The Ghostbusters Trailer Is Horrible
Have you seen the trailer for Ghostbusters? It’s exceptionally bad in nearly every way imaginable. The jokes fall flat, the pacing is strange, and it feels like that it spoils large portions of the film all for the sake of fitting as many flashy things as possible into a two minute sizzle reel! It’s a real shitshow.
In case you haven’t seen it, here’s a look.
Yeah, I’m really clever, I know.
I think my point here is clear; you can’t judge a movie by its trailer. How many amazing films have had lousy trailers? The original Star Wars trailer is garbage, so are most of the trailers for Pixar’s films. Same goes for the trailer to Abyss, Cabin In The Woods and Spider-Man 2.
Conversely, the trailer for Spider-Man 3 was all kinds of awesome, as were the trailers to Terminator: Salvation, Battle: Los Angeles, Apollo 18, multiple Transformers films, the last two Alien movies, as well as the remake to Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the prequel to The Thing. Plenty of great films get lousy trailers, and plenty of horrible flicks get amazing ones. This is not new.
Dismissing, or exalting, a movie based on two minutes of footage hastily cut together to make the film appeal to the widest possible audience is a fool’s errand. Let a trailer pique, or downplay, your interest, sure, but don’t lock your opinion of a film based on the trailer and the trailer alone. Certainly don’t use it as an excuse to lose your damn mind.
Of course, a lot of the criticism surrounding the Ghostbusters trailer is loaded. From day one this movie was given an extra dose of intense scrutiny thanks to the filmmakers’ decision to re-cast the titular paranormal investigators as women. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is either trying to fool you or themselves. This movie is being unfairly attacked and singled out because its a venerable 80s classic re-cast with women leads. That’s obvious.
It’s just as obvious though, that there are people negative on the film for other reasons. Shit, I’m one of them. I don’t have high hopes for this film. While I’m not going to disregard a movie entirely because of a bad trailer, it certainly doesn’t help my view of the film, and I’m not a big fan of some of the actresses they chose to be Ghostbusters, nor do I like the creative team all that much. I’m also annoyed with the film’s portrayal of the seemingly sole black character and its reliance on stereotypes. Most of all though, I’m just not all that keen on remakes. I wasn’t happy when they remade The Fog. I wasn’t happy when they remade Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And I sure as hell wasn’t happy when they remade Poltergeist, one of the most important and defining films of my childhood.
Those remakes came out regardless though, but they were all summarily horrible and quickly forgotten. Ditto for the remakes to Rollerball, Get Carter, Psycho, Conan The Barbarian and so on. Not only were they forgotten, they did little to damage the reputations of the originals. The remake to Rollerball was bad. Hella bad. Outrageously bad. But did it make the original go away? And do people confuse the original for it when it’s brought up? Of course not. Classics stay classic. Crap gets forgotten. No matter how bad this movie is, it won’t dilute the original. In fact, if it’s unequivocally horrendous, that will just bring even more attention to the original, as people who will be disappointed with the remake will seek out the first movie to see what all the fuss is about.
If there’s anything that’s the most telling about the misogynist origins of the most vocal Ghostbusters remake critics, the ones who decry it as a violation of their childhood memories and a disgrace to all things cinema, its that they didn’t launch into similar rants when any of the other remakes I mentioned were announced. Why weren’t people up in arms when that horrible trailer for Poltergeist came out, or when the shitty trailer for the Nightmare On Elm Street remake was released? How come fans of 80s classics were taking to Twitter and YouTube en masse to express their disgust over The Thing prequel or the Conan remake? What do those remakes have in common that the Ghostbusters remake doesn’t? They’re all venerable 80s properties with massive cult followings whose remakes had lousy previews. The gender-swapped cast is the only thing that makes Ghostbusters stand out.
Again, I know there are plenty of reasons to look at this Ghostbusters remake and think it’s shit. And if you’re one of those reasonable people out there who have expressed their distaste for the film in an intelligent and fair way, then that’s cool, and like I said, I’m right there with you.
But if you’re chronically clicking “dislike” on a trailer and calling for others to do so, if you’re freaking out and attacking anyone who suggests misogyny might be an issue here, if you’re a professional critic and you put up an extended, painful video detailing exactly why you won’t do your job, all because of one horrible trailer and one that was honestly not all that bad (the crowdsurfing gags were really funny!) then maybe take a look in the mirror and ask yourself what you’re really angry about.
And don’t forget Ghostbusters 2 was fucking terrible.