It’s been a whole month since Ghostbusters: Afterlife came out, so it feels safe to say that we’re out of the spoiler-slime zone. That being said, if you haven’t seen the movie, and you don’t want to get spoiled then…this may not be the blog article for you.
This year finally brought us the long-awaited Ghostbusters reboot. (Thanks for that, COVID.) It was something of a fresh take on the series, continuing the original story rather than remaking it into something new. Despite the fact that I’ve only ever seen the first Ghostbusters movie–and only once or twice, at that–I knew that I wanted to see Ghostbusters: Afterlife the moment I saw the trailer. It has a great cast, some hilarious lines, and overall, just looked like a load of fun!
So whether you’re a certified Ghostbuster or if you simply dabble in bustin’, here are the five things we liked best about Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
1. For the most part, it’s self-contained.
My number one fear going into this movie was that, as a Ghostbusters plebeian, I wouldn’t know what’s going on. Thankfully, Ghostbusters: Afterlife does a pretty good job explaining itself. If you have a working knowledge of Ghostbusters–Slimer, Bill Murray, Marshmallow Man–then you can make it through this film without too much confusion. That’s because there are two different kinds of characters in the film: those who know about ghosts, and those who don’t.
While the adults in this movie are familiar with the first film’s evens in the eighties, the kids in this movie are basically stand ins for the fresh audience. They don’t know anything about ghosts or the Ghostbusters because “it happened thirty years before we were born.” I don’t know that that logic really holds up from a logistical standpoint–even if the general public considered it a hoax, I knew what Area 51 was as a kid–but it’s a great way to initiate the audience.
2. It has awesome graphics and special effects.
I know this can be said about just about any modern movie, but in Ghostbusters: Afterlife, you can feel the stark comparison to the original film. And it’s not just about what effects are good or bad; it’s also about choosing which effects to use and when. Ghosts and marshmallow men aside, one of my favorite, really simple effects is the way the lamp in the workroom was animated to represent Spengler’s ghost. It wasn’t over the top, but the mannerisms and emotion were clearly depicted.
Of course, it goes without saying that the best use of special effects is at the end. The detail that went into editing Spengler’s ghost and bringing it to life is artfully and lovingly done. I knew it was coming, and I still got emotional.
3. Paul Rudd
Paul Rudd gets his own bullet point. Is his character groundbreaking? No. He’s a whacky, nerdy teacher who’s into conspiracy theories, risky science experiments, and dry wit. He’s just Paul Rudd. But we love Paul Rudd, so if my ticket to Ghostbusters: Afterlife was just me paying to watch Paul Rudd and his Paul Rudd hijinks for the full run time, I’m okay with that. Paul Rudd.
4. The Cameos
We knew that they were coming, but the fact that the movie finagled cameos from so many of the original stars really is a selling point for the film. Even as someone who’s only seen Ghostbusters once or twice, I recognized all the characters when they came on screen. Dan Aykroyd pulls most of the weight, since he’s in two lengthy scenes, but everyone else does their bit. And perhaps more importantly, their inclusion in the movie doesn’t overshadow the new characters. They’re there to help, but not score a last minute win to save the day.
5. McKenna Grace
There’s a lot of things in this movie that are fun. There are a lot I take issue with. But more than anything, this movie rests on the shoulders of McKenna Grace, and she does a phenomenal job. She’s convincing as the brilliant, quirky loner, but with an optimism and raw practicality that doesn’t shoehorn her into the “lovable outcast” stereotype. Her emotional journey is by far the most profound, as she finds meaning not just in her family and friends, but in her heritage. She’s funny, smart, and straight to the point, which makes you root for her every step of the way.
What were your thoughts on Ghostbusters: Afterlife? Love it, hate it, or just so-so? Let us know by dropping by our Discord! And if you’re a fan of any of the Ghostbuster franchise, make sure to check out this month’s Loot Crate DX, LARGER THAN LIFE, for some exclusive Ghostbusters: Afterlife gear.