ghostbusters | ghostbusters: afterlife | sequel | jason reitman | gil kenan | carrier coon | paul rudd | finn wolfhard | ghost | ghosts | demon | lovecraftian | adventure | comedy | fantasy | sci-fi | united states | canada | mckenna grace | celeste o'connor | dan aykroyd
Film: Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Director: Jason Reitman
Writers: Gil Kenan and Jason Reitman
Starring: Carrier Coon, Paul Rudd and Finn Wolfhard
This was a movie that I was intrigued by. I heard about it and it seemed like there was issues getting it made. I saw the ‘requel’ that featured the all-women cast. I thought that was fine, but it lacked heart. Seeing that Ivan Reitman’s son, Jason, was the co-writer and director intrigued me as it felt a bit more personal. Jaime and I also watched this together since she’s enjoyed this series.
Synopsis: when a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.
We start this in the small town from the synopsis. There is a mountain that has a fence surrounding it. A truck crashes through the gate and we see something is attacking it. They return to the farm where a trap is set. Things don’t end well though for this person.
It then shifts over to the single mother, also from the synopsis. Her name is Callie (Carrie Coon). She has a son, Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), and daughter of Phoebe (Mckenna Grace). The latter is good with her hands and is into science. This small family is struggling. Callie is trying to make ends meet, but it is hard. She learns that her father has passed away so they’re going to his place to settle the estate.
Through different things we learn that her relationship with him was contentious. Callie doesn’t want anything to do with him. We also learn that he was a former Ghostbuster. Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts) shows up and we see she was still friends with the man. She and others from the town know that he was difficult too.
The family for the time being is going to stay. Phoebe goes to summer school where she meets the teacher, Grooberson (Paul Rudd). He’s impressed with how smart Phoebe is. They hit it off. She also makes a friend, Podcast (Logan King). Trevor on the other hand develops a crush on Lucky (Celeste O’Connor). He gets a job at the drive-in diner that she works at.
Despite how much into science Phoebe is, she realizes that ghosts are real. She believes the homestead is haunted by her grandfather. He directs her to things and she learns that he was a Ghostbuster. Grooberson also shows her and Podcast about the original group back in New York in the 1980s. Aside from the grandfather, there are other elements in this town that correlate back to the two attacks on NYC from the supernatural.
That is where I’m going to leave my recap and introduction to the characters. Where I want to start is why this works better than the requel. The heart is here without going too far over the top. There are little aspects that gave me nostalgia while also doing its own thing, I do appreciate that. I also like the correlating elements to the first and the sequel as well. The only thing that could make this better is if they did something with the requel. I get that it was panned and many ignore it, but it is there and I personally think it should be acknowledged.
Now with that out of the way, let me get a bit deeper into these elements. The first would be continuing with this story. I’m not going into spoilers, but what I will say is that Gozer (Emma Portner and voiced by Shohreh Aghdashloo) is brought back up. We got other elements that went with her. What got me though was that Ivo Shandor (J.K. Simmons) was also in this. I did have a problem here though. There is a structure in the mountain that looks ancient. There weren’t civilizations like this in the United States during that period. I can be swayed here if they’re saying a certain character built this much like they did in NYC. I’ll leave that here though.
Where I want to go next is that I like the new ‘Ghostbusters’ we get. Phoebe is the new brain which was Egon in the OG group. There is Trevor and Podcast, which I guess would be Peter and Ray. We are just missing Winston, but Grooberson and Lucky fill that spot. There are things that happen there that I won’t spoil. I thought that despite this group being mostly kids, something happened at the climax that made my heart warm. There is heart here as well as they honor the passed-on Harold Ramis.
I don’t think there’s anything more I need to go into for the story so over to the acting. I thought that Coon is good as the mom. As a new parent, I know that life is hard so I can’t blame her for being as angry as she was with her absent father. Rudd brings humor that I appreciate. Wolfhard is fine, but he takes a backseat role here. Grace is good as our lead. I like Kim as her friend. O’Connor is also fine. I did like cameos by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Potts, Sigourney Weaver and Simmons. The acting is good across the board.
All that is left to go into would be filmmaking. The cinematography is good. I think that it goes epic which is solid by moving this from the city to the country. We get good action sequences and just how this look is great. This version does use quite a bit of CGI. That is the time. It just loses charm by not being practical. The budget had money so the effects looked good. Other than that, the soundtrack is good. I like bringing back the theme and even songs from the original movies.
In conclusion, this movie lived up to what I wanted. We get good heart while also being movie that can be enjoyed on its own. The acting is solid across the board. This is also well-made, which I also appreciate it. If Reitman decides to continue this line on, I’d be there for it. It this is the last movie that they do, I think that this is a good send off to the original crew. They made an interesting movie that I’d recommend to fans of the original two.
My Rating: 8 out of 10