“I Ain’t Afraid of No (Lady) Ghost (Busters)”; Why the new “Ghostbusters” Film was Really Nothing to Worry About and Why, Apparently, It Really was a Gender Thing.”

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Before we dive headfirst into the swirling cesspool that has lead up to the release of Paul Feig’s “Ghostbusters” release, we’d like to make one firm statement. Paul Feig’s “Ghostbusters” is brilliant. I made a point to check the thing out after the praise began rolling in and it’s really a masterpiece. For die-hard fans of the original films (like myself) there are plenty of in-jokes and cameos to make your inner ‘80s kid swoon; on top of that, the cast (featuring four of the most successful and prominent female comediennes today) kills. They’re brilliantly acted and the timing is spot on. It’s really a solid film all around.

The Ghostbusters Abby (Melissa McCarthy), Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), Erin (Kristen Wiig) and Patty (Leslie Jones) in Columbia Pictures' GHOSTBUSTERS.
The Ghostbusters Abby (Melissa McCarthy), Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), Erin (Kristen Wiig) and Patty (Leslie Jones) in Columbia Pictures’

According to reports, it was even praised by both Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray. If anyone’s opinion matters in regards to the quality of the new installment (the fourth if you count “Ghostbusters: The Videogame” from 2009. We do. It was basically “Ghostbusters III”) it’s the folks behind the cultural smash that was the 1984 original.
The hotheaded contention surrounding this film, from the earliest leaked trailer to the final sneak peek a few weeks before the release, has been completely and utterly ridiculous. An article published by Forbes earlier this May reported that within a few short days, the second “Ghostbusters” trailer received approximately 29 million views. Of those 29 million views, over 620,000 YouTube users “downvoted” the trailer meaning that about every 48th viewer clicked “thumbs down” on the video.
Sure, with numbers like that one would naturally assume that the movie is relatively disliked. With those numbers, not only is the film just disliked, but it’s disliked more than any film trailer in the history of YouTube. A very large percentage of YouTube commenters happen to be men.
Now – before you jump down my proverbial throat consider this:
In reaction to these appalling numbers, The Hollywood Reporter noted that, while yes, these negative numbers are staggering, countless other movies that have been total box office flops have had dislike ratios that were a fraction to that of Paul Feig’s “Ghostbusters.” The odd things about this particular trend was that when examining a platform that has a larger percentage of active female users, Facebook, the reaction to the final trailer was 90% positive.
More concerns bubble their way to the surface quicker than Slimer through an hors d’oeuvres tray when one realizes that more than half of the trailers on YouTube’s “most disliked” list feature women leads and many of the comments made on the YouTube version of the trailer are comprised of people creating multiple accounts specifically to dislike a film and many of the comments aim to recruit large groups of people to “downvote” the trailer in an active campaign to damage box office numbers.
So what’s the deal?

Social media over the last few months has been plagued by people claiming that the new installment in the beloved franchise was somehow “undoing” or “hurting” the childhoods of countless many; that it was some sort of “social justice platform” that was “pushing an agenda.”
The fact of the matter is, now that the thing’s been released into the snarling, open maw of public opinion – the lady ‘busters are slaying.

Critics are fans of it and “Ghostbusters” currently carries a 73% rating on Rotten Tomatoes ; not bad for “the most hated YouTube trailer of all time.”

The venomous outcry of legions of angry internet posters proved fruitless and what’s been left is a thoroughly awesome addition to one of the most successful franchises of all time. The legendary adventures of Spengler, Stantz, Venkman, and Zeddemore are now accompanied by Yates, Gilbert, Holtzmann, and Tolan and that’s perfectly okay.
In fact, it’s better than okay, it’s necessary; and it’s’ pretty awesome.
Social media is flawed; votes, likes, and shares aren’t everything.

To the folks out there (angry dudes on the internet, I’m looking at you) that were worried about Feig’s new supernatural adventure ruining their collective childhood – your fears are completely unfounded. Go see the thing; and do it with an open mind.

Finally, to those that have been in the Lady ‘Busters’ wheelhouse since the beginning – what a film, eh?
Keep slaying, hold your heads high, keep your proton packs charged, don’t cross the streams, and remember: “Seeing is believing.”

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Source: Forbes Magazine, Hollywood Reporter

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