Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Nightmare Fuel / Ghostbusters II

Go To
"...Before we go any further, I think we should get our Proton Packs."
Just like its predecessor, the Ghostbusters sequel isn't without its share of scares.

WARNING: Spoilers are unmarked.

  • The very opening. The Columbia Pictures logo is followed by an instant of silent darkness. Then, with a solemn orchestral jolt, appears the legend "5 YEARS LATER". As the score creeps ominously, a crack in the pavement is shown, in close-up, to discharge a small, pink, glutinous puddle. This weird-looking stuff, seeping to the surface of a quiet street, must surely be up to some serious mischief. And then, the wheels of Oscar's carriage roll right through it, followed by the unsuspecting Dana...
  • In the Manhattan Museum of Art restoration lab, Dr Janosz Poha supervises installation of the none-too-cheery painting seen above. Following conversation with Dana, he happily backs towards the towering portrait. Behind him, the area of canvas which holds Vigo's brow bulges, stretching the face into a surreal affectation of animacy.
  • Ray's descent into the old Pneumatic Transit tunnel. Having drilled through the street to reach an air shaft of unknown depth, Peter and Egon send Ray down on a winch. Lowered into the lonely depths, his uncertain voice echoes into a walkie-talkie. He then descends through the tiled roof of the experimental subway. Bleached by dim, unearthly pink light, he looks down.
    Ray: We're breaking through... see some light. I'm in some kind of a chamber...there's tile work... SLIME!
    Peter: What?
    • His fear and awe well and truly sell the enormity of the discovery. The river of faintly glowing pink slime is awesome and fearsome in its otherworldly might.note  And then, curious about its dangling visitor, it starts to sprout amorphous appendages...
  • The first time Vigo appears is pretty fucking terrifying. Janosz is working on the painting, and when his brush touches Vigo's eye, he gets zapped. Then a giant-ass head replaces the painting, with the river of slime beneath it. Vigo says, "On a mountain of skulls in the Castle of Pain, I sat on a throne of blood. What was will be; what is will be no more." Then he demands a be possessed by him. The capper is when some kind of energy travels from the painting's eyes to Janosz's, and he's suddenly calm and apparently looking forward to doing some kidnapping.
  • Advertisement:
  • Vigo's death. As Egon describes, the man lived to be 105 and died of unnatural causes; his people led a rebellion and had him poisoned, shot, stabbed, hung, stretched, disemboweled, and drawn and quartered. And his severed head still lived long enough to utter his last words.
    Ray: "Death is but a door. Time is but a window. I'll be back."
  • The darkroom scene. Ray and Egon are in a claustrophobic room lit with red light (naturally), peering intensely at photographs of the possessed painting of Vigo, which suddenly all catch on fire at once after the doors silently seal shut without their knowledge. Not for the pyrophobic and/or claustrophobic.
    • Before all of that, their magnification of the photographs result in ever more hellish distortions of the paintings until it is just a closeup of Vigo in his demonic aspect, an enormous, severed horned head with red eyes and a mouth open in a silent scream of command, continuously dripping slime into a river flowing down an endless dark hallway of empty passages leading into infinity. That's some H. R. Giger shit right there. All the while Ray is ominously recalling his experience being dangled over the river of slime beneath the city, right before the pictures catch fire.
    • Made worse once you realize that Ghostbusters II is much more of a kid's film than the first movie (no one smokes except for Ray and even then he's only seen chewing on the end of an unlit pipe or cigar or holding one (he never has a cigarette); less swearing, far less sexual themes) and they still felt the need to include a scene where two of our main characters nearly die by being burned alive. The utter terror in Ray and Egon's voices as they start to panic and scream for Winston while banging on the door before resolving to run into the bathroom (though Ray questions what good that'll do)... What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?
  • The "everything goes to Hell" scene like from the first film, featuring an array of ghouls a lot more intimidating than anything else seen in the series, including a spider-like thing with four arms and fangs that chases a bunch of people out of a movie theater, the stoats of a fur coat coming back to life as a snarling four-headed rabid creature that scurries down the sidewalk, an enormous monster reaching over the Washington Square Arch and looming over a crowd of screaming people; and the RMS Titanic finally "arriving" to New York (made a bit funny thanks to Cheech Marin saying "Better late than never"). All the while Glenn Frey's creepy-sounding song "Flip City" plays in the background.
    • The phone calls NYPD get during the scene. They're more-or-less supposed to be funny, but imagine what those callers just experienced:
      • "Was this a big dinosaur or a little dinosaur? Oh, just the skeleton, huh, well, which way was it heading?"
      • "Wait a second, what was chasing you in the park? The park bench was chasing you?"
