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Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Updated: Mar 22

Finally. After sitting through so many 2021 disappointments in theatres, it was so enjoyable to watch a FUN, perfectly executed movie that’s worthy of its legacy. GHOSTBUSTERS AFTERLIFE is that and more.

Carrie Coon (The Post, FX’s Fargo) plays Callie, a down on her luck mom to two teens, Trevor (Finn Wolfhard of “It”) and Phoebe (Mckenna Grace from “The Haunting of Hill House”). When Callie’s father dies, they move to his ramshackle farm in the middle of nowhere.

Talk about small town life. But this tiny berg has a few secrets and more than a few spooky events going on. As the previews let on (and I’ll share NO spoilers here) Carrie’s estranged Dad was Egon Spengler, the original Ghostbuster played by Harold Ramis.

While Trevor attempts to make the best of the 50s throwback atmosphere, Phoebe uses all her skills as a brilliant budding scientist to discover her grandfather’s secrets.

Was he really crazy? What is all that wacky equipment in the basement?

Logan Kim is a standout as Podcast, Phoebe’s lab partner and young conspiracy theorist.

Paul Rudd is hilarious as local substitute teacher Grooberson. He shows classic horror movies in his summer school classes so he can sneak into the next room to investigate the constant tremors around the small town. There’s something big ready to explode.

When it does, it’s the perfect tribute to the original 1984 film in all the right ways.

Writer/Director Jason Reitman (Up In the Air) is the son of Ivan Reitman, the director of the original film and it’s a respectful, FUN and heartfelt tribute to that film. Forget “Ghostbusters II” and any other iteration since. THIS is the sequel we’ve all been waiting for.

The scene with the kids driving Ecto-1 through town and trying to snare Muncher is the most fun I’ve had in the movies all year. A sequence with Grooberson discovering the supernatural running amok in a Walmart superstore is hilarious. Then Reitman and cast turn around and top it all with a surprisingly emotional, action-packed and suspenseful final thirty minutes that blows the roof off the theatre.

In tribute to the original film, Reitman uses everything from subtle music cues, digital updates of some of the spirit shots and a million easter egg moments from the 1984 film.

It’s also the first time I’ve seen physical effects used alongside CGI in a long time and it work perfectly to pay homage while delivering on today’s expectations.

I could go on for ages here about the last half hour, but I won’t ruin any of the surprises that await. There are BIG surprises here, all enjoyable, some that will give fans a true rush. It’s been a long time since a movie made me smile this much in its sheer execution of surprise after surprise. It’s all flawless and Reitman’s respect and admiration of the original film is obvious.

Stay through the end credits for one hilarious scene mid-credits and one intriguing teaser at the end. Will there be a sequel? I sure hope so. The material is in great hands with the second-generation Reitman in charge.

I remember seeing the 1984 original in the theatre and if you recall that as fondly as I do, you’re in for a great ride with GHOSTBUSTERS AFTERLIFE. Finally, the A+ dose of fun I’ve been looking for all year.

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