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Back in 1984, before the original Ghostbusters hit theaters, little was known about Ivan Reitman‘s upcoming film. Sure, it had two Saturday Night Live heavyweight alumni in the cast, with Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, plus funnyman Harold Ramis, who had already worked with both Murray and Reitman (behind many comedy hits) on the surprise hit comedy Stripes, but no one was really sure what to expect. After all, it was about ghosts. Now in 2016, we’ve got a similar situation. Paul Feig is behind a couple of big comedy hits and the cast of his latest includes some heavyweight SNL alumni such as Kristin Wiig and Kate McKinnon, plus funnywoman Melissa McCarthy, who has already worked with both Wiig and Feig on the surprise hit Bridesmaids. Dots are connecting fast. Advertising was a whole lot different back in those days though, as trade papers and magazines had all the movie news, while theaters and the occasional television commercial were the only place to catch a trailer. Speaking of which, this is was what Columbia Pictures released to tease their new ghost movie:
Did you catch that dark tone at the start? Sure, the baritone-movie-trailer-voice is passé now but there’s no escaping the menacing opening, playfully hinting at a scary story, even though everyone knew it would be otherwise. The trailer is designed to play on the cliches of the horror genre, and creates a nice unsettling feel before the inevitable comedy arrives. That’s the point of the movie in the first place, to take the ghost-movie standard and turn in on its head. There is little doubt that Feig and team are about to do the same. But that’s not all. Let’s not forget a bit of valuable information bestowed on us from Elaine (Chloe Webb) in Ghostbusters II:
If you aren’t able to play that video, Elaine is a guest on Dr. Venkman’s (Murray) television show World of the Psychic warning us of the end of the world on February 14th, 2016. Hey, that’s now! You think the marketing team for this year’s Ghostbusters didn’t time this teaser with that apocalyptic date? So while the mood of the clip is surely heavy, and the images of police and military staging for some approaching danger are dark, the payoff will most surely be something for a laugh. Hands up if you think it’s marshmallow related?
Ghostbusters releases worldwide, July, 2016
Dan Aykroyd (characters), Katie Dippold
Kristen Wiig, Chris Hemsworth, Melissa McCarthy