    • The arrival of the RMS Titanic is a pretty haunting image (no pun intended). An endless line of ghoulish, zombie-looking spirits seemingly emerging from a gaping dark hole (supposedly where the iceberg struck)note  at the starboard bow (forward section). They don't seem happy to have finally arrived in New York, just somber and exhausted.
  • Janosz Poha may be a Funny Foreigner, but he has his scary moments after becoming Vigo's puppet.
  • The mood slime is both Nightmare Fuel and Nausea Fuel. The way it drips and moves can cause some sense of revulsion, and the fact that it's the physical incarnation of human negativity can make it create all kinds of horror, like raising all sort of spectral creatures and bringing life to all sorts of inanimate objects such as fur coats, bathtubs, or dinosaur skeletons. Not to mention the fact that Ray, Egon, and Winston almost drown in it. And when they get out of it, they are, as Winston puts it, ready to kill each other for absolutely no reason. The slime doesn't just conjure spirits; it makes people Brainwashed and Crazy. It's worse enough that just a small amount of this stuff caused Oscar's carriage to drive like crazy in the opening scene; what would happen if ALL of that gunk crept up to the surface?
    • Dana's arrival at the Museum to rescue Oscar is preceded by a cut back to the Pneumatic Transit tunnel. The River of Slime, previously contained beneath the platform, has flooded almost to the roof of the tunnel - a casual glimpse of the sheer power of this stuff implies that it now seriously means business. As Dana disappears into the Museum, the sliding doors clank shut. Across the building, Slime seeps from cracks, to smother the Museum in a swiftly calcifying shell...
    • The Expanded Universe stuff gives the mood slime more context and makes it even more horrific in its uses. The slime itself was produced by Ivo Shandor using a captured Juvenile Sloar, and until the video game, it was still being produced and flowing under New York. It was originally a power source for Gozer. Vigo only tapped into it; before that, he was just a Class Four ghost (for context, Slimer, of all things, was a Class Five), but tapping into the slime gave Vigo Class Seven power aka Gozer-level power. More Nightmare Fuel kicks in when you realize that any ghost who had the knowledge to, could have tapped into the slime at any time it was there, and it was there still flowing since after Vigo's defeat. The Ghostbusters got lucky none of the other ghosts realized the power of the slime.
  • The exploration of the dark, abandoned subway tunnel. Ray and Egon are doing echo voices, but don't get any response. Then Winston says "Hello" but gets no echo, only a demonic voice bellowing "WIIIIIIIINNNSTOOOOOOONNN!!" After that, they see a bunch of decapitated heads on spikes. It comes right the fuck out of nowhere and stops almost as quickly as it began.
    • It's believed that the voice is Vigo himself and the decapitated heads are people he condemned during his reign.
  • The painting of Vigo with his ominous Kubrick Stare with special attention towards Dana. He makes a quick weird gesture towards her in a blink-and-you'll-miss scene, and Dana is rightly horrified.
  • Every scene where Vigo and the slime attempt to disturb Dana and Oscar. It's the Zuul stalk all over again, this time with lots and lots of Adult Fear.
    • In the very first scene of the film, Oscar's carriage moves itself towards the street, but thankfully it's stopped in time.
    • Later, Dana tries to bathe Oscar, and the bathtub comes alive and tries to attack them. From the tap, the flow of water is suddenly replaced by a stream of pink Mood Slime, which pools in the tub, to form a three foot amorphous appendage. With no features but a grasping mouth, this growling beast lunges for mother and son, briefly bringing the tub to life along with it.
  • Oscar standing on the ledge of Peter's apartment building, looking down at a couple hundred foot drop, is frightening to anyone, not just mothers.
  • The reason Vigo is interested in Dana and Oscar: He wants to come back to life through the boy and restart his reign of terror, with Dana as his mother.
  • Vigo possessing Ray. Ray turns around with Vigo's demonic head placed on his body, mocking the other Ghostbusters. Thankfully, it's followed by the rest of the Ghostbusters blasting him with either proton streams or positive mood slime.
  • The ghost jogger seems like a bit of a random inclusion at first, but then you dig a little and find a disturbing Real Life parallel. There was a case of a jogger being assaulted and raped in Central Park on April 19, 1989, just two months before the film was released. The victim survived, thankfully, but who's to say this poor soul wasn't someone who experienced something similar and wasn't as fortunate?
  • Vigo's eventual emergence from the painting. Before the suddenly empty canvas materializes an initially blurred apparition of the towering, sadistic tyrant. His calm, echoing steps, aloof scowl, telekinetic shifting of two heavy crates to reach Oscar, paralysis of the Ghostbusters, and bestial, thunderous voice announce the return to corporeality of a brutal master of Black Magic.
    Egon: Uh-oh...
  • When forced back into the painting, Vigo's face twists inward toward the nose in a surreal contortion before reforming as a snarling, corpse-like version of itself. With horns.
  • There is a bit of Real Life nightmare fuel and Fridge Horror at the same time, on Venkman's show, listen to the way the woman is describing her experience with the "alien"; it's possible she was date-raped, which might explain her instability.note