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What Parents Should Know Before Letting Their Kids Watch Ghostbusters

"Ghostbusters" is an all-time classic comedy. It stars some of the biggest comedic talents from the '80s, including Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and Dan Aykroyd, and it brought a new franchise to the masses with various sequels and even a cartoon series. It still holds up to this day, so it's only natural some parents may wonder if it's all right to introduce the flick to their young children. 

After all, 1984's "Ghostbusters" is rated PG, making it seem like it'd be appropriate for kids. However, it's important to note that "Ghostbusters" came out before the PG-13 rating was even a thing. The film was released on June 8, 1984. Meanwhile, the Motion Picture Association of America introduced a new PG-13 rating on July 1 of that same year, with "Red Dawn" becoming the first official PG-13 movie to be released in theaters. 

It's safe to say that if "Ghostbusters" came out today, it would probably get the PG-13 treatment, as evidenced by "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" getting rated that. That doesn't mean you have to hide "Ghostbusters" from your children entirely, but it's crucial to take certain factors into consideration before you play it, lest you have some awkward conversations with your kids afterward.

Language, sex, and scary situations abound in Ghostbusters

Right off the bat, "Ghostbusters" would be PG-13 these days for language alone. The word "s***" is spoken three times, and some other choice profanities include usage of the words "b***h" and "d***." There are also sexual situations that aren't appropriate for younger viewers. Most notably, there's a scene where Ray (Dan Aykroyd) is in bed, and it's implied he receives sexual gratification from a ghost. Dana (Sigourney Weaver) also makes some sexual advances while inhabited by Zuul, saying things like "I want you inside me."

It also deserves to be said that while "Ghostbusters" is considered a comedy, it's still about ghosts and can be downright scary at times, with numerous scary-looking creatures populating the film. There's also a fair amount of smoking, mostly from Ray and Peter (Bill Murray), and there's sexual harassment, particularly when it comes to Dana and how many of the men's actions toward her wouldn't fly in this day and age. 

Ultimately, parents know their kids better than anyone else, so it's up to you to make the judgment call on what you're comfortable with your children seeing. Common Sense Media suggests that only kids 11 and up would be mature enough to watch the movie, but there are plenty of comments on the site of people saying that it's appropriate for kids who are 8 and 9. Just know going into it that just because it's PG doesn't mean it's on the same level as something like "Frozen."