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'Ghost Hunters' Serves up Haunting Dose of Thrills and Chills With A&E Reboot (Review)

08/21/2019 10:00 am EDT

Since the early 2000s, paranormal reality shows have dominated the TV landscape, taking audiences on spooky journeys to notoriously haunted locations, while investigating claims that have long been shared among the masses. But while there are now more than a dozen shows capturing images and sounds of ghostly figures, none has been more revered than, Ghost Hunters.

Leading the charge among paranormal reality shows seen today, Ghost Hunters has been a pioneer with its multi-layered plunge into authentic field investigations, blending personality with paranormal analysis. But while many have tried to imitate its format and stylization over the years, it’s evident no series can duplicate Ghost Hunters — the I Ching of paranormal reality shows with its profound and genuine exploration, full of heart and humanity, into unexplained events.

Thankfully, with the revival renaissance fired up across every network, A&E is taking full advantage by producing a long list of paranormal programming, including the highly anticipated Ghost Hunters reboot, which has been greenlighted for 20 episodes and stars one of the show’s original team leaders, Grant Wilson.

After it was announced this past June by A&E Network, fans of Ghost Hunters have been eagerly anticipating its return. If the first episode is any proof what they can expect, the resurrection of the beloved paranormal series is not only hauntingly well done, but proves these unique, spellbinding stories curated by Wilson’s team have the power to captivate audiences through the heart and soul of supernatural incidents when formulated with admiration and curiosity — not fear.

(Photo: Justin Bettman / A&E)

In the first episode titled “School Spirit,” Wilson and his handpicked group of professional ghost hunters, led by co-leaders, Daryl Marston and Kristen Luman, head to Idaho’s Pocatello High School to investigate reports of paranormal activity that captured national attention in 2014 with a viral video of an alleged figure roaming the hallways and lights shutting on and off, intermittently. With the team investigating the case alongside brand new equipment and each member’s respective expertise, the new squad works together to separate fact from fiction in an effort to understand the truth and bring comfort to those seeking answers.

Picking up on the essence of the original, the A&E reboot not only produces an effective and thrilling ghost hunt full of compassion and mystery, but the steady and honest anticipation with Wilson’s critical thinking team as they uncover the truth behind hauntings is as deeply satisfying and enjoyable as the payoff for those seeking answers to the unexplained.

Not to mention, it’s incredibly fun, creepy and entertaining as the team makes their investigation an immersive experience for the audience, allowing viewers to feel what they feel during an encounter without sugarcoating things and telling it like it is. The best part is, with Wilson handpicking his team and having them do their own thing to confirm or debunk matters, none of it feels unnatural. In fact, everyone genuinely gets along and has a laudable chemistry with one another as they seek out answers together and advance the field of ghost hunting.

Wilson and his team are not playing around either. In every scene, you can tell the Rhode Island native and his crew are aware of the audience and case at hand, understanding that in the three years since the show’s finale, viewers have gotten smarter and ready to take a leap in understanding the next phase of multi-dimensional paranormal occurrences. With Wilson and his team treating the situation almost personally too, audiences can tell there’s an admirable and pleasurable maturity in how they now uniquely present themselves.

This reboot in every minute of its production manages to be exactly what fans want, but nothing like we expected. Compared to other shows of the genre, Ghost Hunters is a true standout and that can be noticed in its first episode for one simple reason — it’s never overdone. Sure, it’s all shiny and new with sharpened graphics, fancy equipment, and a new proficient team, but it is infectiously fun, honest and straightforward with its objective in helping people uncover what more really lies beyond ourselves. And, for the nostalgic viewers, it’s like an old friend returning. You pick up where you left off, but have each grown and are even more committed to discovering the truth, while honing intuitive skills to understand the unseen.

Seamlessly weaving both excitement and compelling, sometimes eerie subject matter, Ghost Hunters continues to be cutting edge within the realm of paranormal phenomena with its new incarnation promising to entertain and linger far beyond from start to finish, delivering plenty of thrills, chills and mystery for audiences.

The Ghost Hunters reboot premieres Wednesday, Aug. 21 at 9 p.m. ET on A&E.

Photo credit: Justin Bettman / A&E

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