How The Supernatural Ability Pyrokinesis Ignites 'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire'

March 22, 2024 5:30 PM ‐ MoviesParanormal
Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
Photo: © Sony

WARNING: This Article Contains Spoilers Throughout

'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' is an action-packed supernatural adventure of epic proportions, but like the other movies, it includes plenty of references to real-life paranormal phenomena. This latest instalment in the 'Ghostbusters' series introduces cinemagoers to a form of extrasensory perception (ESP) known as pyrokinesis.

One of the franchise's new characters, Nadeem, portrayed by Kumail Nanjiani, possesses the rare psychic ability of pyrokinesis, the power to control and ignite fire with the mind, which makes him humanity's sole hope against the menacing Garraka. This tall, dark, and horny entity has risen after the discovery of an ancient artefact, which leads to the unleashing of the Death Chill, threatening not just New York City but the entire world.

When you're faced with the cold, what do you do? Light a fire. And that's where pyrokinesis comes in. The concept of controlling fire with the mind seems more at home in works of fiction like 'Ghostbusters', and yet, it's a topic of serious discussion among parapsychologists. The word 'pyrokinesis' is derived from the Greek words 'pyro', meaning fire, and 'kinesis', meaning movement. In 'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire', we see Nadeem honing his pyrokinetic skills by trying to light a candle by encouraging a nearby flame to jump to the wick using only the powers of his mind.

This can be misleading, as the term suggests merely moving fire, but pyrokinesis is generally said to encompass the generation and manipulation of fire. It is a type of telekinesis, which is the ability to move objects with the mind, but with a specific focus on fire.

The concept of pyrokinesis has been around for centuries, although it was not always called by this name. Historical texts and folklore from various cultures mention individuals who could control fire, attributing this power to magical or divine sources. However, the modern term 'pyrokinesis' came into use with the growth of parapsychology in the 20th century, a field of study concerned with investigating paranormal and psychic phenomena.

'Frozen Empire' isn't the first movie to feature pyrokinesis, the psychic skill has been featured in numerous movies, TV shows, and books. Characters with the ability to control fire are often depicted as having immense power but also grappling with the responsibility and danger that come with it. This portrayal taps into the human fascination with fire, a fundamental element that can provide warmth and light but is also unpredictable and destructive.

Despite its popularity in fiction, like many aspects of the paranormal, the scientific community is skeptical about the existence of pyrokinesis. There is no empirical evidence to support the claim that individuals can control fire with their minds. Skeptics argue that documented cases of pyrokinesis are either hoaxes, the result of trickery, or can be explained by natural causes.

Spontaneous fire has been reported in many famous paranormal cases, including the infamous Enfield Poltergeist case. In this instance, the family at the centre of the case reported small, spontaneous outbreaks of fire alongside other unexplained activities. These fires, which seemed to start without an apparent source, Claims of sudden outbreaks of fire aren't too dissimilar to the supernatural phenomenon of spontaneous human combustion, when a person supposedly catches fire without an apparent external source of ignition.

Some paranormal researchers actively research pyrokinesis with the use of controlled experiments to test the abilities of self-proclaimed psychics and even as a form of spirit communication in which the spirit is said to be able to affect a candle's flame.

'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' portrays pyrokinesis in a fun and fairly realistic way, but fire is the last thing you might expect in a movie with a plot that revolves around the threat of an apocalyptic big freeze. The film brings back familiar faces from both the original series and the 2021 hit 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife'. Alongside Nadeem, we see the return of the original Ghostbusters: Ernie Hudson, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Annie Potts.

'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' sets itself apart with its innovative ghost-busting technology, such as the introduction of a flying-drone ghost trap, the return of iconic ghosts like Slimer and the library ghost, and the introduction of new ones like Pukey. The film draws inspiration from 'The Real Ghostbusters', the 1980s animated series, merging nostalgia with a fresh perspective. This approach is evident in the trailer, which has resonated with fans, indicating a unique twist on the familiar Ghostbusters narrative.

'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' is an exciting addition to the franchise that is not only packed full of nostalgia but also expands Ghostbusters lore with a massive expansion of the GB universe. The film not only pays homage to the legacy of the original 'Ghostbusters' but also opens the franchise up to go in just about any direction in future projects.

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