Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Jason Reitman gives the fans the film they’ve been waiting for

The name Ghostbusters is linked to childhood memories for many people: the two films by Ivan Reitman, from 1984 and 1989, are part of the cultural heritage of that generation. However, the story of Ray, Egon, Peter and Winston, an unlikely group of three university researchers and a former marine and pilot, who save New York from ghosts, has entered the collective imagination, inspiring even younger audiences.

A third installment of the saga had been in the works since the 1990s, but there was only one way to make it happen: with Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson, the four members of the original cast. Bill Murray declined the project for years and Ramis’ premature death in 2014 messed up the plans.

Paul Feig’s 2016 reboot, independent of the others in plot and tones, received critics disapproval, but there is one thing that matters more than any other: it deeply disappointed the fans. The new chapter, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is important because it comes after 32 years of waiting to fill a void, because it is directed by Ivan Reitman’s son, Jason, and because it is meant to pass the baton to new generations.


The film, which hits Italian cinemas on November 18, 2021, is set nowadays: after being evicted from her home, Callie must move to Summerville, Oklahoma, with her two kids, Phoebe and Trevor. Callie’s father, who died shortly before, left them a decayed farmhouse there. The man was absent for most of her life and she feels nothing but resentment for him. Phoebe and Trevor have no idea who their grandfather was, but they become curious after moving to that house, a place full of unusual objects and strange presences. As they search for their roots, Summerville is plagued by inexplicable earthquakes. Phoebe’s passion for science will reveal the mysteries: a paranormal event, with its epicenter in Oklahoma, is about to change the fate of humanity and her grandfather knew it. And he was not just any grandfather: Phoebe and Trevor are the grandchildren of legendary scientist and Ghostbuster, Egon Spengler.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife – Credits/ Sony Pictures

The new chapter of Ghostbusters is not about big cities, but about a small American town and its residents, hard workers bored by the small-town life, who dream to build a better future somewhere else. Summerville is where Egon had chosen to live, far away from his loved ones, aware of the fact that threats hide in the most unexpected places, sometimes. Ghostbusters: Afterlife spans several generations of fans: progress in the CGI allowed Reitman to use great special effects, but modeled on well-known characters (from the metal-eating ghost inspired by Slimer to the mini-Mr. Stay Pufts invading a supermarket); but this is also a film about the legacy of Ghostbusters, the peers of Phoebe and Trevor who, despite living in a digital era, never lose the bonds with their past and with a different way of learning things. Actress Mckenna Grace is an extraordinary Phoebe: she carefully studied Egon and he literally lives through her character. Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things), Carrie Coon (The Leftovers) and Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) give excellent performances, in an ensemble cast that shows knowledge of the subject. And then there are the veterans, Bill Murray (Peter), Dan Aykroyd (Ray), Ernie Hudson (Winston), Annie Potts (Janine) and Sigourney Weaver (Dana), but you will have to wait until the credits to see her (Watch out: there are two extra scenes).

This film owns it all: the mystery, the joy, the nostalgia, a time for laughter and one for tears, the respect for Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis’ ideas for a third chapter, that they put into words many years ago. Only Jason Reitman, along with his father Ivan and co-writer Gil Kenan, could make a film like this.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife exceeds expectations and, if there’s a flaw, you won’t see it. This is the film of reconciliation: between Callie and Egon, between Murray and  Ramis (there were misunderstandings for years), between the fans and the Ghostbusters series. This is also Winston’s chapter: his final lines suggest a leading role in the near future.

Jason Reitman has finally given the fans the film they’ve been waiting for, the one Harold Ramis would be proud of.


Please follow and like us:
Follow by Email
Visit Us
Follow Me

Related posts