One of them is a true story…
The Conjuring 2 is based on the case of the Enfield Poltergeist, a 1970s London haunting widely believed to have been a hoax.
But the inspiration for Ghostbusters is co-creator Dan Aykroyd’s own great-grandfather, a real-life psychic investigator. Aykroyd’s dad, Peter, who documented his grandfather’s work in the book A History of Ghosts, endorses the 1984 film’s opening library scene as authentic. “It was a pure poltergeist phenomenon and absolutely true to form,” he said in 2009.
One has believable technology…
Real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga in the Conjuring films) used microphones, cameras, motion detectors and thermal-imaging devices.
The Ghostbusters, however, have psychokinetic energy meters, ghost traps and particle-accelerating proton packs, which reboot director Paul Feig got former MIT prof James Maxwell to “science the shit” out of. “They asked me how it would work,” he said. “The particle accelerators and super-conducting magnets are real—the big leaps of faith are doing it in the space allowed.”
One has realistic apparitions…
The Conjuring films serve up plenty of manifestations in jump scares. But only Ghostbusters gets it right with copious helpings of ectoplasm, the slimy residue that helps spirits take form.
“I’d like to see physicists analyze what’s going on,” Dan Aykroyd said. “Are oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen molecules coalescing to produce these visions in front of people?” Someone should tell him that when Bill Murray got slimed, it was actually Chinese food starch.
Bustin’ make you feel good? Here’s more…
The Frighteners (1996)
Peter Jackson directs Michael J Fox as a conman who sends ghosts into people’s homes and bills them for a fake exorcism. Fine until he encounters an evil spirit played by Jake Busey. Toothy grins ensue.
Written by Steven Spielberg and directed by Texas Chainsaw Massacre creator Tobe Hooper, this classic chiller mixes Close Encounters with The Amityville Horror. The clown scene endures as one of Hollywood’s all-time great scares.
Tim Burton turns the haunted- house theme on its head as Michael Keaton’s titular ‘bio-exorcist’ (below) is summoned by troubled ghosts Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin to rid their home of unwanted living people.
The Conjuring 2 is out on June 17;
Ghostbusters on July 15
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