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Paul Feig’s reboot of Ghostbusters gives everything a full redo — including, it turns out, the classic, catchy, campy theme song by Ray Parker Jr. The theme song as revamped by Fall Out Boy with Missy Elliott, released this morning (hear it above), abandons the bright pop past in favor of a darker guitar-heavy dose of alternative/mid-2000s emo angst. Be prepared to hear this song in various Hot Topics for the next couple of weeks/months/years.
The sound of the theme song comes as a bit of a surprise given the tone of the trailers. Has Ghostbusters’ target audience become 14-year-olds with red streaks in their hair? Is the song subliminally trying to get me to see Suicide Squad?
Part of the genius of the original theme was its inherent campiness and accessibility. The song was vividly self-aware, and cued its audience that a movie filled with dicey effects, a goofy plot, and Bill Murray would not take itself too seriously. Instead of the cheeky line “I ain’t afraid of no ghost,” here we get “I’m not afraid” wailed repeatedly with the more familiar “Ghostbusters!” shouted along in the background. On first listen, it doesn’t seem to mesh with the comedy and silliness inherent in the movie.
Missy Elliott also features on the track, with her verse adding some verve at roughly the 1:40 mark; maybe she should have taken the lead on the remake? Give it a listen above and decide for yourself. The Ghostbusters soundtrack album and the new Ghostbusters movie both are scheduled to arrive on July 15.
‘Ghostbusters’ flashback: Watch the trailer for the 1984 original: