We like the new Ghostbusters trailer. It’s got a true love for the franchise, as well as action, humour and character to spare. But at the same time, it’s obviously not perfect. There are some issues with it — and a new fan cut deals with them nicely.
The fan trailer, by Bevan Bell on YouTube, is above. Compare it to the official trailer below.
The most obvious change in the fan-cut trailer is that it removes almost all discussions of the plot. We don’t learn nearly anything about the characters or what they have to do, but we see enough that they’re still intriguing.
The fan trailer also provides the nostalgia of the official version, without some of the questionable text. We see the Ecto-1, fire house, symbol, all that stuff and we get it. In the official trailer, some of the text at the beginning is confusing. Many fans who watched the official trailer came away believing that the new movie is set in the same universe as the first two. The fact of the matter is, when the official trailer says “30 years ago”, it’s talking about the release of the Ghostbusters movies, not the world inside the movies. That may seem obvious to some people, but it isn’t to everyone, and the fact even one person was confused is an issue.
There’s also the issue that “four scientists” didn’t actually save New York. “Three scientists and their new employee” did. And in the new movie, it’s exactly the same. But the official trailer doesn’t say that because A) “Four scientists” sounds cleaner and B) You always think of there being four Ghostbusters. Any number besides that is even more confusing. So we get the choice of text — but it’s undoubtedly contentious.
No matter. All of that is solved in the fan cut by simply removing it.
There’s less humour in the fan trailer too. To some, that may feel like a cop-out because director Paul Feig is great at comedy, but the official trailer borders on wacky. Just cut that out. Jokes play better in context than out of it, anyway. Plus, taking most of the humour out the trailer means the jokes won’t be ruined when you see the actual movie. People always complain about spoilers in trailers, but they rarely consider jokes in a comedy trailer to be spoilers. To me, they’re just as bad.
Oh, and while the music in the official trailer hits a great balance of new and recognisable, sticking with the original song just feels right.
Finally, by including less actual footage, you preserve some of the cooler visuals for the movie itself. Several ghosts in the official trailer aren’t in the fan cut, but you don’t lose any flavour without them.
Basically, while the new Ghostbusters trailer does a lot of things right, this fan cut does those same things just a little better. Everything the official one did and showed was obviously very explicit, calculated and can surely be backed up by the filmmakers and trailer editors. Nevertheless, it’s nice to see how another set of eyes can change so little, and have such a big effect.