Ghostbusters isn’t scheduled for release in the U.S. until Friday, July 15, but early reviews are out—and wouldn’t you know it, most critics seem to have enjoyed the movie! On the whole, feelings seem to be ranging from mixed-positive to positive, with reviewers calling the Ghostbusters reboot everything from “pretty darn good” to “a hilarious and fun paranormal romp,” with one of the biggest criticisms being that this Ghostbusters movie didn’t do enough to differentiate itself from its predecessors. As of this posting, it stands at a 79% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (not too shabby when you consider Batman V Superman‘s 27%.)
Sadly, this isn’t the first time we’ve discussed a particular contingent of Ghostbusters fans who seem absolutely determined to discredit this movie in the eyes of other fans and film lovers. Their internet crusade (which essentially consisted of a lot of rage-smashing of keyboards) started all the way back when the news of an all-female Ghostbusters movie was first announced. It was sexist against men, they cried! It was pandering to women, pushing a feminist agenda! Never mind the fact that this was one film amongst the thousands that have been created for the male gaze, marketed for a male audience, or been primarily tailored towards male fans. By merely existing, a group of fans decided it was an affront to them personally—and ever since then, they’ve directed an alarming amount of energy and effort into a smear campaign.
The first official trailer became the most downvoted movie trailer on YouTube, but Sony openly welcomed the media attention. The backlash got so bad that it seemed as if the Ghostbusters cast—both new and old—couldn’t walk into an interview without fielding questions about it. When even Dan Aykroyd got slammed for praising the new film, it was probably time to start questioning the logic of the haters’ argument. However, the film proceeded as scheduled—even taking the time to add in a new scene addressing the internet fury in a tongue-in-cheek way.
One would think the imminent premiere of the film, not to mention the decent-ish reviews that have been rolling out since yesterday, would be enough to silence the haters once and for all. Not so. There are some that are still very determined to make sure people don’t go see this movie, and that any existing reviews have obviously been pre-voted on Reddit. In addition to swearing off any positive critical reactions to the film as part of a giant conspiracy orchestrated by Sony to reward glowing reviews with cash money, they’ve also been spamming the IMDb rating system with 1-star reviews, though given that the movie hasn’t even come out yet it’s safe to say this isn’t based on, you know, actually having seen the film.
Ultimately, people are going to see this movie—either to satisfy their own curiosity or to form their own opinion independent of positive or negative reviews—so trying to keep them from doing so feels like the equivalent of screaming into the online void. And to all the haters I say this: just because a movie isn’t for you doesn’t mean it isn’t for someone else.
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