A Hooked On Horror Review- Ghostbusters: Afterlife
After several delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Ghostbusters: Afterlife finally released. I've been an avid Ghostbusters fan ever since my parents let me watch the original one as a kid. I love the first two films and The Real Ghostbusters animated series that followed (despite it scaring the hell out me; Poultrygeist in particular) so when news broke that Afterlife was going to follow in the footsteps of the first two films I couldn't wait. After the horrendously bad 2016 film from Paul Feig, I was excited at the prospect of getting a worthy sequel as all I had to go on was the 2009 video game. Now before I go any further, if you haven't played the video game go buy the remastered version and get on it; it is just fantastic! Anyway, I went into the cinema to watch Afterlife hopeful yet skeptical. It can't get any worse than the 2016 film surely?
When a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.
So following in his father's footsteps, Jason Reitman takes over the reigns to bring this new film to life. He described himself as "the first Ghostbusters fan" following a set visit back when the original was shooting back in 1984, so I thought he'd be very protective over the franchise; especially with his father, Ivan Reitman, on board as an executive producer. And thankfully I was not wrong.
To put it shortly, this film is just magnificent. The whole 2 hours & 4 mins runtime is just a beautiful love letter to fans. The film is not only incredibly nostalgic, but it treats the franchise, its fans and its legacy with the love and utmost respect it deserves. Paul Feig said anyone who didn't like the 2016 film as sexist due to the nearly all female cast; where in reality he saw the film as nothing more than a way to cash in on an already existing fanbase. A shoddy and poorly written script, sub-standard special effects, forced humour, a cast with no chemistry and a sheer lack of respect for the loyal fanbase and the franchise as a whole meant the film was immediately set up to fail. Ghostbusters: Afterlife has literally done the exact opposite.
The original cast does return which was great to see, and yes folks you do get to see the original Ghostbusters dust off their proton packs and re-live their glory days. It is truly something to behold folks...it was great seeing them back. Seeing Janine and Dana was also fantastic, I am a little disappointed we don't see Rick Moranis' Louis Tully return but since he left the acting scene back in the 90s it is understandable. In regards to Egon's absence following the death of Harold Ramis in 2014, you don't need to worry. I'm not saying more than that but he's present throughout the film in various ways. A very heartfelt, well written and well executed tribute to Egon Spengler and Ramis that will most likely bring you to tears. In regards to the rest of the cast, they are fantastic and have some great on screen chemistry. Mckenna Grace and Logan Kim stole the show for me, and of course it was just great seeing Paul Rudd.
"Hey, have you missed us?"
The story is pretty straight forward and it's relatively easy to see where the film makers were going from the very start, but just because it's somewhat predictable doesn't mean it isn't entertaining. The link back to the original film is pretty obvious within the opening scene if you're a Ghosbusters fan. Either way it's great and it's not over cooked. Eagle eyed fans will be seeing a lot of Easter Eggs littered throughout the film, I'm not going to ruin any of them but you'll be smiling from ear to ear throughout.
As well as the original cast returning, Afterlife also marks the return of some familiar monsters, ghosts and creatures the Ghostbusters have faced previously. Are they done as well as they were in the original film? They definitely are! It's nice to see that Reitman has followed a proven method and used the same CGI mixed with practical special effects that was used in the original films. Afterlife also introduces two new monsters to the mix- Muncher, who somewhat resembles Slimer, and the Mini-Pufts which are not only hilarious but insanely cute. And of course where would the Ghostbusters be without Ecto-1? It was great seeing the car back on the big screen with that iconic siren going again!
All in all folks, this is a fantastic film that was definitely worth the wait. Beautifully shot and scored. As well as all the throwbacks, it was a really nice touch bringing back that original Ray Parker Jr. song as well as paying tribute to Elmer Bernstein's original score. I smiled, I laughed, I jumped a few times, I cried and I left the cinema with that same warm and fuzzy feeling in my stomach I had when I watched the original film as a child.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is an incredible love letter to fans and a touching, heartfelt tribute to the great Harold Ramis. You can tell that a lot of time, love, respect and effort went into this film. It was everything I had hoped for and then some more. As for what the future holds for the franchise...honestly who knows? I can safely say if they chose not to make anymore now though, I'd be happy with that as the last film. I'd definitely say make the time to go and watch this one on the big screen folks, it's a wonderful experience...and make sure you stay until the very end as there's two post credit scenes!