Is Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire really kid-friendly? What parents need to know about the movie

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is now in theaters but is the new entry in the franchise too much for younger viewers?
Muncher in Columbia Pictures' GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE.
Muncher in Columbia Pictures' GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE. /

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is now in theaters, but is this new entry in the classic franchise appropriate for kids? Let's find out!

It's amazing to think it's been 40 years since Ghostbusters opened. The movie was one of the biggest box office hits of 1984 as a quartet of goofballs (Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson) ran a business capturing ghosts in New York City. The movie was beloved for its great humor and looked to be the start of a franchise.

However, after 1989's sequel was seen as a critical and box office disappointment, the property went quiet for years save for a few animated TV shows. In 2016, an attempt was made at a female-oriented reboot to start a new cinematic universe, but the movie failed at the box office. Ghostbusters: Afterlife finally revived the franchise, bringing back the older actors (including CGI to recreate the late Ramis) with a new cast of characters fighting spirits in Oklahoma. Its great box office take (impressive during the pandemic) made another film obvious.

Frozen Empire picks up a couple of years later as the new Ghostbusters have moved into the old firehouse headquarters in New York City. They face challenges from the ghosts to Walter Peck, the annoying bureaucrat from the original movie, trying to shut them down. They soon face an evil ghost that literally scares people to death and somehow unleashes a second ice age upon New York. 

The movie reunites the original cast (including Annie Potts) and the newer actors and boasts some big special effects stuff with the laughs, but is it appropriate for kids?

What is Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire's age rating?

The movie is rated PG-13 for "moderate threat, horror, sex references, implied strong language." That's not too different from the ratings for the original movies and, if anything, the 1984 classic had more blatant language and sexual references. Most of this comes from various curses thrown about, including joking about one historical figure using the "f-word."

There are some mature jokes, such as a reference to a special kind of dungeon and fist bumps for a hookup, among the usual teen cracks. Much of the issue will be the scares, which include people being frozen solid; a ghost talking about her death in a fire; numerous jump scares and some scary ghosts; and several scenes putting the younger characters in danger.

This may be a bit much for younger kids, although the high school set should be able to take it. Still, it shows how different the Ghostbusters franchise has become over the years, so Frozen Empire may be a bit too intense for the younger kids. 

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire now in theaters.