Angry online movie critics achieved a new level of mouth-frothing fervor over director Paul Feig's all-female reboot of the classic 1984 horror comedy Ghostbusters that can only be matched by a riot at a British soccer stadium or a Donald Trump primary rally.
Users of Facebook, Twitter and Reddit doomed the new Ghostbusters' chances before it even hit theaters. There are campaigns dedicated to reducing the film's rating on the Internet Movie Database and the trailer on YouTube is one of the most disliked videos in YouTube's history. There were even calls for Ghostbusters fans to boycott the new film.
These efforts only made the humor and characters in Feig's film more relevant, exposing a previously undetected sexist strain of Ghostbusters fans. Of course, the haters could do nothing to prevent the movie from being released last Friday or scoring plenty of fair to positive reviews from real critics. And some of Dallas' truest Ghostbusters fans are embracing the film readily.
The Dallas-Fort Worth Ghostbusters — a nonprofit community of cosplayers who celebrate their love for the Ghostbusters franchise by building replica props, uniforms and vehicles from the films for appearances at conventions, charity gatherings and other public and private events — received an invitation from the franchise's new production company, Ghost Corps, to attend the official premiere at Mann's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles.
"I loved it actually," says DFW Ghostbusters member Derrick Dorman of Mesquite. "I know it's been ridiculously controversial with the fanbase, but at the end of the day, it's just a movie. There's no reason to get all twisted up about it, and that's coming from a guy who drives a Ghostbusters car every day."
The DFW Ghostbusters received their invitation two weeks before the premiere, and members traveled to California on their own dime. Some flew, while others drove one of the group's five ECTO-1 inspired vehicles (if you count the motorcycle dubbed the ECTO-2 that's introduced in the new film). They got to walk the slime green carpet, greet the celebrity guests from the new and the original film, meet other Ghostbusters groups from across the country and watch the movie in 3-D on a laser-projected IMAX screen.
"It was absolutely surreal," says DFW Ghostbusters member Megan
The new movie stands alone from its cinematic inspiration. Four completely new characters, played by Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, build a paranormal extermination service after making encounters with various spiritual entities throughout New York City. However, the film still features nods to the original film, including jokes and Easter eggs that only trivia buffs could spot in a single viewing, as well as some clever cameos for the first film's principle cast members such as the late Harold Ramis, the screenwriter and co-star of the original film, who passed away in 2014.
"I think Paul Feig did a really good job of paying attention to the previous movies and franchises and staying true to them, but he's also doing it his way," says DFW Ghostbusters member Dan Hammans of Frisco. "There are an awful lot of things in that movie that
The Ghostbusters movies and cartoon spinoffs may have featured some heavy action plotlines and horror elements but the priority in all of them was
"I laughed a lot," Dorman says. "I thought it was hilarious. I don't remember any jokes bombing. There was a fart joke that some said was kind of stupid but most of the comedy was pretty witty."
Pretty much every major character scores
"Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon
This new batch of CGI ghosts can do more than leave behind sticky trails of ectoplasm. They can also scare members of the audience. “I did get a little jumpy in some parts," says member Miriam Sharp of Garland. "When we saw it, it was in 3-D. So I’m sure that made it more enhanced."
The team also have more toys to play with than just the standard portable positron collider that shoots concentrated energy through a
“There is a lot more action than in the previous films," Dorman says. "I know a lot of people are thrown off by it, but the way it's placed, it doesn’t linger. It works. It’s a little over-the-top compared to the
Some members admitted that the film is not without its flaws. There are some confusing plot holes, and the final battle scenes seemed out of place in a comedy. Sharp described it as "the cheese factor towards the end."
“I didn’t really care for the way that it ended,"
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The new Ghostbusters may be flawed, and it could never top the original film, but it has opened a door that's been closed in Hollywood for a long time. “It didn’t feel overly girl-powered," Sharp says. "I didn’t feel that it was overly feminine, either. If you were able to replace the cast with male actors, you would have gotten the same response.”
The film also revived a beloved, 30-year-old franchise for a whole new generation of fans. "It’s a reboot," says member Dan Sharp, the husband of fellow member Miriam Sharp. "It’s not a continuation. It’s as if the other film didn’t occur. So it’s a completely different movie. That’s what gets me with people who say, 'It’s going to ruin my childhood.' It’s not even in the same universe, technically. Get over yourself! It’s kind of how the new Star Wars is in a way. It’s for a brand new generation to fall in love with, the way that you fell in love with it.”