When things hit the fan and the monsters of life arise, who are you gonna call? Yes, it may still be the Ghostbusters, but nine times out of 10, it may also be someone you consider family.

The beloved Ghostbusters franchise is back for another installment. Forty years later, with five films under its belt, the OG cast has returned to showcase their love for chasing the scary guys and, of course, the bonds they’ve developed with one another over the years.

“I think Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is really as close to the first couple of movies as anything we’ve done,” Ernie Hudson, who first portrayed Winston Zeddemore in the original Ghostbusters film in 1984 and has had a hand in every subsequent movie in the franchise, told Blavity.

“The last movie, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, was sort of a re-awakening, just a rediscovery of Ghostbusters and the history,” he continued. “This movie is a full-out Ghostbusters. We’re in New York City, the heart and center of the Ghostbusters. I think the people who love the original movies are gonna love this movie. It’s funny. It’s scary. It’s all those things that we love about Ghostbusters.”

While the film pays homage to its roots, it also continues the story of newcomers Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd), Callie (Carrie Coon), Phoebe (McKenna Grace) and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), who fans met during the last film released in 2021.

“It has like a real reverence for starting the business and being the underdogs, fighting against the city,” Wolfhard noted. “It’s really important because the original film had that, and just having the original Ghostbusters around really helped add a sense to the sort of energy that was established in the first two movies.”

As much as they’re back in action to fight monsters, the crew (both old and new) grapples with the idea of family and how it can look like so many different things.

Particularly for Grace’s character, Phoebe, fans will witness her go back and forth between isolating herself from her loved ones and realizing that they always have her best interest at heart.

“I was thinking about the connection between her always having a fascination with the spiritual world and having such a connection to ghosts with her grandfather in the last film being a kind of guiding force,” Grace said. “The thing that helps her at the end of the film to now, in this film, is she has a connection with a ghost and kind of feels very isolated from her family. At the end of the film, getting to see the whole family come together is very important and special.”

Coon revealed that the fact that her character isn’t the perfect mother is what makes her feel so connected to playing her.

“I love that what sets up in the dynamic is that Callie doesn’t really love science and doesn’t understand science. In some ways it’s hard for her to see Phoebe for who she is,” Coon explained.

She continued, “At the same time, Callie does understand how hard it is to be a person in the world. She’s struggling herself, and she’s learned that she can’t push too hard on Phoebe; she has to wait for Phoebe to come to her. I just love that the relationship isn’t easy. I think that Callie’s not a great mom. She’s a good mom, and she makes mistakes, and she makes repairs. I appreciate that [writers] Jason [Reitman] and Gil [Kenan] have really continued to focus on the family story as the center of the universe. Ultimately, when your kid gets hurt, you’ll always be there.”

Like his partner in the film, Rudd said his character is simply attempting to adjust to the new familial dynamic in Ghostbuster: Frozen Empire. 

“He’s kind of new to all of this,” Rudd expressed. “And he doesn’t really know what his title is because we’re not married in the film, so it’s like, ‘Well, OK, we’ve been dating now for a couple of years.’ I have moved across the country with the family; how do I get the kids to feel about this? I like the kids. I want to get along with the kids, but I’m not their parent. So, I think, trying to figure out how to be is something that is always on Gary’s mind throughout this whole film.”

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is in theaters now.