attached dentures and googly eyes to it. There is nothing scary about how he looks. He also doesn’t act in any way that could be considered scary. All Slimer seems to want to do is eat and drink.
Just happy to stuff his face.
We also have the ghost of the librarian in the opening scene. She is just a little old pink-hued lady. She floats, she shushes, and she reads. This is about on par with any of the librarians I had growing up. I do not see how she can be deemed scary in any way. Even when she turns into a nudist librarian with the face of a gorilla, she is still not far off from any librarian I had in my elementary school.
No food or drink in here, young man.
The other ghosts we see are a perfectly normal-looking woman who likes to float about your bed and orally please you (again, how is that scary… or even a bad thing), a taxi driver ghost, and a white glowing thing that pops out of a subway. The woman is not, cannot, and will never be scary. She looks just like a normal woman. If normal-looking people rank high on your personal terror list, then you should interact with them sparingly. The same thing goes for the cab driver ghost. He looks like just a regular cab driver from New York City. He even drives like your average cabbie, too. The creature that bursts from the subway is cool-looking, but only because of the halo effect the special effects guys gave it. It makes the ghost look ethereal but, at the same time, works to wash out some of the visuals details. It might actually be scary, but I just can’t see enough of the ghost for it to be scary.
Gozer is not scary. Gozer is just David Bowie.
I have your baby, Zuul has your would-be girlfriend.
Vinz Clortho and Zuul… well, they could be considered scary. They are both big-horned, demonic dog creatures. They snarl, they drool, they are here to herald the coming of a world-ending David Bowie. I do not regard them as being frightening, though, for two simple reasons. Reason one is that we see them as statues early on in the movie. Their basic form does not change at all when the statues come to life, they are just made into flesh. Based on how they look when they are solid stone, it is pretty much what you would expect them to look like. It is not really surprising.
The other reason why they are not scary is based on how they move. I know that this has more to do with the limitations of the special effects at the time, but at the same time a movie like Jaws can be more scary and have even more technological limitations placed on it. Jaws was scary because we never really saw the shark. We, as an audience, were unsettled by the fact that we never knew when or where the shark would strike. And I feel like I have to say this, but it was just a fucking shark. Everyone knows what a shark looks like. There is nothing surprising about the design of a shark, especially one of the most commonly portrayed sharks in the history of sharkdom. Take a look at the movie Cloverfield. Shaky camera style aside, it was a generally scary and atmospheric movie… until we saw the creature. Knowing what it looked like just seemed to ruin any sort of tension or creepiness that the movie was building. You might think that’s the case of just one movie, but I will remind you that after we found out what the Xenomorph looked like, the Alien franchise turned from a sci-fi horror to a more action-adventure-oriented movie. Once you see what something looks like, truly and clearly, it becomes less scary. The unknown is scary, the known is just… well, not.