MBTI Types

Phoebe, the protagonist, is an adorable little INTP. She is a thinker—detached, rational, and highly scientific. She loves to take things apart and put them back together or tinker with them, and she tells her own summer school teacher “I am not an idiot,” when he tries to explain a complex theory to her. INTPs are very good at taking apart systems and recreating or improving on them, and take a scientific and deductive reasoning approach to all they encounter. They also have limited emotions, as Phoebe admits to her new friend Podcast, when she says she isn’t like most people in exhibiting her feelings, but “inside, I am barfing” (at the idea of her mom going on a date with her teacher). Rather than be freaked out in the haunted house, she takes an interest in its ghost, solving the puzzle on the floor while doing it, and playing chess with her invisible grandfather. She figures out how to repair the monster machine in his laboratory (with his help) and admires the modifications he made to it. As an intuitive, she quickly pieces things together while engaging with them—realizing that the ghosts are a problem, that he was right about everything, and that the entire “dirt farm” is in fact a massive “ghost trap.” INTPs also trust what has come before them in terms of innovation, and she thinks that because the Ghostbusters united once, there’s a real chance they could do so again, or at least tell her something about her grandfather. She is sweet but emotionally awkward and stilted in her feelings, choosing to be detached and handle things competently rather than get upset or give in to “excessive” amounts of feelings. In her opinion, humans are just “meat puppets” stuck in bodies that are neither useful nor particularly interesting.

It’s not long before Podcast, an enthusiastic ENTP, becomes her friend. The contrast between them is an enthusiastic and spirited one; the detached, analytical INTP Phoebe and the over-enthusiastic, highly extroverted Podcast, who believes in a bunch of conspiracy theories and thinks everything they do is “cool” even if it’s dangerous. He introduces himself to her at once by shoving a microphone in her face and inviting her to participate in his podcast—something an ENTP would naturally gravitate to, because it allows them to communicate their ideas, theories, and conclusions to the world through talking. Like most ENTPs, Podcast loves to talk and keeps up a running commentary. He switches from topic to topic with ease, believes in ghosts, has ideas about many other things, and a knack for science, but also thinks Phoebe is pretty amazing for her ability to fix and innovate her grandfather’s inventions. He thinks everything they encounter about the Ghostbusters is “cool,” and “old school.” ENPs have a tendency to idealize the past, and he feels that way about the famous ghost hunters who… mysteriously stopped hunting. He finds it so easy to talk to people and get involved in things, he naturally assumes Phoebe will be the same. ENTPs are very good at putting others at ease and making them feel good about themselves, and he does that by laughing at her jokes (even when they aren’t funny) and sharing his thoughts. It surprises him that she isn’t emotionally reactive, and he asks, “Doesn’t that bother you?” after voicing what he thinks is a disturbing thought (the idea of her mother dating her teacher).

Both of them stand out in sharp contrast to her brother, Trevor, an ESFP. Where Podcast deals in theories and conversation (and finding good content for his talk show), and Phoebe carefully researches and thinks about things, Trevor is hands-on. He doesn’t want to be in town because it’s boring and there’s nothing but dirt for miles to see, but lets no grass grow under his feet. He sees a pretty girl at the diner, and immediately applies for a job there; he lies about his age so he gets hired, goes on a joy ride with her up the mountain, and after he finds a beat-up old car in the garage, sets about to making it run. ESFPs are not as good at technical things as ESTPs (he “prays” that the car will turn on, and it does), but they all learn by doing, and are proactive in taking opportunities, and that’s what he does at every turn. The fact that he didn’t pass his driving test and failed several times doesn’t prevent him from driving his car in town or chasing after a ghost. It takes him no time at all to adapt immediately to the situation and help his sister and her friend track down one of the ghosts, even though it lands them in jail in the process. He’s also less analytical and more emotional—wrapped up in how much he hates this town and doesn’t want to be here. He points out facts that can be seen as blunt by other people, because it’s how he feels – a “creepy farmhouse” in the “middle of nowhere,” his mom is only staying because she got evicted, “this is stupid!”, etc.

He’s a lot like his mom, who is another SFP – someone who just wants to clean up the old place, get rid of it, and get back on the road to avoid the hurt of not having grown up with her father. She’s blinded by her own feelings of abandonment and her resentment toward an absentee parent, but once she sees that he tracked her entire life and felt proud of her, she feels more of a connection to him and can achieve forgiveness. But like most SPs, she had to see it to believe it, since nothing would counter her own emotional experience other than hard evidence. It appears that she’s something of a wandering nomad who doesn’t stay in one place very long, which also fits with the wandering spirit of an SP. But she winds up dating their teacher, Greg, another ENTP who is a total nerd for science. He loves it, he sees it as the answer to everything, he is all about ghosts and theories and curious about Podcast’s… well, podcast. He takes risks in the name of science without thinking about the consequences (wanting to open the ghost box, and never once considering that there might be a ghost inside until it bursts out and “… I am liable!”). He gets stuck teaching summer school and rather than seriously teach the kids, he leaves them horror movies to watch (typical of a TP looking for a life hack, who doesn’t consider whether it might upset or scare any of them). He uses charm and persuasion to make people like him, but also has ENTP interests like science, and is obsessed with why there are earthquakes in a place where there’s no fracking—he just can’t figure out yet what it all means.

