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Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire - Trailer #1 (Domestic) Review / Breakdown

 By Paul Rudoff on Jan. 29, 2024 at 11:30 PM , Categories: Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

January 29, 2024 saw the release of TWO trailers for Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, one domestic (for the United States) and one for international markets. These trailers are considered to be "Trailer #1", as the November 8th trailer is considered the "Teaser Trailer". I'm going to share my thoughts on this new trailer in a sort-of running commentary form, though I won't go over every single shot. BE FOREWARNED: THERE MAY BE SOME MINOR PLOT SPOILERS IF YOU KEEP READING, as I will take some educated guesses about things based on what little we know so far. It will be interesting to look back on this article after the movie is released to see what I got correct. So, with that out of the way, let's get started.

Ok, so at this point, we know who all of the major cast members are, and which characters they will be playing. The new family is back, which includes Paul Rudd (Gary Grooberson), Carrie Coon (Callie Spengler), Mckenna Grace (Phoebe Spengler), Finn Wolfhard (Trevor Spengler), Celeste O'Connor (Lucky Domingo), and Logan Kim (Podcast). The original family also returns, and they include Bill Murray (Peter Venkman), Dan Aykroyd (Ray Stantz), Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddemore), Annie Potts (Janine Melnitz), and William Atherton (Walter Peck). They are joined by newcomers James Acaster (Lars Pinfield), Patton Oswalt (Dr. Hubert Wartzki), Kumail Nanjiani (Nadeem Razmaadi), and Emily Alyn Lind (unknown).

The plot synopsis, simply put, is that Gary and the Spengler family moved from Summerville to New York City to take up residence in the firehouse. A mysterious artifact is brought into Ray's Occult for examination, and it causes an ancient evil to be unleashed, leaving everyone chilled to the bone. Sounds exciting... The trailer is embedded below, so feel free to watch it before reading on. Also, click on all framegrabs for the original 1920x800 images.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Trailer #1 - Domestic (1/29/2024)

View on YouTube
(alternate lower bitrate Sony Youtube Account)

The trailer opens with the Ecto-1 careening down the city street with Gary at the wheel, Callie riding shotgun, and the kids in the back.

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A familiar voice intones, "I've been waiting 40 years for this. They called themselves 'Ghostbusters'. According to these hacks, they saved the world. No eyewitnesses." As this is heard, the scene shifts to Ray and Winston in the Ecto-1 back in 1984. More footage from the original movie is shown, including the guys on the rooftop temple.

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The "Sony" name comes up, followed by the Columbia Pictures 100th Anniversary logo. The New York City firehouse appears next, while someone riding a Manhattan City Bank ride-share bicycle passes by. The voice continues, "...and who is found to carry the torch? Descendants of Egon Spengler." After a shot of Phoebe, we see Trevor sitting on the floor of the firehouse third-floor attic (presumably) looking at an old magazine that has a group photo of the guys from 1984 on its cover.

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The photo isn't the thing I want to point out here, but rather the cardboard boxes sitting next to him. One of them bears the Ghostbusters II two-finger logo, and was the box that the Thermal Mugs from the commercial came in. On December 19, 2023, an unknown person posted a photo giving a better look at this prop box. So, that's a nice little Easter egg to try to spot in the movie... assuming this shot doesn't hit the cutting room floor.

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Oh, and as for the magazine cover, we don't get a good look at it; just the close-up of Egon in a photo you'll instantly recognize.

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We get to the action as the trailer cuts back to the Ecto-1 chase scene, filmed last June, showing Phoebe activating the gunner seat as they chase the Hells Kitchen Sewer Dragon through the streets of Manhattan. We don't see said "dragon" yet, but rest assured that we will soon. While the teaser trailer last November was more talk, this trailer is more ghosts and action. I suppose the ghost effects weren't done by the time the last trailer was set for release, and now they were, so Sony wanted to show them off.

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Anyway, as we see Phoebe in the gunner seat, the voice continues, "You have a minor hanging out the side of a moving vehicle, firing a laser gun indiscriminately." We now have a face to put to that voice, and it's none other than Walter Peck! Yes, the very-well-hung (he told me to say that) Mr. Pecker returns after 40 years; not counting the 2009 video game, since that's not canon anymore.

