Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! This phrase is certainly among the most popular phrases in the history of cinema and we all know the music accompanying it, as well as the franchise it is from. The Ghostbusters franchise began back in 1984 and became a cult classic, despite releasing just two movies initially, before a two-decade long pause. In 2021, Ghostbusters returned with Ghostbusters: Afterlife, thus revitalizing the franchise. This inspired us to write this article, which is going to be dedicated to one of the best franchises in the history of cinema.
This article is going to be a chronological list of all the Ghostbusters movies, including the most recent one, but also the two animated series that have aired so far. We are going to talk about the movies, answer some related questions and give you all the necessary production and plot-related information you need to know if you plan on watching the Ghostbusters franchise.
How many Ghostbusters movies are there?
The Ghostbusters franchise started in 1984 and has so far produced four live-action movies and two animated series. Three of the four movies are part of the same narrative continuity, although with a big time skip, while the fourth movie is a reboot/spin-off set in an alternative universe to the main one. The movies are:
As for the animated series, they are:
Ghostbusters movies in order
As said, we are going to talk about the live-action movies that comprise the franchise. The movies are going to be listed in the proper watching order and you’ll receive some basic production information on each of them.
Director: Ivan Reitman
Written By: Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis
Release Date: June 8, 1984
Doctors Peter Venkman, Raymond “Ray” Stantz and Egon Spengler, researchers at Columbia University in New York specializing in parapsychology, are accused of carrying out bizarre research. Stripped of their post by the dean of the university, they then decide to open a paranormal investigation company called “Ghostbusters”.
Committing their last funds to this activity, they buy an old abandoned New York fire station, which they renovate and modify, and set off to chase paranormal phenomena all over the city at the wheel of their Ectomobile “Ecto 1 ”, a white Cadillac decorated with their company logo. Taking advantage of the resurgence of ectoplasmic appearances which suddenly assails New York City, the three friends are soon overwhelmed during their activity as ghost hunters and become local stars, their interventions being relayed in the media.
However, they are also attracting the attention of authorities, in particular Walter Peck, a member of the Environmental Protection Commission (EPA) who takes them in disapproval and who will try to put obstacles in their way. At the same time, Dana Barrett, a New York cellist, discovers that paranormal events are happening in her apartment in Central Park West. Distraught, she asks the help of the company Ghostbusters, having seen on television the advertisement for their company.
Doctor Peter Venkman, attracted by this young and attractive bachelor, takes charge of his business while trying to make her succumb to his charm. Joined by a fourth member, Winston Zeddemore, the Ghostbusters soon become the city’s only hope in the face of the threat of Gozer, a malevolent Sumerian god who tries to enter our world through a dimensional portal perched on top of a building. New Yorker (the same where Dana and her next-door neighbor, accountant Louis Tully live), built to plans by an architect loyal to Gozer.
Ghostbusters II (1989)
Director: Ivan Reitman
Written By: Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis
Release Date: June 16, 1989
Vigo was a tyrant and a sorcerer hated by his people. Just before being slaughtered in 1610, he launched a prophecy announcing his return. His spirit haunts from an evil painting that is restored at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Five years after saving the city from the onslaught of supernatural monsters and the arrival of an evil being from another dimension, former scientists Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz and Egon Spengler, along with their associate Winston Zeddemore, in are reduced to hosting birthday parties and presenting television shows for a living.
Meanwhile, a slimy, evil substance pours into the city’s sewers, leading straight to the museum that hosts the famous painting. Janosz Poha, the museum’s curator, is subject to orders from Vigo who orders him to find him a child to incarnate. The choice of Janosz then falls on Oscar, the son of Dana Barrett (the heroine of the first film).
Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)
Director: Jason Reitman
Written By: Gil Kenan & Jason Reitman
Release Date: November 19, 2021
Thirty-seven years after the “Manhattan Proton Crossing of 84”, Ghostbusters founding member Egon Spengler moved to Summerville, Oklahoma, where the mining operations of Gozerian cultist “Ivo Shandor” were located. Egon He captures a ghost in one of the mines, with the goal of using it to lure a larger ghost to his farm, where he has set a trap for him.
When the trap fails, he runs into his country house and hides the ghost trap in a secret spot on the ground. Egon sits in a chair, as if he has accepted his fate, when a mist creeps in and kills him. Egon’s estranged daughter, Callie, and her two sons, Trevor and Phoebe, are evicted from their home and forced to move to Egon’s farm in Summerville.
Trevor meets Lucky, a local girl who works at a restaurant (whom he falls in love with), and Phoebe is enrolled in summer school, where she leaves her under the care of Gary Grooberson, her eccentric science teacher. Janine Melnitz informs Callie that Egon left behind a mountain of debt. While going through Egon’s belongings, Phoebe discovers that her house is haunted and she discovers a PKE meter, and an invisible ghost leads her into a ghost trap, while Trevor finds the Ecto-1.
Lucky leads Trevor to an old mine on top of a mountain, where something has escaped. Phoebe brings the ghost trap to school to show it to her friend, Podcast, where Gary reveals himself to be a fan of the Ghostbusters and reveals that Summerville has been experiencing a series of earthquakes despite not being at an epicenter, suspecting that it was caused by something supernatural. Gary, Phoebe, and Podcast open the ghost trap and a beastly entity escapes into Shandor’s mine.
