bustin' makes me feel good

Reviews of Ghostbusters are flowing in - how is the internet handling the fact that they're not that bad?

The reboot of the 80s comedy has hitherto attracted truly titanic levels of opprobrium online – mostly it seems for featuring an all-female cast.

Ghostbusters Stay Puft Installation - London A commuter takes a photo of a giant Stay Puft marshmallow man installation at Waterloo Station in London yesterday David Jensen David Jensen

WHETHER OR NOT you’re a fan of the 1984 version of Ghostbusters (and this writer would be lying if he said he wasn’t one), you’re probably aware that a rebooted version of the movie will be dropping into Irish cinemas in three days time.

And the reason you’re probably aware is that the new movie has been receiving galactic levels of hatred online for months now (since it was first announced that it was going to be made in fact).

Why is this? Well, two main reasons it seems. Firstly, the movie is a reboot of a commonly-accepted-as-classic 80s comedy and people who love certain movies to the point of fanaticism often don’t take kindly to having the object of their affections ‘messed with’ (not always without reason – reboots or uncalled for sequels are often bloody terrible – we’re looking at you Indiana Jones and your crystal skulls).

Secondly however, and far more overwhelmingly, the film has swapped an all-male cast for an all-female rendition. And when you combine these two trains of thought you get something quite ugly.

Rightly or, let’s face it, very wrongly, this has seen Ghostbusters 2016 getting the rough-end of the internet stick despite the fact no-one at all had even seen it until very recently.

2016 CinemaCon - Sony Pictures Entertainment The movie's four leads and director Paul Feig, pictured in Las Vegas in April AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

The official trailer for the movie is the most downvoted video in the history of YouTube – no mean feat. Reddit meanwhile, never the most easy-going of forums, has been tearing itself apart over the affront to fans’ sensibilities that is the reboot.

Sony Pictures Entertainment / YouTube

But now the movie is set to hit theatres. Which means critics have been getting to have a look and give us their two cents. And the consensus seems to be that it’s… pretty good.

Not amazingly amazing, not earth-shatteringly awful, just… not bad.


You might imagine that certain corners of the internet aren’t taking this too well. You would be right.

On the all-seeing, all-knowing Internet Movie Database (IMDB) the movie has been rated a score of one out of 10 almost 4,000 times for an overall aggregate of 3.7.

Yes, a film hardly any member of the public has actually seen has picked up a worst possible rating 4,000 times.

As you might expect the split between male and female voters is quite stark – with the menfolk rating the movie 3.4 out of 10 and females branding it a steady 6.5.

But it’s when you hit the user reviews that things start to get a little ugly.

“We had a media showing last night and I thought I was going to be sick,” says the less-than-measured Keithbenicek.

Despite what you hear, the new Ghostbusters… is HORRIBLE!!

Given Keith gives the movie two stars you would fear for the movie that he deems to be only worth a solitary star.

“What a terrible, unfunny, man-hating mess it is,” opines UK reviewer Gizmo meanwhile, who goes the whole hog and sticks a one-star review on the film.

“I was unfortunate enough to see an early screening with a friend and… man, this movie isn’t bad; it’s TERRIBLE. BEYOND TERRIBLE,” says Annilator86. Hmmm.

Of course these people may say they’ve seen the movie – but that’s far from a guarantee that they actually have done.

Tweetin’ it real

Anyway, with all this hatred, surely Twitter will be nice and measured about everything.

Yes, that was a joke. But, oddly enough, it does actually seem to be the case. An entirely unscientific look at the movie’s mentions on the Twitter machine today shows that most seem to come either from people who’ve seen previews and want to tell the world as much, or others who are wondering whether or not the movie is any good or not. The bile is kept to a minimum.

So does this mean that the movie’s more blatant online trolls are now relatively confined to the likes of the IMDB? Probably not, but it’s nice to see something approaching sanity returning to the discourse.

Then there is the case of Reddit user Better_Butter321 who had this to say yesterday, and garnered him or herself a lot of attention in doing so:

We were doing a pretty good job of filtering out positive reviews in /r/movies, but they consolidated them into a mega thread and now people are starting to say maybe we were wrong. Is there any way to easily get the word out on social media that the positive reviews are probably all paid for?

This seems like a fairly bang-to-rights case of internet rabble-rousing. Or so you would think.

It seems Better_Butter321 had in fact previously been bigging-up the new film. And has now done an about turn. Given the post has been greeted almost universally with disapproval you would have to think there’s some quite-effective reverse psychology going on here. We’re onto you Better_Butter.

Still, all this brouhaha for a comedy about catching ghosts. It’s a good thing we all have our priorities straight says you.

You’re right Martin. Now who wants to talk about Pokémon Go?


For the record, Metacritic (an online reviews aggregator for the uninitiated) has given the movie a score of 60 out of 100 based on an aggregate of 25 critic reviews.

Rotten Tomatoes meanwhile rates the movie at 77% from 79 reviews. Which isn’t bad at all.

The Irish Times has given it three out of five stars, and James Richardson in the Guardian thinks it’s fairly mediocre.

With four more-than-talented comedic actresses in it, and directed by Paul Feig (who gave us both Bridesmaids and Spy, which were both pretty great), it sounds like it’s well worth a look to us.

Read: Ghostbusters backlash reflects sexism problem in Hollywood

Read: This Ghostbusters actress has had to defend her ‘street smart’ character after a racism row

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