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He's talking to Gary and the Spenglers inside a red office, that looks to be his office. I get the feeling that Walter Peck is either a judge or the Mayor of New York. Gary and Trevor counter his statement with the words "overruled" and "sustained", which makes me think it's the former and not the latter. Still, if in two months we learn that Peck is the Mayor, then get me a spot on World of the Psychic.

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After a skyline shot, Nadeem Razmaadi (Kumail Nanjiani) walks into Ray's Occult with a mysterious artifact that the Ray Stantz glow-in-the-dark Funko Pop figure calls the "Golden Orb". I don't know if it's the actual name, or just a generic description given by the folks at Funko, but that's what I'll call it for the time being. Nadeem asks Ray, "Are you the weird guy who buys strange old things?" "Correct on both counts," replies Ray, who is wearing a small "Ray's Occult Books" pin-back button.

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Ray holds the Golden Orb in his hand, giving us our first good look at it. It's very similar to a "strange relic" hiding in the Uncharted games, which grants a PlayStation trophy for finding it in each game.

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The trailer cuts to another scene where Phoebe asks, "What is it?" Dr. Hubert Wartzki (Patton Oswalt) responds, "The better question is, 'what's inside of it?'"

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Lars Pinfield (James Acaster) and Lucky are trying to get to the center of that Tootsie Roll Pop. We see them in the new Ghostbusters tech lab running some kind of test on the Golden Orb, which causes the lab to be engulfed in red emergency lights. That can't be good.

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Lars, apparently being a total dumbass, decides to grab it with his bare hands. He gets a severe case of frostbite. Lucky, I think you'll need to amputate.

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"THIS SPRING" appears, followed by a store carving that looks similar to the one from Afterlife. Over this, Ray is telling Nadeem that "the parables tell of an unimaginable evil commanding an army of ghosts."

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The hands of that "evil" entity appear, grabbing its horns off the wall of (presumably) the secret room hiding behind the food pantry seen in the teaser trailer. The wall the horns are affixed to look to be the same as in this promo photo of the room, so it's a fair assumption at this point. I also think it might be a room in Nadeem's residence, as he appears to be the one guiding Lucky, Trevor, and Lars into the room in the photo. Also, the character would appear to play a larger role in the story than just "guy who drops off artifact to Ray's Occult", since he is in multiple scenes.

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The evil, tall, horned entity is named Garraka, as we learned from the Funko Pop figure, and the hidden message of "Beware Garraka" in Sony's Instagram puzzle. Garraka's cousin, Baraka, is a kombatant in some kind of martial arts tournament. I think they both want to put an end to humanity. I guess that's the family business.

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Ray tell us that Garraka has "the power to kill by fear itself". We know from the previous trailer that said power is called the Death Chill, which is never explicitly mentioned in this trailer. We do get to see it's effects, as an old-timey fireman finds some other old-timey people literally frozen solid. When he touches one, it shatters into a million pieces of ice, as does another frozen person elsewhere in the room.

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Gary wonders, "Like literally scared to death?" With its horns fully attached, Garraka stands tall.

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As Ray states that "we might be looking at our second Ice Age", shots of the taxicab impaled on an ice spike, and the ice spikes coming up at Coney Island are shown. We've seen all of that before in the teaser. Trevor then says, "We're gonna need all the help we can get." Winston and Ray are then seen in the firehouse garage bay, where Winston hands Ray a Proton Wand (or something similar but smaller) with the instruction, "Let's get to work."

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To add to the excitement, a large No Ghost logo is seen on the back of a black van. The van is opened by Lars to reveal the new yellow-embellished Proton Pack.

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In a bit straight out of Space Jam, Peter shows up at the firehouse door asking, "Can I be of any help?"

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He enters the firehouse to find "Melnitz in uniform", which excites him greatly. Yes, Janine finally suits up...

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...but she doesn't have to lug around a heavy Proton Pack. Instead, she gets a new arm-mounted Proton Gun. I think that Jillian Holtzmann might work in the new Ghostbusters tech lab.

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There's also a Proton Pack with an exposed cyclotron. That seems really dangerous.

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Walter Peck isn't the only character from the 1984 original to return. Ray pays a visit to the New York Public Library to see the Library Ghost, who may or may not be named Eleanor Twitty, depending on how much of the 2009 game is no longer canon. I gonna admit, this shot of her floating between the stacks towards the camera looks really fake. I think they may have filmed a physical puppet, but then augmented it with some digital effects (the hair), and digitally inserted it into the film. I think both of those digital steps is what makes this seem "off" to me. Back in 1984, the physical puppet was manipulated for real, and then optically inserted into the film. Strange to say, but I think the 1984 special effect looks more natural.

