Ghostbusters (1984) parents guide

Ghostbusters (1984) Parent Guide

Created before the PG-13 rating existed in the US, parents may be surprised at the level of content this film presents.

Overall C+

After having their grant money cut off Doctors Venkman (Bill Murray), Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Spengler (Harold Ramis) decide to use their expertise in parapsychology to start a private company to rid residents of unwanted supernatural pests.

Release date August 29, 2014

Violence C+
Sexual Content C+
Profanity C
Substance Use C

Why is Ghostbusters (1984) rated PG? The MPAA rated Ghostbusters (1984) PG

Run Time: 105 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

In 1984 the stars of Saturday Night Live and S.C.T.V. reigned supreme in popular culture, and Ghostbusters was just one of many films that showcased their talent and humor. Walking a very fine line between comedy, horror and fantasy genres, the film follows three professors whose interests in parapsychology have pushed the university’s administrators too far. Booted out and cut off from their grant funding, they determine to setup a private company to rid residents of unwanted supernatural pests.

However, Drs. Venkman (Bill Murray), Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Spengler (Harold Ramis) don’t appear to be your average academic specialists. Spengler is the most immersed in the science of ghost hunting. Stantz offers the tenacity and brawn required to confront the most threatening specters. Meanwhile Venkman, who is easily distracted by women, seems more interested in catching the attention of any female than capturing spirits. He is particularly flirty with their first client, Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), who has a phantom in her refrigerator.

At first the populous views the trio’s business plan as sheer nonsense, but when an outbreak of metaphysical activity hits the city, the Ghostbusters are suddenly rocketed into the limelight. While good for business, the attention also attracts the notice of government authorities. EPA inspector Walter Peck (William Atherton) insists the enterprise is in violation of several laws and forces the team to release the poltergeists they have captured. Once freed, the spirits place the city under siege. Desperate for help, who’s the mayor gonna call? Ghostbusters!

Created before the PG-13 rating existed in the US, parents may be surprised at the level of content this film presents. Even though the plot is primarily about laughs, many of the supernatural specters may frighten young children. Some are silly, but others appear as skeletons or large ravenous animals. (The special effects associated with these sequences did get the movie an Oscar nomination.) Beyond the goose bumps, sexual comments may also shock. These include a couple of fairly explicit references and a moment where a female ghost appears to be removing a man’s pants. Another scene depicts a possessed woman embracing a man, and sexual activity is implied. Language may be a concern as well, due to the use of a crude term for sex, some anatomical slang and a selection of other profanities. Finally, characters smoke cigarettes throughout the film.

Ghostbusters emerged as one of the more popular films from the early 1980s, and continues in the public eye thanks to the hit song by Ray Parker Jr. However, it may fall short of kid-friendly today, especially for those concerned about satanic depictions or other paranormal themes. As well, families may not appreciate the sexual remarks, scary scenes, or incessant smoking. While perhaps suitable for older teens, parents would do well to refresh their memory before calling in these banshee banishers.

Theatrical Release: 8 June 1984

Note: Sony Pictures celebrates the 30th anniversary of their hit film Ghostbusters with a limited theatrical re-release on August 29, 2014.

Directed by Ivan Reitman . Starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis. Running time: 105 minutes. Theatrical release August 29, 2014. Updated

Ghostbusters (1984)
Rating & Content Info

Why is Ghostbusters (1984) rated PG? Ghostbusters (1984) is rated PG by the MPAA

Violence: It may be a comedy, but there are many scenes in this film likely to frighten young children. Depictions of supernatural beings include a green blob with a big mouth, a couple of skeletons with partial skin coverings and large cat-like creatures. We also see portrayals of humans who are possessed by spirits. These poltergeists are attacked and captured with the use of guns that emit an energy beam. Ghosts attack humans as well, but the only “injury” they inflict is covering the people in a slimy substance.

Sexual Content: Sexual situations consist of a man who is seduced by a possessed woman (she makes an explicit sexual remark to him), another couple shown embracing (sexual relations are implied) and a man whose pants appear to be removed by a female ghost. (No nudity is seen in any of these situations.)

Language:A crude term for sex, anatomical slang, scatological terms, other mild profanities and terms of deity are heard.

Alcohol / Drug Use: Principal and secondary characters are frequently seen smoking cigarettes. Alcohol use is infrequent, but two characters do drink to relieve stress.

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Ghostbusters (1984) Parents' Guide

After a scientist arrives at a woman’s apartment to help get rid of a ghost, his strange behavior (and obvious interest in her) leads her to say: “You don’t act like a scientist. You’re more like a game show host!” How does the use of humor change the tone of this scene? How is comedy used throughout the movie? Do you still find some scenes frightening?

What technologies are missing from the Ghost Buster’s 1984 arsenal? Are they limited in how they can communicate? How do they do their research? Where do they go to find information?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Ghostbusters (1984) movie is June 7, 2016. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: Ghostbusters (4K Ultra HD)
Release Date: 7 June 2016
In anticipation of the 2016 remake of Ghostbusters, Columbia Pictures is re-releasing the 1984 Ghostbusters to home video in a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format. Special features include:
-Who You Gonna Call: A Ghostbusters Retrospective - Roundtable Discussion with Director Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd (Part 1)
- Poster Art Gallery – Gallery of 1988 artwork
- Ghostbusters Music Video – Ray Parker, Jr.
- Slimer Mode – Picture in Picture and Trivia Track
- Commentary with Ivan Reitman, Harold Ramis & Joe Medjuck
- 10 Deleted Scenes
- 1984 Featurette
- Cast and Crew Featurette
- SFX Team Featurette
- Multi-Angles
- Ecto-1: Resurrecting the Classic Car
- Ghostbusters Garage: Ecto-1 Gallery Storyboard Comparisons
Note: Ghostbusters II will also be released on this date in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

Home Video Notes: Ghostbusters: 30th Anniversary Edition
Release Date: 16 September 2014
After a limited theatrical re-release (starting August 29, 2014) Ghostbustersreleases to home video in a 30th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray) with the following supplements:

- Slimer Mode – Picture in Picture and Trivia Track

- Commentary with Ivan Reitman, Harold Ramis and Joe Medjuck

- 10 Deleted Scenes

- 1984 Featurette

- Cast and Crew Featurette

- SFX Team Featurette

- Multi-Angles

- Ecto-1: Resurrecting the Classic Car

- Ghostbusters Garage: Ecto-1 Gallery Storyboard Comparisons

HD Content

- Who You Gonna Call: A Ghostbusters Retrospective - Roundtable Discussion with Director Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd (Part 1)

- Poster Art Gallery – Gallery 1988 artwork

- Ghostbusters” Music Video – Ray Parker, Jr.

Note: Ghostbusters I and II are also being releases in a combo package on September 16, 2014.

Related home video titles:

Comedy and fright are combined in another tale of spirit squelching in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. A trio of friends investigates a haunted abode in Monster House. And a man finds himself engaged to a woman from the afterlife in The Corpse Bride.

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