Newest Reviews
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Forever Purge, The
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Deadly Games
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
No Time to Die
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Power of the Dog, The
Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary
Suicide Squad, The
One Night in Miami...
Newest Articles
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
  Ghostbusters: Afterlife Bustin' still makes 'em feel good
Year: 2021
Director: Jason Reitman
Stars: Carrie Coon, Paul Rudd, Finn Wolfhard, McKenna Grace, Logan Kim, Celeste O'Connor, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, Sigourney Weaver, Bob Gunton, J.K. Simmons, Shawn Seward, Billy Bryk, Sidney Mae Diaz, Hannah Duke, Bokeem Woodbine
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Science Fiction, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: After losing their Chicago apartment single mom Callie (Carrie Coon) moves her children to a creepy old country house in small town Summerville, Oklahoma that belonged to her estranged and now late father. While teenage Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) quickly lands a fast food job to try and cosy up to his girl crush, awkward introvert and wannabe scientist Phoebe (McKenna Grace) struggles to fit in. Instead she becomes intrigued by her grandfather's strange legacy, specifically the basement full of ghost-busting equipment. Eventually Phoebe and Trevor discover their mysterious grandfather's research is connected to an ancient otherworldly evil that once terrorized New York and will soon rise again.

While the response to this second sequel to Ghostbusters (1984), leaving aside the disastrous 2016 reboot, was as predictably divisive as greets any blockbuster in the twenty-first century, Ghostbusters: Afterlife stands as one of the better, more thoughtfully conceived franchise revivals. With Jason Reitman inheriting director duties from his father Ivan Reitman - and co-scripting alongside Gil Kenan, director of the similarly artful kids' supernatural romp Monster House (2006) - the next generation sequel adopts a canny commercial survival tactic. On the outside it presents itself as yet another cynical cash-in on a beloved Eighties property. Yet its seemingly calculated box-ticking nostalgia beats are wrapped around a much more heartfelt Jason Reitman drama about a family dealing with bereavement, bitterness and adversity.

The talky first act may turn off fans waiting for characters to break out the Proton packs yet sets up themes and character dynamics that make up the spine of the movie. And elevate Ghostbusters: Afterlife above the shallow cash-grab it could so easily have been. Sure, Reitman Jr. layers the film with crowd-pleasing call-backs to the original (reoccurring gadgets, variations on iconic scenes, even music cues lifted from Elmer Bernstein's score designed to twang your nostalgia cells) yet weaves them originally into an all-new story. One arguably with more substance than the unintentionally mercenary message of the first Ghostbusters, arguably the only movie where the Environmental Protection Agency are the bad guys (that's the Eighties for you). The key to unlocking the real agenda at play in Ghostbusters: Afterlife lies arguably in Carrie Coon's unexpectedly real performance as Callie. Her character echoes Jason Reitman's back catalogue of acid-tongued anti-heroines (Charlize Theron in Young Adult (2011) and Tully (2018), Ellen Page in Juno (2007)): cynical yet vulnerable and lashing out at the wrong targets. Callie's simmering resentment for an absent father blinds her to her own daughter's need to connect to the family legacy and thus forge her own identity as a bright and intrepid scientist.

While Stranger Things alum Finn Wolfhard is on charming form as snarky but insecure teen hero Trevor, the standout turn comes from talent to watch McKenna Grace, building on the promise of Gifted (2017). Instantly iconic as complicated (and, as some suggest, possibly Asperger's afflicted) geek girl Phoebe she brings a deliciously deadpan wit and girl power gumption that energize every scene she is in. Elsewhere Paul Rudd, by now a genial presence no matter which franchise he's slot into, essentially essays the Rick Moranis role as Phoebe's helpful back-story-explaining schoolteacher-cum-Ghostbusters fan boy-cum-love interest for Callie.

The film has its flaws: a superfluous sequence with Stay Puft mini-marshmallow men there just to placate the marketing department and romantic subplots that don't really go anywhere. At first glance the third act threatens to slavishly mimic the original until Reitman puts a fresh spin on some old plot points and throws a few welcome curveballs. Various talk show appearances more or less spoiled most of the film's big surprise cameos (although Olivia Wilde fans will likely do a double-take). But that does not make them any less delightful and satisfying. Even affecting in bittersweet moments that acknowledge the passing of time including a climax that, though it flirts with exploitation, miraculously pulls off sincere tear-jerking pathos.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 69 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: