Ain't afraid of no ghosts: Is 'Ghostbusters' too spooky for kids?

Posted July 21

GHOST YORK — The new edition of "Ghostbusters" has been highly anticipated considering that it's based off the classic of the same name starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson. Many of us have a soft spot in our hearts for the 1984 comedy and have been curious, skeptical, and often times hopeful about this 2016 reboot.

Whether this film is worth your time is the job of my friend Travis Poppleton. What I'm here for what is age appropriate.

As always, I cannot say definitively if you should take your kids or not — that is up to you, the parent. What I can do, however, is give you a heads up about what is in the movie and then you can decide from there.

So here we go.


This is ultimately what earned "Ghostbusters" its PG-13 rating. The language is not necessarily intense, and there is no mention of the so-called "R-rated word," but there is a fair amount of other four-letter ones. I wouldn't say that the language is non-stop, but it is apparent throughout the movie and is typical of a PG-13 comedy these days.

I didn't feel like the language was really harsh or intense, but it was constant and very deserving of the PG-13 label.

Crude humor

Here is another area where we figured the filmmakers would push the envelope. Both the film's director and main actors aren't known for their family-friendly brand of comedy. Director Paul Feig's other credits include several films starring Melissa McCarthy like "Spy," "The Heat" and "Bridesmaids," which stars fellow Ghostbuster, Kristen Wiig. All of these movies are raunchy R-rated fare and some of the humor sneaks in here.

Granted I don't think anything that is deserving of an R rating from a humor perspective is present, but there are some adult jokes that likely aren't really for the kiddos. The movie is undoubtedly tame compared to the likes of "Bridemaids," but it has its moments none the less.

Scare factor

Much like the original film, "Ghostbusters" wants to make you jump on occasion. The film is certainly not terrifying, but there are a few moments that will get your knuckles white while you wait for that jump scare. The opening sequence in particular has a scary tone to it, but like the original, the scare factor is toned down by the humor interjected into those moments.

Overall, "Ghostbusters" isn't a scary movie, but it does have its moments. Something recent that I could compare it to from a "scary" perspective would be "Goosebumps." Understand me, these are not comparable in almost any other way by way of content, but the scariest "Goosebumps" got is about what you can expect from "Ghostbusters."


At the end of the day, the 2016 "Ghostbusters" is very similar to the original as far as content is concerned. You may not remember it, but the 1984 version had its fair share of language, crude humor and jump scares. From a is-it-OK-for-my-kids perspective, I'd say you can use the original as a good barometer.

"Ghostbusters" is rated PG-13 for supernatural action and some crude humor.

John has been writing about movies, news, sports and pretty much anything awesome for more than five years. John is the co-host of the Flix Junkies podcast and will always entertain you with his stories.


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