The Enneagram

The movie paints an interesting contrast between all three of the head centers—Phoebe is a 5, her brother is a 6, and both her best friend and her teacher are 7s.

Phoebe is so awkward that she tries to seem more relatable by learning jokes as a way to get people to like her, and she chooses to do this even with the goddess who rises in the mountain, as a distraction while her friends rescue her mom from her demonic form. Phoebe doesn’t know how to socialize or make friends, and when her mom says she likes summer school, she scowls and informs her that no, she likes learning. She hides behind her knowledge as a way to observe the world, and tries not to let personal feelings intrude on her conclusions (she finds a kinship with her grandfather because he was also an inventor). Phoebe is confident of her being intelligent enough to chastise her teacher for trying to baby her along, rather than giving it to her straight; she also doesn’t think much of his teaching skills, which include popping a horror movie into a VCR and leaving the kids alone for hours. She didn’t come to school to waste her time on trivial things like that. 5w6s feel different from others (as she does) but also want to connect to them, and she comes into her own once she makes friends. But she can also be confrontational and aggressive toward the police, even pulling her ghost gun on the sheriff who has insulted her grandfather’s memory. This shows some 6ish reactivity peering through her sense of calm (she says she gets calm when things happen and that helps her handle them well). Phoebe is somewhat over-confident in chasing down her first ghost, causing thousands of dollars of collateral damage in the process, but also reaches out to help from her grandfather’s friends and wants them to know the truth about ghost mountain. She seems to be mostly a loner, interested in knowledge for its own sake, but also cares about being around others, so her stacking is sp/so.

Trevor clearly comes from the reactive triad—reactive numbers (4, 6, 8) are always drawing attention to the things they hate, or that is going wrong in their life, and inviting others to complain along with them. Trevor constantly is annoyed about something—the boring town, the fact that his mom is cutting his hair over his cereal bowl, how he doesn’t want to be here. He doesn’t bother to suppress his negativity, but just as quickly, he launches into action to get what he wants—he lies about his age to get a job so he can hang out with a pretty girl, and bombards her with questions about her life. He fixes a car and takes it for a joyride, then gets arrested for being reckless. He’s a mixture of negativity and self-dependency, of risk-avoidance (telling his sister to be careful when she’s peering down into the abyss) and risk-taking (cautiously climbing into a metal cage suspended over a pit, driving without a license, and risking his life in ghost-catching activities). This suggests a 6w7 waffling between “my life is crap and I hate it” and “I can do these awesome and not-boring things to keep it interesting!” His stacking is harder to figure out, but how directly he goes for what he wants could suggest sx/so.

Podcast and Gary are both 7w6s. Extroverted, self-confident, excitable, and willing to re-frame. Gary turns a disastrous date where his new girlfriend’s kids get arrested for destroying half the town into a joke about whether they can top it next time. He thinks it’s a great idea to open a ghost box without assuming there’s anything bad inside until it’s too late, and then scrambles to “get out of here,” because he realizes someone could sue him for this (delayed responsibility, and it’s somewhat self-centered – it’s not about the havoc the ghost will wreak but whether it will make him liable). 7s deny what’s bad, focus on what is good and exciting, and look for stimulation—and that’s what he and Podcast both do. Podcast thinks blowing stuff up is amazing, he tries to inject tension into all of his recordings so it’s “more interesting,” he leaves out the fact that he has only one subscriber for his podcast when talking about it (“I really hit my stride in episode 47!”). He’s not afraid to take risks, because he thinks all of this ghost stuff is really amazing, but he’s also slightly conscious of how dangerous stuff is. The teacher I would say is sp/so, he’s aware of the risks involved in what they are doing after a certain point; but Podcast is sp-blind (so/sx).

“Mom” doesn’t have enough screen time for a proper typing, but it might be 7w6 as well. It’s clear from her eviction notice at the start of the film that she isn’t good with sticking to anything long term, and has struggled to provide for herself and her kids. She wants to avoid  her pain, go through her father’s stuff quickly, and dump the house, until she realizes there’s no money in it and nowhere to go, so they are stuck there. She seems focused on her dad’s abandonment as a traumatic time in her life, and something that she has not been able to move past, and draws a lot of attention to it, in the way 6s do when they are upset. She also tells them off for upsetting the cops and doing dangerous things. She seems sp/so, focused more on her kids and her lifestyle than on social connections, but not oblivious to them (“so you all called him the dirt farmer, huh?”).

Phoebe: INTP 5w6 sp/so

Podcast: ENTP 7w6 so/sx

Greg: ENTP 7w6 sp/so

Trevor: ESFP 6w7 sx/so

Callie: ESFP 7w6 sp/so