Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire marks the 6th installment in the Ghostbusters franchise.  The first film also celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.  Not to be outdone, this newest entry in the series sees some callbacks to the original and may satisfy fans of the old and the newcomers too! But what do I think? Discover the ghostly details below and see if this newest film about bustin’ made me feel good… OK, even that was too cheesy for me… but, I digress.  Read on in depth and as always, feel free to click the cover art below to order yourself a copy of Ghostbuster: Frozen Empire.


In Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, the Spengler family returns to where it all started – the iconic New York City firehouse – to team up with the original Ghostbusters, who’ve developed a top-secret research lab. But when the discovery of an ancient artifact unleashes an evil force, Ghostbusters new and old must join forces to protect their home and save the world from a second Ice Age.

It’s been a big journey for the Spengler family since the events of Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The kids are growing up and they’ve come home to the original firehouse to keep the Ghostbuster legacy alive, helping the people of New York City and agitating the same douchey city official, now mayor, who has been looking for the demise of the Ghostbusters for 40 years.  There are still ghosts running amok around the city, but things are mostly in control thanks to the new team.

When it’s revealed that the grid which stores all the captured spirits is full of tens of thousands of ghosts and beyond full, the team learns that Winston Zeddemore, original Ghostbuster, has also been running a secret lab learning how to neutralize spirits so they’re no longer needing to be stored in the old way.  Of course, with this revelation we also discover an artifact that runs past Ray Stantz’s chintzy junk shop, where he looks for spectral life in each item.  The artifact of course gives off the chart readings and begins to start events almost immediately.  Glass breaks, the ground rumbles and then there’s’ the freeze.

Before long, Gary. Callie, Trevor and Phoebe must join forces with Peter Venkman, Ray, Winston and even Janine Melnitz, office assistant extraordinaire, to help save New York from the eternal freeze awaiting them as the captured ghosts are set free to take over humanity. Let’s not forget some new friends too – We have Lucky and Podcast from Afterlife. We also have Melody, a kind ghost who befriends Phoebe, and Nadeem, the swindling inheritor of a ghostly box of hellish treasures. The whole crew comes together to fight evil and, in some ways, capture the spirit and imagination of the original adventure.

The Ghostbusters films have been a rollercoaster ride of cinema.  The original set a standard for many things. How to make a comedic horror film that handles both tones excellently for one.  Also, how to reach multiple audience demographics and bring together movie audiences to create a pop culture phenomenon.  We are still putting money into Ray Parker Jr.’s pocket every Halloween or every time a new Ghostbusters film hits theaters because of the incessant theme song.  We are still also looking for the correct follow up to that original film.

Ghostbusters II was a wildly uneven film that paled considerably to the original, only being salvaged by the return of the original filmmakers and actors and given a new theme with “On Our Own” by the then hugely popular Bobby Brown.  Then, besides the TV series, nothing from the Ghostbusters world. That is, until 2016, when Paul Feig directed a female-led entry, in the same universe, but also a reboot.  No doubt offended that women would DARE be Ghostbusters, or that a world existed without Egon, Peter, Ray, Winston and Janine, the film was commercially toxic at the box office, besides having the next best critical marks since the original film.  There is still a lot of hate for the 2016 reboot, although I’ve seen it quite a few times, and find it to be the second-best entry in the series. Again, I digress.  Now, we have the Spengler family universe.  Their first film Ghostbusters: Afterlife was a sizeable hit in a time where box office decline is adamant on destroying theaters. Critical marks were mostly positive, and audiences of course went to see the film.  And now, we have Frozen Empire which now marks a moderate hit, and a critical disaster. Audiences were warmer than critics and the filmmakers have hope for more films in the future.

After spending some time viewing the film and going back over it for a bit, I have to say that the film is… fine.  There really isn’t anything terribly remarkable in it, but it’s also not offensive or terrible. Performances are as with the last film quite good, with Paul Rudd seeming to willingly take a backseat to the younger Ghostbusters in the film.  He has a charm that seems to elevate films (like that latest Ant-Man atrocity…), and this is no different.  Carrie Coon is a capable foil to Rudd but knowing her work in The Gilded Age, I admittedly was hoping for more. The younger actors all have a spark, and they also elevate their roles with a good comedic flare and a vulnerability when needed. The veterans, well, us nostalgia buffs wanted to see this film for them! Afterlife was released after the death of Harold Ramis, while Frozen Empire was released after the death of Ivan Reitman. Since both films act as a tribute to the two fallen Ghostbusters filmmakers, there are of course callbacks in the film.  The callbacks are far more apparent in this installment.  For this film, everything from practical effects to former characters, to Slimer coming back, to score reprises are all there.  The cultural phenomenon of Ghostbusters in the 80’s even has a moment.  There are also those adorable mini Stay Puft marshmallow men that cameo a few times in the film.

