Ghostbusters: Afterlife – Film Review

I have loved Ghostbusters ever since I was a kid. There is something just so special about a bunch of geeky men banding together to fight ghosts and save the city. While the sequel, Ghostbusters 2 is still entertaining, I did not enjoy the gender reversal 2016 Ghostbusters film, as I felt it was disrespectfully terrible and did not positively contribute to the film franchise. Naturally, I had low expectations and concerns for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, mostly because the 2016 film that came before it was such a mess.

Directed by Jason Reitman and produced by Ivan Reitman, Ghostbusters: Afterlife still has characters fighting ghosts – the bones of the film are quite respectful to the original 1984 classic. However, instead of a bunch of fired college professors going rouge and starting their own ghostbustin’ business, Ghostbusters: Afterlife follows a young family, financially stressed and moving to a small-town property that they have inherited, because they don’t have any other options.

While mum Callie and brother Trevor, played by Carrie Coon and Finn Wolfhard, both have their own story arcs, the film focuses mostly on young Phoebe, flawlessly played by Mckenna Grace. Phoebe is a bit geeky, socially awkward and has nothing in common with her mother and brother. In a new home and town, she finds solace during her summer school classes, befriending Logan Kim’s character Podcast, and forming an unlikely friendship with their teacher, Gary Grooberson played by Paul Rudd. Together, they unravel a mystery about the town that may or may not change life as they know it.

The cast are all great in their respective roles, but the true star of the film is Mckenna Grace. Despite being a young actress, Grace really appears to be a seasoned professional, effortlessly showcasing the perfect balance of strength and vulnerability in her portrayal as Phoebe. The discovery of her family roots really tugged at my heartstrings. I also thoroughly enjoyed her chemistry with Logan Kim’s Podcast and Paul Rudd’s Gary, making the perfect dorky unlikely trio.

The props, costuming and special effects are equally as impressive, combining to bring a bit of nostalgic ghostbustin’ magic back to life – in a way that is simply captivating and is once again respectful to the original.

I found that Ghostbusters: Afterlife’s focus on the children as the main characters and not the young-at-heart adults this time around to be very refreshing, clever, and still entertaining. The film maintains the heart and soul that we so dearly loved from the 1984 original, pleasing long-time fans with its execution, while still establishing a modern appeal that will entice the younger generation.

I shamelessly loved Ghostbusters: Afterlife so much. It doesn’t have to be art. But as a fan of the original film, Ghostbusters: Afterlife moved me to tears and made me so incredibly happy. I honestly think we need more feel-good movies in this world right now. Whether you are a long-time fan of the film franchise or just want an entertaining and fun flick to see with the family, I highly recommend seeing Ghostbusters: Afterlife in cinemas.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the perfect companion piece to the 1984 Ghostbusters film, feels like old 80s Hollywood in the best kind of way and is a wonderful moving, loving tribute to the late great Harold Ramis, who not only heartfully and cleverly wrote the original film together with comedian king Dan Aykroyd, but played the beloved iconic role of Egon Spengler.

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