Film Review: 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife'


Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, and Logan Kim in Ghostbusters: Afterlife c/o Columbia Pictures
Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, and Logan Kim in Ghostbusters: Afterlife c/o Columbia Pictures

By: Jaimz Dillman


If you’re anything like me, and of the 80’s generation, hopes for a Ghostbusters sequel was all but obliterated when the world lost Harold Ramis. Aside from the long-term Murray- Ramis feud, problems with productions, approving scripts that all could agree on, and that “other” GB movie, fans' hopes to see the franchise carry on were slowly fading.

Ernie Hudson and Jaimz Dillman at Spooky Empire
Ernie Hudson and Jaimz Dillman at Spooky Empire

But fear not! Almost as if it was written in the stars, son of Ivan Reitman - director of the original Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II - Jason Reitman stepped up to the plate and took on the Herculean task of giving us all what we’ve wanted and waited for… for so long.


As someone with a personal connection to the ‘Busters, this film hit every sentimental bone in my body. See, for a short time wayyyy back before digital cameras and even cell phones, Universal Florida had the rights to one ‘Buster - Zeddemore. A concept was created to have student ‘Busters under his tutelage to keep the Studios ghost-free. I was one of those students. Yep! A girl Ghostbuster, before the movies even thought about it. And there were a few of us, too - but I digress…


GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE tells the story of the next couple of generations, after the boys cleaned up that little mess in New York. This round, we started off in the middle of a sleepy town where, “something has gone terribly wrong.” Commonplace quakes have been plaguing the townsfolk as of late, yet no one knows why.


Paul Rudd in Ghostbusters: Afterlife c/o Columbia Pictures
Paul Rudd in Ghostbusters: Afterlife c/o Columbia Pictures

We meet Phoebe (McKenna Grace), her brother Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), and mom Callie (Carrie Coon). They're new residents of an inherited dirt farm on the edge of town. Precocious kids and a mystery to solve go hand in hand in this installment, with so many callbacks to the original, I was smiling from ear to ear most of the time. Casting is spot on, and each lead has their own role to play, which may find you comparing GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE to the original.


Real moments of heart and technical wizardry made the collective audience of our full theater gasp quite a few times, and spontaneous applause broke out through several touching scenes. No one moved as the credits rolled, just in case extras were waiting. So stay for that.


Some critics say this revitalization is just fan service. But, so what? We’re the ones who embraced four guys in jumpsuits who slid down a fire pole to go to work. We’re also the ones having Ghostbuster birthdays, forming our own Ghostbuster clubs, and to this day, builders of proton packs and PKE meters trade secrets to get the best props. Doesn’t it make sense to take all that into account when creating the next gen asking, "Who ya gonna call?" I mean, the director is the same kid who got to play on the original set while his dad worked.


Jaimz Dillman with fellow 'Busters (L) Ed Budd & (R) Cyn Sellards
Jaimz Dillman with fellow 'Busters (L) Ed Budd & (R) Cyn Sellards

Is it perfect? Up for you to decide. Does it hit all the feels? Let’s just say, I’ve already seen it twice, with plans to see it every chance I get with anyone wanting to go. And I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.


No matter where I am in life, and no matter what I’m doing, I will always be a Ghostbuster.