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Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, the continuation of the franchise movies

Ghostbusters%3A+Frozen+Empire+returns+with+its+old+cast+of+characters%2C+but+this+time+with+a+different+otherworldly+threat.
Edwin He
Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire returns with its old cast of characters, but this time with a different otherworldly threat.

On March 22, 2024, Columbia Pictures released Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, a supernatural comedy film directed by Gil Kenan. This movie is the sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which came out in November 2021. 

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire and Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a reboot of the original Ghostbusters. Despite having a new cast of characters, the plotlines are intertwined with events from the original story, especially with Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

In recent years, more movies have been coming out that are part of a larger franchise, which has impacted audience enjoyment. Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire has a high audience rating of 83 percent, but has a substantially lower critic score of 43 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

The discrepancy in scores could be partially from the general audience viewing the movie through the lens of their love of the franchise, greatly boosting their enjoyment. With so many more movies coming out as part of an ever-expanding franchise, would movies dip in quality as studios rely more on nostalgia than the art of filmmaking? 

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire serves as an example of continuing a larger franchise. However, it does not fall into the trap of so many other franchise movies. 

Is it necessary to watch the previous movies?

Like Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the film follows the Spengler family, descendants of Egon Spengler who was part of the original Ghostbusters crew. The film primarily focuses on Phoebe Spengler (Mckenna Grace), a fifteen-year-old girl part of the Ghostbuster crew and a recurring character from the last movie. 

Phoebe Spengler is forced to adapt to a new life as she is suspended from the crew for being a minor.  At the same time, an evil ancient god is on the cusp of escape. The old and new Ghostbuster crews must work together to face these dangers and hopefully save the world again. 

Bringing back the former cast of characters immediately forces newer audiences to be at a disconnect with long-time franchise viewers. However, the movie reintroduces the cast and despite referencing previous events, a newer viewer won’t have trouble understanding due to those references being brief and largely irrelevant to the plot.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife heavily draws its plot from the original Ghostbusters movie, sharing its villain Gozer The Gozerian. However, this movie deviates from this pattern and brings in an all-new villain. Additionally, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire establishes new story arcs for its characters, allowing newer audiences to not have to rely on previous understanding of the characters. 

With these two elements, Ghostbuster: Frozen Empire serves as a crucial example of how to make a franchise movie, but have it stand on its own. Watching the previous movies helps an audience better understand the characters, fleshing them out. However, this isn’t necessary. 

Ghostbuster: Frozen Empire is able to innovate and create independent storylines. Independent storylines not only help newer audiences understand but allows experienced audiences to view something new. 

The movie on its own

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is an enjoyable experience on its own. It masterfully plays with elements of humor and action. The film carefully sets up plot events with clever foreshadowing that all tie together at the end of the film to solve the main conflict. 

Although some smaller arcs felt incomplete from a lack of plot development, the film is still an entertaining watch. It delivers on all the big moments and will leave the audience with a satisfying ending.

In conclusion, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is a movie for all ages and for all viewers. It is a franchise movie, but doesn’t rely on its prequel to shine. Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire can be found in local theaters such as Regal, Livermore 13, and THE LOT City Center. It will then be released on streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu. 

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