‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

A chilly new threat wants to rip its claws through the Big Apple in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, the follow-up to Ghostbusters: Afterlife that trades the Spengler farmhouse for the iconic Firehouse yet keeps overly dramatic family dynamics intertwined with poltergeist shenanigans. Though the urban ghostbusting ride is a little bumpy and slow to unleash its main threat, Frozen Empire is another solid 4K UHD offering from Sony with excellent use of Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio.

With Gozer seemingly “iced” for good (bad pun intended), the Spenglers and Mr. Grooberson have become full-fledged ‘Busters working out of the former New York Firehouse headquarters, now owned by Winston Zeddemore. There’s a lot of nostalgia to unpack in that sentence which carries through the film with Easter Eggs galore. Too many, perhaps, as Frozen Empire chimes in often on what happened before, much the same as Afterlife does.

Where the franchise seems to break away from more of the same and peek around an unsearched corner is with the introduction of Nadeem (Kumail Nanjani), a huckster who finds an ancient brass orb among this decreased grandmother’s belongings. His family’s history potentially cracks the door open for a much broader fantasy world beyond spooks and specters. If only a high tension moment between the main villain and heroes wasn’t interrupted by a completely out-of-place Nadeem comedy bit.

Therein lies Frozen Empire’s biggest flaw: its pacing and editing. That orb holds an ancient evil being with the power to freeze humanity to death through fear. The editing gymnastics between characters feeling fear or reminiscing or being goofy can’t seem to strike the right balance like it did in the original Ghostbusters or even Ghostbusters II.

The Dolby Vision 4K presentation comes out firing from the opening flashback sequence and modern day ghost chase sequence through to the final scene. I especially love how vibrant and alive the ghosts are portrayed. From CGI beasties like the otherworldly blue Sewer Dragon to the practical deep green Slimer puppet, they all look fantastically fantastic.

Likewise the Dolby Atmos audio mix is full of life, and the deceased as it were. Every action sequence fills and moves around the room as expected, while quieter moments make you want to close your eyes and pick out the background subtleties. A standout sequence is when the villain is finally unleashed and his deadly ice- that never hits anyone -crackles across Coney Island beach and into the unsuspecting city.

Numerous bonus features accompany Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire on 4K UHD with all but the feature commentary being housed on the included Blu-ray.

  • Deleted & Extended Scenes
  • Easter Eggs Unleashed
  • Return to the Firehouse: Making Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
  • Busted: Capturing the Ghosts of Frozen Empire
  • Manifesting Garraka
  • New York, New Gear
  • Welcome to the Paranormal Discovery Center
  • Knowing the Score
  • Commentary with Director, Co-Writer Gil Kenan

Though this list is long they can easily be watched in a single sitting and will play seamlessly through from the first to the last. I was especially intrigued to the attention to detail the new/old Firehouse set received.

It’s hard to peg exactly where Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire falls in the franchise. It didn’t blow my mind and perhaps was as equally enjoyable as Afterlife was. No bars were really raised other than introducing a new fantasy element, and a tease of where it can go next feels like another step backward in time as opposed to moving forward. If you’ve seen the previous Ghostbusters films then there’s no reason not to continue with Frozen Empire, whether it be to chew on nostalgia or to see where the story goes post-Afterlife. Either way the supernatural deep freeze is another solid 4K UHD offering from Sony.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire on 4K Ultra HD has a June 25th, 2024 release date and can be purchased from Amazon. This review copy was provided by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Ghostbusters Frozen Empire 4k
out of 5

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