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5 Movies like Ghostbusters: When the Underdogs Save the Day

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Helen Maloney itcher Cult classic alert!
‘Ghostbusters’ is a cult classic for a lot of good reasons: it has humour, action, amazing actors and a story that is both spooky and entertaining. If you’d like to watch more seemingly unremarkable people prove themselves, then I have 5 great titles for you to enjoy. A blood-curdling ghost is causing trouble in ‘Sleepy Hollow’ while the ‘Men in Black’ must defend our planet against aliens who are up to no good. ~ Helen Maloney

Who You Gonna Call?

With its catchy theme song, all-star cast and comic genius, it’s understandable that we love this film so much. Who doesn’t enjoy watching Peter, Ray, Egon and Winston set up a business to rid New York of its unwanted undead?

Read on for 3 more seriously entertaining and amusing movies like Ghostbusters to help ease any midweek boredom. They all have something else in common too – they all feature unexpected heroes.


Movies Similar to ‘Ghostbusters’…

‘Gremlins’ (Joe Dante, 1984)

With Mogwai, comes much responsibility.

Billy Peltzer is given a strange and unusual creature as a pet, as well as 3 seemingly-simple rules to follow. Unfortunately, 2 out of the 3 rules are soon broken, and Billy quickly discovers that Gizmo’s ‘brothers’ are definitely not as cute and adorable as he.

I love watching this movie to see how devastatingly destructive the little gremlins are.

Similarity Match: 90%
Like ‘Ghostbusters’, this film is a great blend of scary and funny but there isn’t the same team dynamic.

‘Sleepy Hollow’ (Tim Burton, 1999)

Villainy wears many masks, none of which so dangerous as virtue…

Constable Ichabod Crane is sent to the small town of Sleepy Hollow in order to ascertain who is decapitating the inhabitants. A fan of new scientific methods and logic, and refusing to believe in the paranormal, Crane does not readily fit in. He soon comes to discover that science cannot explain everything and the legend of the headless horseman may just be true.

I love this movie. It is probably my all-time favourite horror movie, and not just because Johnny Depp is in it; there’s a shedload of fantastic actors, including Michael Gambon, Richard Griffiths and Christopher Lee (to name just a few!)

Similarity Match: 85%
Although much more like a typical scary movie than ‘Ghostbusters’, we still have those great, slightly over-the-top action sequences and comic moments.

‘Men in Black’ (Barry Sonnenfeld, 1997)

A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

A man, known only as ‘K’, is busy recruiting for his secret agency when he comes across James Edwards of the NYPD. The newly-hired Agent J must quickly come to terms with the presence of aliens on Earth because the whole planet is danger.

This movie is a great choice because it has the action, the gadgets and the not-taking-itself-too-seriously flavour of ‘Ghostbusters’.

Similarity Match: 80%
Also set in New York but this time our team of unsung heroes is a) a full blown agency and b) fighting aliens rather than ghosts.


If You Like ‘Ghostbusters’, You Will Like…

While the next two films do have the unexpected heroes/underdogs saving the world/day element, they are more about science and humour than ‘Ghostbusters’.

‘Evolution’ (Ivan Reitmann, 2001)

If I was a giant nasty alien bird in a department store, where would I be?

There is some serious underdog action in this film: a wannabe firefighter, 2 college professors and a geeky government scientist. When an alien organism begins evolving at an alarming rate, it’s up to this band of unlikely heroes to save the day.

As this is the same director as the ‘Ghostbusters’ films, you can expect the same quirky sense of humour and style. Expect to laugh…a lot!

Like ‘Ghostbusters’, this film is a great laugh but I think, on the whole, there is more low-brow humour and slapstick moments – it’s cheesier.

‘Galaxy Quest’ (Dean Parisot, 1999)

I just wanted you to know that the reactors won’t take it, the ship is breaking apart and all that… Just FYI.

The stars of the TV Show ‘Galaxy Quest’ have been unable to find success in the years since it last aired. They must survive by attending conventions and opening shopping malls. When they are asked for help by what turns out to be a group of space aliens who believe the show is real, they finally have the chance to see what they’re really made of.

Although probably not an obvious choice for a film like ‘Ghostbusters’, we do, however, have a group of unlikely heroes (in this case washed-up actors rather than scientists) who find themselves taking on more than can chew. Any fans of Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver or Alan Rickman should make sure to watch this.

We have gadgets, we have team work and we have a big battle, but we have aliens instead of ghosts.


Time to Save the World

All of the above films involve saving the world or the day in some dramatic and exciting way, whatever it is they are facing. I hope you have enjoyed following our unlikely heroes and underdogs as they put their wits and their mettle to the test to show us that anything is possible.

If you would like to share your thoughts on my suggestions or have your own films like ‘Ghostbusters’ that you feel should be on this list, then please comment below.

Hi, I′m Helen, I teach English in the UK and am a book addict (I′m serious - if I go too long without reading I get withdrawal symptoms!). I also love music, films, crafting, corresponding and video games. It is impossible for me to sit still unless I′m eating, holding a book or making something.
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