Ghostbusters Afterlife is the newest entry in the long running Ghostbusters franchise and while some have criticized the film for going back to the well, I can assure you that those criticisms are unfounded. The film, which stars Finn Wolfhard, Celeste O’Connor, Logan Kim, and Mckenna Grace as the next generation of paranormal eliminators, finds it’s story firmly rooted in family, and the fallout of what happens after one of the original members of the Ghostbusters cuts himself off from the world.
Carrie Coon plays Callie, a single mom struggling with her two children as they move to rural Oklahoma following the death of her father. Trevor (Wolfhard) is the older son who wants to look cool to win the affection of the local car hop Lucky (O’Connor). Meanwhile Callie’s young daughter Phoebe is a shy and awkward tech nerd who struggles to relate. She befriends a similarly odd, yet charismatic young boy named Podcast (Kim). Together they find out about her grandfather’s legacy through OG Ghostbuster fanboy Mr. Gruberson (Paul Rudd) their summer school teacher.
It’s through this dive into her family’s history that Phoebe learns about the mysterious town’s paranormal secret, and why her grandfather relocated and kept fighting well into his old age.
Jason Reitman (son of the original Ghostbusters’ director Ivan Reitman, who serves as an Executive Producer on Afterlife) digs deep into the family history of the Spenglers, clearly taking inspiration from his own family history with the Ghostbusters franchise. Every frame of this film is filled with some sly wink to the franchise’s legacy. From silly callback lines, to gadgets strewn about a lab, to even something as innocuous as a discarded candy bar wrapper will have fans of the series feeling the tug of nostalgia on their heartstrings.
Granted, as EFNcool’s resident fanboy I may be biased, but even the casual fans will enjoy this film. Though it may be a benefit to watch the original film beforehand just in case it’s been a while since you’ve experienced that story.
Ghostbusters Afterlife is the sequel that fans of the franchise have been waiting for, with plenty of humor, scares, and most importantly, heart. I’d easily call this one of my top 5 movies of this year so far, and I hope to see more from this charming cast and crew.