There are many fans who believe that Ghostbusters II (1989) is a Christmas movie. It’s hardly as strong a debate as that of Die Hard (1988), but we’ve decided to cast a lens over the film and try to help solve the mystery! Who ya gonna call? Well, in this case, us!
Ghostbusters II is the first sequel to the original Ghostbusters (1984), both of which were directed by the late Ivan Reitman. While next year’s Ghostbuster 4 (2023), the follow-up to last year’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021), may very well end up being a Christmas movie given its December release, many fans remain convinced that the franchise already has a festive entry in Ghostbusters II.
But what is it about the 1989 sequel that has fans believing it’s a Christmas movie? Well, let’s take a look.
The film focuses on the original four Ghostbusters – Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), Dr. Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson), whose ghost-busting business hasn’t been going all that well in the five years since the last film.
Also returning to the fold are Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts), Louis Tully (Rick Moranis), and Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), as they join the Ghostbusters in trying to thwart the apocalyptic efforts of the ghost of an evil tyrant named Vigo the Carpathian, whose soul is trapped inside an old oil painting.
There are some interesting themes at play in Ghostbusters II, which largely revolve around the fact that New York City has become a cesspit for negativity, which in turn has allowed Vigo to grow powerful. But by the end of the film, our heroes must rely on positive energy to defeat the evil warlock.
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And when better to call upon the good will of your fellow citizens that New Year’s Eve, of course! Ghostbusters II only passes through Christmas (you can, however, buy Ghostbusters action figures in Christmas hats, as seen in the film), while its third act actually takes place on New Year’s Eve.
But is there any such thing as a New Year’s Eve movie? Well, there are undoubtedly plenty set on this night, but does New Year fall within the radius of the Christmas holidays? For some yes, for others, probably not so much.
As Ghostbusters II doesn’t take place over Christmas, and doesn’t feature any Christmas music or any other theme pertaining to the Holiday season, then it’s fair to say that, unfortunately, it isn’t a Christmas movie.
If, however, it gives you those merry vibes, then good for you. And who knows – maybe Ghostbusters 4 will end up becoming a bonafide Christmas classic!
As per Columbia Pictures, here’s the official synopsis for Ghostbusters II:
Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis take up their proton packs once more to battle the forces of evil in Manhattan! After waging a war on slime that cost New York City millions, the Ghostbusters find themselves out of business until an ancient tyrant, preparing a return to the Earthly domain through his portrait of a Manhattan Museum of Art, sets his sights on Dana Barrett's baby as the new home for his wicked soul! With the help of the museum's possessed curator, he plans to turn New York into a really scary place to live. Now only the Ghostbusters can save New York City by turning paranormal pest control into an art form!
Ghostbusters II stars Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Annie Potts, Dan Aykroyd, and Rick Moranis.
Ghostbusters 4 will be released in theaters on December 20, 2023.