Ghostbusters Literary Elements


Ivan Reitman

Leading Actors/Actresses

Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver

Supporting Actors/Actresses

Annie Potts, Rick Moranis, Ernie Hudson, William Atherton






Nominated for 2 Academy Awards: Best Original Song, Best Visual Effects

Date of Release



Ivan Reitman

Setting and Context

New York City

Narrator and Point of View

There is no narrator, and the perspective shifts around omnisciently.

Tone and Mood

Comic, light-hearted, spooky, quirky, feel-good

Protagonist and Antagonist

The protagonists are: The Ghostbusters; The antagonists are: Walter Peck and Gozer

Major Conflict

The major conflict is that a strange demonic conspiracy is amassing at an apartment on Central Park West, gaining power and threatening to destroy the world. The Ghostbusters must investigate this threat and get rid of it while also contending with the skepticism and ill-will of Walter Peck and the EPA.


The climax occurs when the Ghostbusters decide to "cross the stream" and put their proton pack streams together, risking their lives in order to close the portal to Gozer's realm.


The presence of a darker evil in Dana's apartment building is foreshadowed at various times, such as when she looks inside her fridge to see Zuul, and when we watch Zuul emerge from inside the gargoyles outside the apartment building.


Peter Venkman often makes statements about events that could be categorized as understatement. A wry and sarcastic presence in the film, a moment of suspense that he really understates is when he tries to calm down Dana after she has been possessed by Zuul. She growls and speaks in a demonic voice, and Peter carries on with his dry one-liners all the while.

Innovations in Filming or Lighting or Camera Techniques

The film was praised for its use of visual effects.


The film alludes to many spiritualistic ideas and notions from the occult. While Gozer and Zuul are fictional characters, many of the Ghostbusters' beliefs are inspired by traditional notions about the occult and the paranormal.


It is rather paradoxical that the man who ends up unleashing the ghosts and putting the world in greater danger is Walter Peck, a representative from the EPA, an organization tasked with protecting human health and the environment. A character from a preservation society is the one who wreaks the most havoc.