Does nostalgia make for a good film? Not entirely.  As I said before, this new installment in the Ghostbusters franchise is fine.  Nothing more, nothing less.  It doesn’t feel essential, and while it’s fun, there is very little comedy in the film.  This is something that every film after the original, save for that silly and unnecessarily hated 2016 reboot, seems to have forgotten this important note.  The original film was a comedy first.  It’s got more laughs than scares and for good reason.  It’s important to keep the comedy going on and without that consistent comedy, the film loses some steam. Frozen Empire also struggles under the buildup.  At 115 minutes, the film begins to drag, leading up to the climax.  There is far too much downtime being wasted on unnecessary detail. One does wish there was a little more story editing to tighten the film up a little bit.  As it stands, I doubt that despite the film being just fine, that this will be the last Ghostbusters film.  I do however hope that the very capable filmmakers don’t put their all into nostalgia and come up with a new installment that is funny, fast and somehow original, so it can stand up with that iconic first film.  Until then, fine will have to do.


NOTE: Images are provided for promotional use only and are not from the 4K Blu-ray

  • Encoding: HEVC/H.265
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • HDR: Dolby Vision
  • Clarity/Detail: A modern film should look incredible in the format and 4K is the way for Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire. I love how this film looks on the disc! The image is crisp and bright and colorful with lots of peak brightness highlights along with a softness free image.
  • Depth: Depth is handled nicely with foreground and background shots all looking perfect throughout. The focus on every shot is given an added boost with the 4K resolution and the overall look is great!
  • Black Levels: Black levels are dark and deep with no crush.
  • Color Reproduction: Colors range from warm to cool with an amazing accuracy. The icy blues and the golden tones of the prevalent copper motif for one character all go hand in hand looking fantastically rendered in every scene. Reds, blues and greens pop too!
  • Flesh Tones: Skin tone is excellent and accurate for the whole 115 minutes. Except for the ghosts of course.
  • Noise/Artifacts: Clean


  • Audio Format(s):  English Dolby Atmos, English Descriptive Audio, French 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French Descriptive Audio, Spanish 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Thai 5.1 DTS-HD MA
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Chinese Simplified and Traditional, French, Korean, Spanish, Thai
  • DynamicsGhostbusters: Frozen Empire comes home with a perfect audio compliment to the perfect image. The active and busy mix for the film sounds great! Punchy bass, active surrounds and height channels and perfect dialogue all come together for one of the finer Atmos mixes I’ve heard recently.
  • Height: Ghostly apparitions, tracking sounds and plasma blasts come from above, and you are right with the Ghostbusters with so much sound around you!
  • Low Frequency Extension: The iconic ambulance, the ghostly rumbles, proton packs blasting away – It all gives you a big bass response. This active channel keeps things vibrating for most of the movie, and for bass fans like me, this is a great thing!
  • Surround Sound Presentation: Surrounds work well with the heights to further bring the background or off screen sounds around you, giving further depth to an already full and rich mix.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is perfect.


Extras are not super stacked for Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, but they’re also cool overall! You can enjoy catching all the easter eggs in one feature, while looking closer at the making of the film in another.  Deleted and extended scenes show the film could’ve been longer somehow, and finally some smaller features round out the mix.  There is a commentary from the director too, which is also on the 4K disc. There is a standard release of the film that is bundled with a Blu-ray and digital code, and a steelbook option with the same inside. There is also a two-film bundle with a fun collectible available as well.  Whichever option you choose, the features below accompany this film on the bundled Blu-ray.

o Deleted & Extended Scenes

o Easter Eggs Unleashed

o Return to the Firehouse: Making Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

o Busted: Capturing the Ghosts of Frozen Empire

o Manifesting Garraka

o New York, New Gear

o Welcome to the Paranormal Discovery Center

o Knowing the Score

o Commentary with Director, Co-Writer Gil Kenan


Overall, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire tries to bring new fans and old fans together in this newest film.  A slow buildup to a big finale leaves you with fond memories of the original, but not much memory of what you’ve just seen.  The film itself is fine, with good special effects and a good dose of nostalgia, but to keep pumping out mid-grade films to please some of the audience is not really the way to go.  If you saw the film in theaters and enjoyed it, I’ve got no doubt that you’ll love it again at home, especially on this 4K disc.  Ghostbusters completists, go for the awesome looking steelbook, and for the rest of you, maybe a rental before you buy may be best. The audio and video quality of this release though is exceptional and deserves all the praise for being so wonderful!


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