Sunday, October 30, 2022

REVIEW: Ghostbusters: Afterlife (live action movie)

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a supernatural movie with comedic elements. I bought my copy new.


When single mom Callie Spengler learns that her father has died and left her everything, all she hopes for is enough to pay the rent. Her dad was never really in her life, so there's no grief at the news. Unfortunately for her, the "everything" he left her is a moldering old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, a lot of weird junk, and a lot of debt. 

Callie's son and daughter aren't exactly thrilled to be living in something that looks like a murder house. Trevor tries to make the best of it by getting a job near his new crush, Lucky, and fixing up his grandfather's old car. Phoebe, meanwhile, is an awkward and nerdy girl who comes into her own when she realizes that her grandfather was a scientist. With a little help from something that seems to be the ghost of her grandfather, she puts some of his old equipment back together and finds her first ghost, along with her new friend Podcast.

However, it turns out that Egon Spengler was living out in the middle of nowhere for a reason, and it's up to Phoebe to somehow finish his plans and help save the world.

I have a feeling that opinions about this movie likely vary based on how much nostalgia the viewer has for the original movies, particularly the first one. The last time I saw them was a very long time ago, and I don't particularly have a lot of this movie ended up being a lukewarm experience for me, especially when the nostalgia was turned up to 11 in the last 30 or so minutes.

The things I liked the most: Nerdy 12-year-old Phoebe (who, thankfully, was allowed to just be friends with Podcast - they were not paired off together). The fact that the adults were kind of horrible at adulting - I particularly got a kick out of Paul Rudd's character, Gary Grooberson, who didn't even try to teach his very uninterested students anything, and instead concentrated on his own interests (seismology) while he kept his class busy with movies. (In real life, his complete lack of interest or faith in his students would have infuriated me, but right now seeing movie adults put the bare minimum of effort into their jobs is oddly soothing.) Also, the whole bit in Walmart was great - I loved the mischievous little marshmallow guys.

I wish there had been more moments like the ones with the little Stay Puft Marshmallow Men. I liked watching the kids become familiar with the equipment and the car's quirks too.

I felt like the ending relied way too much on nostalgic appeal, and it didn't work for me. Still, like I said, this movie wasn't really made for someone like me.

Overall, this was okay and would probably work a lot better for fans of the original movies.


A "making of" featurette that emphasized how much work was put into connecting this movie with the original first movie, down to replicating the look of the special effects, involving people from the original movie, etc. There was zero mention of the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot.

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