I ain’t afraid of no ghost… sequel
The original 1984 film, “Ghostbusters”, was a classic… a cultural phenomenon… which is still felt to this day. The first attempt at a modern-day movie didn’t go so hot in 2016 with modern-day ghostbusters seeming more like a comedy movie with a Ghostbusters theme. Although I thought it was funny, it didn’t quite have the same punch as the original… That said, when this next reboot attempt came along, I was skeptical.
So how did it go? Great! In my opinion, “Ghostbusters: Afterlife”, took the original IP and took it in a more well-rounded direction. It told the story of a single mom and her children moving to her father’s farm and discovering all the supernatural phenomenon that comes with it. The movie takes place 32 years after the events of the 1989 “Ghostbusters II”. It does well at slowly connecting the events to the original movies in a meaningful way.
One of my issues with some modern-day reboots is an attempt to go over the top. Part of what makes a fanbase more likely to accept a reboot is when it connects to the originals well. For example, how modern Star Wars adaptations try to connect to the original trilogy. Creating a way to connect new and nostalgic fans to the originals.
I watched “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” with my partner, who had not seen the original movies. Skeptical she would enjoy it; we both fell for the quick-witted and well-put-together writing. The writing was clever and delivered incredibly by Mckenna Grace who played Pheobe Spengler. Paul Rudd is Paul Rudd, he shines in any scene he is in. The rest of the cast did a good job in building chemistry and delivering an entertaining experience.
As the movie progressed, the family and friends slowly unravel the mysteries of the afterlife as clues of ghosts and ghastly doom start to show themselves. As the children discover more about their famous grandfather, Egon Spengler, the connection to the original movies and characters starts to build. The movie feels like a visual handing over of the baton between generations. It feels like a good story-building opening to a new franchise… similar to how “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” came about.
The movie isn’t without an increasingly strong call back to the original movies as characters and items from the originals end up coming forth. The superfans in the audience noticeably grew in an excited roar as the nostalgic elements popped up. If you’re looking for just a straight continuation of the original movies from the 80s, you may be disappointed… but nostalgia is a powerful thing, and is hard to replicate. That said, a movie can take the essence of an original and do it justice… that justice was done here, I’d say.
As an objective fan of movies… it was a well-put-together, comedic, and fun Ghostbusters production. As a Ghostbuster superfan, it may not be your ideal movie but I think you will enjoy it greatly. It’s a family movie that all generations can enjoy together as the original Ghostbusters generation hands over their love to a new generation to continue. So if we’re looking for a sequel, I know who I’m gonna call.