Jason Reitman takes the reins of the franchise that his father, Ivan Reitman, launched. And theirs is not the only DNA that’s shared between this film and the 80s original. Various supernatural entities and a sizeable chunk of plot are either worshipped or pillaged, depending on the level of pre-existing audience goodwill. The film’s main appeal is not what it appropriates from other Ghostbusters pictures, but that it’s a nostalgic nod to the Spielbergian family adventures of the same period.
A vigorously John Williams-influenced score by Rob Simonsen elicits an almost Pavlovian feelgood response from viewers of a certain age. The casting of Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard brings a similar resonance for a younger audience. He plays the older of two siblings who discover their dead grandpa’s secrets when they are forced to move to his spooky, run-down farm.