Do you remember Ghostbusters: Afterlife? The rebooted reboot of Ghostbusters came out in 2021, just two years ago, but I would swear I saw it in like, 2017. It just feels of that era, when everyone was reboot mad and nostalgia was a helluva drug.
Nostalgia is still a helluva drug, though, so here we are with another Ghostbusters sequel, this time called Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire. The trailer dropped yesterday, introducing the “death chill” and showing off the New York-set sequel that reunites new ’busters Carrie Coon, Paul Rudd, Finn Wolfhard, and McKenna Grace with the (surviving) original cast of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson. Frozen Empire also stars Kumail Nanjiani, Patton Oswalt, and William Atherton returning as EPA official Walter Peck (absolutely incredible to think back on how Ghostbusters coded the EPA as evil, especially in a post-gutted Clean Air and Water Act landscape. I wonder if the new film will attempt to rectify that at all with, perhaps, a climate change message).
As with Star Wars fans, I am not convinced that Ghostbusters fans will ever be happy or like the things they’re given, but they responded with less outright hatred and vitriol to the hyper-nostalgia of Afterlife, and Frozen Empire looks like it has plenty of “member berries”—when South Park gets it right, they get it RIGHT—especially with the New York location. They can go back to the original firehouse set, involve the OG cast more, and there will undoubtedly be plenty of references to the first two films. That the movie looks mediocre is besides the point. It will remind aging people of their youths, that’s all that matters.
I am mostly interested in how this movie was clearly geared for the holiday movie season—it was supposed to open in December but got moved back to March 2024 because of the strikes. But you can feel the winter vibes with the chilly mystery, and Paul Rudd’s borderline “ho ho ho” laugh at the end of the trailer. We are probably doomed to debate if Frozen Empire is a Christmas movie, what a gift to us all.