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Of course the Mini Pufts are back. Sony Pictures Consumer Products requires them to be here. They're hanging out, either in Ray's Occult or the Ghostbusters tech lab, causing harm to themselves. One of them has its arm inside an old mechanical pencil sharpener.

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Gary is overheard saying, "If there's something strange.. If there's something weird..." We then see a new ghost, Pukey, for the first time. We know its name thanks to its Funko Pop figure. We don't get to see his "special trait" in this trailer, unfortunately... or fortunately.

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Gary continues, "...who people gonna call?" Janine answers the call, "Ghostbusters, whadda ya want?"

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We see that Gary has been talking to Callie in a bedroom at the firehouse, which looks to have been modeled on the Captain's Quarters at the real Los Angeles firehouse that was formerly used for interiors. He finishes up with, "We're the Ghostbusters. Can I tell you something else?" She humors him. "Busting makes me feel good." She doesn't take kindly to his humor.

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An exterior shot of the New York Public Library, this time focusing on the lion named Patience. I guess after Fortitude was in the opening shot of the original film, Gil decided that Patience should get the spotlight this time. Anyway, Patience is pissed! It comes to life and tries to bite Ray and Hubert. (The lions were also the subject of spectral activity in the 2009 video game.)

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In the tech lab, Lucky is firing at Garraka, but the frigid bitch (or bastard) freezes the proton streams.

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The firehouse is also frozen over, but we saw that in the teaser. Things are so bad, that Peter has to raise his shades to get a better look.

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Garraka enters the firehouse, prompting Peter to remark, "Heads up. Tall, dark, and horny at 12 o'clock." Garraka unleashes its winterfresh breath.

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Jumping back to the opening Ecto-1 Sewer Dragon chase, a new piece of ghostbusting tech is revealed: the Drone Trap Vehicle (for lack of an official name). Much like the Remote Trap Vehicle, it allows one to trap a ghost without holding the trap itself. The DTV sits on the roof of the Ecto-1, and when deployed...

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it flies in the air allowing one to trap a quick-moving aerial ghost.

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Cue the title.

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A pile of junk food wrappers sit piled up on the floor of the firehouse third-floor attic. From beneath it comes a familiar face.

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Yes, after getting a break from him in Afterlife, Slimer (birth name: Onionhead) is back. Seriously, if I took a deep dive on this, I bet I would find that he's been in every movie (except for Afterlife), animated series, and video game ever made. He was even in the 2016 parody. Can the ugly little spud just rest in peace, already? He's been done to death, literally.

Oh, and just like the Library Ghost, his appearance here seems a little off. I think it may be because he's a little too solid and "plastic-y" for a ghost.

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He does give Trevor the "Peter Venkman" treatment, which is great. I expected for Trevor to say, "He slimed me", but thankfully he doesn't.

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The trailer ends with "EXCLUSIVELY IN THEATERS, MARCH 22".

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Overall, despite the quality of the Library Ghost and Slimer effects, and the fact that Slimer is there at all, I like what I am seeing here. The movie looks fun, exciting, and scary. Unlike Afterlife, it looks like it will pay respect to the original without completely ripping it off. I'm excited to see the movie, so well done, trailer editor. You've done your job well, this time.

VIP BONUS FEATURE - The full 130-image set of screenshots.

SUPER BONUS FEATURE - The high-quality download of the Teaser Trailer.

One of the benefits to having access to Sony's press site is that I can download the high-quality version of things, instead of the crappy re-compressed version that gets strewn across the internet. I have uploaded to the Internet Archive the 1920x1080 MOV 2.9GB file of the domestic trailer. (If you enjoy that the Internet Archive allows me to freely upload large video files like this for you to freely download, please donate to them.) The file contains these specs:

• Video: APCH 1920x1080 24fps 164438kbps [V: Core Media Video (prores hq, yuv422p10le, 1920x1080, 164438 kb/s)]
• Audio: PCM 48000Hz stereo 2304kbps [A: Core Media Audio (pcm_s24le, 48000 Hz, 2 channels, s24, 2304 kb/s)]

Stay tuned for my breakdown of the International version of this trailer.

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