Ah, shit, here we go again. This is a summary of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the latest attempt at milking the cash cows that are eighties classics. First they tried to try something different, quirky, and trendy. And that backfired instantly as the trailer for Ghostbusters  soon became the most disliked video on YouTube. So it was time to go back to basics with this one with a dual approach. On one hand, we have the classical eighties setup of a couple of diverse kids trying to solve the mystery. And on the other hand, we have all the fan service and updated visuals. I bet that merch is going to be flying off the shelves.
This is a direct sequel to the original two movies, so it completely skips over the 2016 reboot. To make things even funnier, it’s also directed by Jason Reitman, son of the director of the originals, Ivan. At this time I want to say that Ghostbusters: Afterlife is actually a watchable movie despite its commercial formula. The visuals are cool, acting solid and the action quite eighties. Actually, it might be too eighties. The sight of a young girl strapped in a seat that extends from a car is quite uncomfortable. I kept thinking one slightly wrong turn of the wheel and this girl is just horrifically injured. The same goes for the poor marshmallow men. Also, all the fan service seemed too contrived and just distasteful.
After being evicted from their apartment building, Callie and her two kids end up on her grandfather’s farm. He recently passed away and left them everything he owns. Which is not a lot it seems. And while 15-year old Trevor soon falls in love, young Phoebe is having trouble fitting in. All of that is about to change when they start hearing and seeing strange things coming from a nearby mountain.
And I have to say something about the age of these kids. If they were only five or six years older, I could probably just go along with it. However, I cannot watch these kids talk about podcasts or seismic activity like they’re fucking forty. Which is, incidentally, the age duo Ghostbusters: Afterlife is trying to engage. It’s all the same mistakes that the last reboot did only a bit less visible. They’re trying to cram as much as trendy topics into these characters as possible. This, in turn, is making them quite unrealistic. Unrealistic to the point where you’re wondering what the fuck is this. The same goes for almost any story development. Things just appear out of nowhere and our characters almost instantly know what to do or how to operate certain machinery.
I will say it’s a fucking miracle that they were able to cobble up a semi-coherent movie out of all this. And while the script was quite variable, the acting was consistently great making it much easier to go along with the story. Luckily, the pacing was quite good too, so before you knew it, the scene that annoyed or bored you was over. Borrowing too much from the original and missing the mark with the characters, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is only a mildly entertaining movie you will soon forget. What I won’t forget though is the way they cashed in on Harold Ramis. I just hope his family at least got some of the money.
Going back to the story, I mean, did they really need to bring back all the same threats, creatures, and lore? Fucking Gozer man. If you’re looking for a more cool-sounding deity, I recommend you check out the 1997 Wishmaster with Ahura Mazda.
Director: Jason Reitman
Writers: Gil Kenan, Jason Reitman, Dan Aykroyd
Cast: Carrie Coon, Paul Rudd, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Logan Kim, Celeste O’Connor, Bokeem Woodbine
Fun Facts: Director of this movie Jason Reitman appeared in Ghostbusters II (1989) as the kid who tells Ray that according to his dad, the Ghostbusters are “full of crap”.