Ranking the ‘Ghostbusters’ Movies

Grab your proton packs and join us as we rank the ‘Ghostbusters’ franchise ahead of the release of ‘Frozen Empire’!

Are you troubled by strange noises in the middle of the night? Do you experience feelings of dread in your basement or attic? Have you, or any of your fellow moviegoers, ever seen a spook, specter, or ghost? If the answer is yes, then don’t wait another minute. Pick up your phone (laptop, tablet, whatever it is that you read on) and search for the professionals: Screen Vice! In frigid anticipation of Frozen Empire, set to spook theaters this Friday, we’re ranking the three Ghostbusters movies in the current timeline, from worst to best. Why? Because ranking makes us feel good. Let’s dive in!

Image Credit: Sony Pictures

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Worst doesn’t mean bad, by any stretch. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a perfectly suitable adventure in the Ghostbusters world, and a rock-solid popcorn movie on its own merits. To imagine watching it through a blind eye, as someone who isn’t familiar with the franchise, is weird; but then again, why would you? The film, directed by the son of Ivan Reitman (Jason Reitman), is a shameless love letter to the 80’s duology. The modern elements, including consistently great special effects, blend well with callbacks to the craft of old, and the new characters do the same with the original crew. It feels a bit like a bridge to Frozen Empire in retrospect, but all things considered, Afterlife is a worthy entry in the Ghostbusters canon, and a great revival for the franchise to build off of from here.

Image Credit: Sony Pictures

Ghostbusters 2

Perhaps the most unusually and unfairly reviled sequel ever made, Ghostbusters 2 still stands as a proper follow-up to the original, and a singular journey worth revisiting alone. There is a lesser sense of scale to this sequel, but with the gags amped up and the overall tone bloated with laughing gas, it works. Where the first was an introduction and city-wide event, the second simply revisits the team a few years down the road. They’ve nearly been forgotten about, until, of course, the city gets spooked once more, and the squad must step in to save the day once more. Its lightweight fun is still more imaginative than most franchise sequels today. Oh, and it may very well have the best quote in any of the films to boot, when Venkman says: “Kitten, I think what I’m saying is that sometimes, shit happens, someone has to deal with it, and who ya gonna call? Come on now.

Image Credit: Sony Pictures

Ghostbusters (1984)

As if this was even in question. No knock to the previous two entries, by any means, but few films are as all-encompassing and culturally impactful as Ghostbusters. This rather straightforward comedy has become an undeniable phenomenon in cinema and beyond, shaping countless comedies and similar stories to this day. The original ghost hunting crew remains unmatched, all at the top of their game in their first appearances here. The humor is constant, and on point, the scale is massive, and almost all the effects still hold up to this day. A cornerstone of a genre that certainly wouldn’t be the same without it, the first Ghostbusters is a classic, and is still the best in the franchise by a New York mile.

What’s Your Radical Idea?

Do you agree with our ranking? Either way, let us know in the comments, or drop a reply over on our socials; we’re ready to believe you! Just make sure you’re geared up with your proton pack at the ready by Friday, as we’ll all fly to the theater once more for another Ghostbusters release in Frozen Empire. That’s a plan we’re all excited to be a part of.

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