If there's something strange in your neighbourhood, who ya gonna call? Well, 27 years on from their cinematic debut those zany Ghostbusters are still a better bet than Neighbourhood Watch. Re-released in time for Halloween, the efforts of Venkman, Spengler, Stantz (and cult icon Winston Zeddemore) to repel a paranormal threat in New York have stood the test of time. In 2011 it's still as funny, spooky and marvellous as ever.
The story rattles along at a fast pace, ramping up the laughs and scares before the inspired climax featuring the advent of an enormous and evil Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Along the way there is an abundance of delights, including a fridge turning into a gateway to another dimension, the mischievous antics of Slimer, Rick Moranis serving as a prototype for Will from The Inbetweeners and so much more. For gents of a certain age, who hasn't made a 'crossing the streams' quip at a urinal?
The cultural significance of Ghostbusters should not be underestimated and the movie should play well to younger generations who have yet to be initiated. The winning camaraderie between actors Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis as the ghostbusting trio is more than enough to repel any cynicism towards special effects that are nearly three decades old, although many of these are still very effective.
Catching the action in 2011 also provides the perfect opportunity for the thirtysomethings reared on the movie to slime themselves in nostalgia, as well as picking up on a few ghoulish gags that would have flown over the heads of most kids back in the day. In particular, the strong suggestion that Stantz experiences spectral fellatio is an, erm, jaw-dropping moment of realisation, while Venkman's early comment to an agitated librarian - "Are you, Alice, menstruating right now?" - is sublime.
Through the gaze of less than innocent eyes, Venkman's pursuit of the opposite sex does border on that of a serial sex pest. His desperate attempts to woo Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) fall just short of "grabbing" her. Fortunately, not even the prospect of a 'Big Fat Ghouly Wedding' can dampen the sheer joy of watching Bill Murray at his deadpan, wisecracking best.
Much like last year's re-release of Back To The Future, the return of Ghostbusters to the big screen is an ideal opportunity for families to witness a blockbuster of the highest calibre in all its exhilarating glory. Brilliantly fusing horror and comedy - genres that rarely work together - this timeless classic provides the perfect excuse to strap on those proton packs and enhance your Halloween weekend!