Ghostbusters: Afterlife Gets The Nostalgia Right

Lucky (Celeste O'Connor), Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), Podcat (Logan Kim) and Phoebe (McKenna Grace) in Columbia Pictures' GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife hits at all the nostalgic emotions as the torch gets passed to a new generation of Ghostbusters.

If you read nothing else, please make sure to sit through the end of the credits. There is a mid-credit and a post-credit scene.

Mr. Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd) and Callie (Carrie Coon) in Columbia Pictures’ GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE.

Jason Reitman takes the best of his father’s two films and the best of Paul Feig’s solo outing to bring this bittersweet sequel. If bittersweet is the right word, that is. It’s hard watching this film and knowing that Harold Ramis is no longer alive. In a perfect world, there would have been a sequel prior to his passing. But alas, the world isn’t perfect and we got robbed of whatever film would have been made. The film is in good hands with Jason Reitman. Listen, he could go after all the fan service in the world and I’d still be sitting there wiping away the tears. This is a damn good film and even if it doesn’t win any Oscar, he should be proud of it.

Four release delays but believe me, it is worth the wait. When we meet Callie (Carrie Coon), Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), and Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) a the start of the film, they’re relocating to Summerville, Oklahoma. Mr. Grooberson (Paul Rudd) teaches at the school but one gets the feeling that he’d rather be doing something else. Not much is known about their family history in the first trailer if you’ve seen the second trailer, you’ve got a good idea. The third trailer really begins to drive things home with a hint of plot. And the callbacks! I will not say anything else because this is not the type of film that should be ruined before you see it. But again, I love all the fan service.

I will not really get into how the original Ghostbusters, Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts), and Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) fit into the larger story. I will say what a joy it is to see them. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) may no longer be with us but to see Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) again is an unforgettable moment. I cannot stress this enough. While it is a bummer that Harold is no longer with us, one would love to see a Rick Moranis cameo. This is one of the biggest disappointments about the film. Oh, well. It is what it is. We should all be happy to that we get to see another film!

Gil Kenan and Jason Reitman’s script find quite the way to tie this film back to the 1984 classic. I joke when I say it but you could also call the film Ghostbusters: Easter Egg Hunt. They are everywhere! I love how they play with YouTube in finding a way to bring us some fun moments from the original film. If you notice closely, there’s Proton Acceleration with Megan Amram on the sidebar! But still, I’m not complaining. When Harold died, nobody thought it could be done. Myself included. But lo and behold, Jason Reitman gives us a film that goes after the nostalgia. At the same time, he introduces us to a new generation. Is it possible that another Ghostbusters movie is in the cards? Possibly but I don’t know.

Outside of the initial trailer, I went into the film knowing as little as possible. Ultimately, this decision pays off in the end and I’m all the better for it. This is one of the few films that Sony Pictures did not unload onto a streaming service. Other films made their way to Netflix or Amazon. But when it comes to Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Sony would keep the faith. The major question now is what kind of box office revenue will there be. The film could not come out at a better time. With theaters open again and Thanksgiving taking place next week, the numbers should be good.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife might go after all the fan service in the world but there’s never a moment where the film is not entertaining. Sit back and enjoy the ride because you’re in for a treat.

DIRECTOR: Jason Reitman
SCREENWRITERS: Gil Kenan & Jason Reitman
CAST: Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Annie Potts, and Paul Rudd, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Sigourney Weaver

Sony will release Ghostbusters: Afterlife in theaters on November 19, 2021.

Please subscribe to Solzy at the Movies on Substack.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.