Who you gonna call?

When I was eight, I saw a dead fox carcass being dragged bloodied across the floor. “No more”, I thought, the precocious eight-year-old, “will I need to worry about seeing the worst thing in my life”. For thirteen years the fox carcass stood as the worst thing I had ever seen. Then I saw the new Ghostbusters trailer. Let me say unequivocally; it is the worst thing I have ever seen.

The sheer temerity of the intellectual vapidity would be actively amusing if it weren’t so worrying. Is this what passes for entertainment nowadays? Are people supposed to enjoy this hackneyed remake? They have swapped out four men for four women and that is the limit of their creative license. Everything else has remained the same, degraded by time and a stifling lack of any initiative. This trailer is not bread and circuses, you understand, but circuses and bread.

What is worse is that these look like the highlights. The barrel has been truly scraped. This leaves viewers who are unfortunate enough to witness the whole thing subject to driving their incisors into nothing but the maggot-infested wood of the receptacle which once housed these jokes. It is lamentable. The whole thing is ingrained with a lingering sense of a total lack of creativity. This lack of creativity borders depressingly onto the realm of actively insulting.

The whole trailer suffers from this same, chronic laziness. The special effects ghouls are a half-baked pastiche of the original, without the charm. There is an insulting dearth of creativity in any single facet. Every character is the result of bone-idol characterisation and presented through equally uncreative exposition. There is the geeky one, the fat one, the black one and the pretty one. Each niche is forcefully shoved down your throat until you are sick. The black one says “oh Lordy”, the geeky one has thick-set glasses. The fat one does some jokes. I would bet a large degree of any future earnings on the fact that the pretty one falls in love.

There are four female leads. Yet even in this forward-thinking rehash, no-one has stopped to ask whether true progressiveness may be better served through fighting stereotypes as much as needless male domination of roles. I can only suppose that a meeting somewhere went something along the lines of “well we’ve made our change now so there’s no good fussing about anything else”. It made a semi-valiant attempt to send some kind of message. It was so lazy and cack-handed that it believed it had triumphed when in reality it wasn’t even at the half-way mark.

After my fifth watch of the video, however, I begin to see past all this, right into the Matrix. The video’s core reveals itself to me. Like Moses, I stand awaiting understanding of the messy and complicated picture that has thus far been presented to me. There is no revealed word of God. Just a sad, sad void. An endless pit of artistic nothingery and creative vacuity. I stare at the pit and it stares back at me.

Unblinking and endless, I realise that a great deal of well-paid people have passed this for artistry.

And I am sad.

Stephen Rainbird

Images courtesy of Sony Pictures

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