The invisible ghost leads Phoebe to an underground lair where Egon kept his ghost hunting equipment. Realizing that the ghost is her grandfather, Phoebe repairs a packet of protons under her direction and tests it the next day when she encounters Muncher, the metal-eating ghost inside a factory. Muncher escapes capture and flees to Summerville, where Phoebe and Podcast meet Trevor in the repaired Ecto-1.
They hunt down and successfully capture Muncher, but the police arrest them for property damage, confiscating the Ecto-1 and equipment from the Ghostbusters. Phoebe contacts Ray Stantz. Trevor, Phoebe, Lucky, and Podcast return to the mine, where they find a temple dedicated to Gozer. They also find the body of Ivo Shandor and a trap that Egon had prepared to contain any possible incursions by Gozer. Gary and Callie are possessed by Gozer’s henchmen, Vinz Clortho the keymaster and Zuul the keeper, respectively, and they race towards Shandor’s mine.
The keymaster destroys Egon’s trap, allowing Gozer to manifest and Ivo Shandor to wake up. Gozer kills Shandor and takes the throne from him in the temple. Phoebe, Trevor, Lucky, and Podcast discover Egon’s plan to catch Gozer, prepare, and re-enter the mine to implement it. Podcast catches Zuul, causing Gozer’s form to waver. Callie recovers and they flee the mine to Egon’s farm to take Gozer there.
The trap fails and Gozer pulls Zuul out of the ghost trap. Zuul possesses Lucky, and Gozer is restored. Ray arrives with Peter Venkman and Winston Zeddemore to help the Spenglers, but Gozer breaks free by uncrossing their currents. Phoebe tries to save them herself. Egon’s ghost materializes beside her to help. Trevor powers the trap with his proton pack, and the traps are activated, trapping Gozer, Zuul, and Vinz Clortho inside them.
Director: Paul Feig
Written By: Paul Feig & Katie Dippold
Release Date: July 15, 2016
Abby Yates and Erin Gilbert are two theoretical physics scholars who have written a book together in which they argue that paranormal phenomena such as ghosts really exist.
In order to continue her career in scientific research and be taken seriously by her colleagues, Erin abandons Abby, denying having written the book with her, and becomes a professor at Columbia University, while Abby continues to study the paranormal alongside the brilliant and eccentric engineer Jillian Holtzmann at the less prestigious Higgins Institute of Science.
Erin, waiting to become an associate professor at Columbia University, learns that Abby has increased the visibility of their book by making it available online, which could jeopardize her career. In an attempt to get Abby to take the book off sales until her contract with Columbia is formalized, Erin becomes embroiled in an investigation into an alleged paranormal apparition.
Abby, Erin and Jillian witness the first concrete manifestation of a ghost they have ever seen, shooting it and posting the video on YouTube, which leads to Erin’s immediate firing and her loss of all credibility as a scientist by the entire community. university. Erin decides to join the two friends in their experiments at the Higgins Institute, but the dean of the institute denies them the renewal of any funds allocated for their research.
The three thus open an office in a room above a Chinese restaurant and call themselves “Operators of Metaphysical Verification”. They then start building equipment to capture and study ghosts and hire Kevin Beckman, a guy as charming as he is dumb, as their secretary. One day a subway worker, Patty Tolan, comes into contact with a ghost in the tunnels and contacts the trio.
Abby, Erin and Jillian manage to capture the ghost with their proton packs and film the operation, but their footage is again mocked by the Internet audience. The protagonists do not lose heart, continuing to improve their technology and calling themselves “Ghostbusters” (in the original “Ghostbusters”). Patty decides to join the team, making herself useful as she knows New York City very well and provides a vehicle to the group, a repurposed Cadillac hearse borrowed from her uncle.
Ghostbusters animated TV shows in order
The Real Ghostbusters
Original Release: September 13, 1986 – October 5, 1991
The adventures of three researchers in parapsychology (Peter Venkman, Raymond Stantz and Egon Spengler) who found a company for exterminating ghosts, the Ghostbusters. In this adventure, they recruit Winston Zeddemore, ghost hunter and Janine Melnitz, company secretary. The series serves as an animated continuation of the first movie.
Original Release: September 1, 1997 – December 4, 1997
After the supernatural activity in the city ended, Ghostbusters closed and its members went their separate ways. The only ghost hunter still in town is Egon Spengler, who has remained to watch the storage cabinet. Egon also spends the rest of his time teaching the paranormal at New York University in front of sparsely populated and often uninterested classes.
However, things quickly start to stir: a spirit named “Achira” is released during the construction of a metro tunnel. The creature then begins to attack the city, while it also faces the reappearance of many ghosts. Faced with this situation, Egon Spengler has no choice but to recruit new ghost hunters from among his students and create new, more sophisticated anti-ghost equipment.
The new team includes Kylie Griffin, a gifted gothic girl and occult expert, Eduardo Rivera, a cynical Latin American, Garrett Miller, a young yet very athletic paraplegic who uses a wheelchair, and Roland Jackson, a keen African American. of technologies. Also reappear Janine Melnitz, the former secretary of Ghostbusters who returns to service, and Slimer, the little green and greedy ghost who usually appears in a comic setting.
Led by Egon Spengler, this new team sets out to rid New York of ghosts, despite authorities’ skepticism of their work. In the last two episodes of the series, the original Ghostbusters team (Dr. Peter Venkman, Dr. Raymond Stantz, and Winston Zeddemore) return to New York to celebrate Egon’s birthday and have friction with the new team.
In the last episode, they all team up against a demon from the Bermuda Triangle who threatens to destroy New York.