Ghostbusters: Afterlife – Film Review
by Katie McCann
Director – Jason Reitman
Stars – Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Carrie Coon
Sequels are always a bit dangerous for any successful movie but even more so for ones that reach icon status. Ghostbusters already had a sequel back in 1989, as well as an ill-judged remake in 2016 that simply gender-swapped the characters without giving
much thought to the plot. So why make another? Well, nostalgia sells for one and is big with Millenials who make up a large part of the cinema-going audience. But on a less cynical note, why the hell not make one if you can do it well? And thankfully Ghostbusters Afterlife not only honours its predecessors but manages to breathe new life into the Ghostbusters franchise.
Set in 2021, Ghostbusters Afterlife begins with a death, which let’s be honest is a fitting start for a movie about ghosts. Original Ghostbuster Egon Spengler has been living in the middle of nowhere “farming dirt” and has left his farm to his estranged daughter
and grandchildren after his suspicious demise. His granddaughter Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) takes after Spengler with an aptitude for science while her brother Trevor (Finn Wolfhard of Stranger Things) is more interested in girls. Phoebe quickly begins to
notice strange happenings around the farm and discovers her grandfather’s lab with, you guessed it, all his old ghost busting equipment. She soon learns that there is something paranormal happening around town and must try to finish what her
It is clear from the outset that this is a film made by people who really loved the original. The throwbacks and reverence they pepper throughout the film would melt any heart but aside from staying true to the spirit of the original this movie is a blast all on its own. Director and writer Jason Reitman (son of Ivan Reitman) has an amazing sense of the tone needed to pull off this film and it is both thrilling and hilarious. The use of old fashioned puppetry/ stop motion mixed with CGI makes it feel like it’s still in the same world of the 1984 original but adds big sweeping cinematic moments that have you on the edge of your seat.
Is it as surprising and original as the 1984 classic? No. But does it honour that world while creating its own unique style and feel? Absolutely. If you are looking for a remake of the original this isn’t it. But if you want something fun and new that pays homage to
the original while managing to be full of heart you will have a blast at Ghostbusters Afterlife.