Ghostbusters: Afterlife breathes new life into the franchise

Wed. November 17, 2021 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

Something strange is happening in the small-town neighborhood of Summerville and a family visits the area to settle their deceased grandfather's affairs. A single mother named Callie, boldly played by Steppenwolf actress Carrie Coon brings her two children to the house her grandfather left her in his will. The family is in debt but is determined to rise above the situation in a new setting. Mckenna Grace is a standout as Phoebe and curls her hai to make that family resemblance to her onscreen brother Trevor, played by Finn Wolfhard from Netflix's Stranger Things.

This piece could have been a chance to cash in on the popularity of Stranger Things, but is much more than that. It's instead an opportunity to revitalize the franchise for all ages both new and old fans by using cameo appearances from the original cast, hidden Easter eggs and loads of nostalgia.

Afterlife actually resurrects Harold Ramis from the grave using special effects and stunt doubles. Ramis played the character Egon Spengler and is handled with respect by the son of the original Ghostbusters director, Ivan Reitman. I spoke with Jason Reitman back in 2018 when he made the original story in the movie Tully. This film is completely different than his previous work but shows his range and love for the big screen. He does an excellent job with the arc of this ghostly tale and the characters that are involved along the way.

Being smart is celebrated in this film and that was a joy to see. The kids are given plenty to do and thanks to People's Sexiest Man Alive Paul Rudd as the nerdy teacher, intelligence is an asset for battling spirits.

From the beginning, the tone is somber and sometimes frightening. Where's the campy theme song? Good things come to those who wait. There are several pop-out scares to make audiences jump and this film would have been perfect to release for Halloween. Instead, we received Halloween Kills that did everything wrong for that particular franchise.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife does arrive in time for the Thanksgiving holiday on November 19 and should bring out families stuffed with turkey to see it in droves. It has something for everyone and just the right amount of humor and special effects to make it thoroughly enjoyable. You might not think of marshmallows the same way on your next trip to Walmart after seeing Afterlife!