Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) lives with her older brother Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and her mother Callie (Carrie Coon). Daily, the family struggle to make ends meet and are even evicted from their current home. Soon the family receives word that Phoebe’s grandfather has passed away. Despite not having spoken to her mother in quite some time, he leaves an old farmhouse he used to live in to them. As he leaves them no other money, the family is left with no choice but to travel to a whole new town and live inside the house with hopes of fixing it up and selling it at a profit.
But as Phoebe and her family settle in, there are many questions raised about the spooky home of their grandfather, and they even begin to suspect there could be a connection to the well known Ghostbusters team of the 80s. The biggest question the family will soon ask is what was their grandfather working on in the old house that kept him away and so distant from his family for so many years?
For those who are not aware, this film serves best as a sequel to the original films, Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II (1989). The film completely ignores the Ghostbusters reboot film, released in 2016. Being a fan of the original films, I was excited to see what the filmmakers and a new cast lineup could achieve. I was; however, concerned about the story and its continuation on from the films many movie lovers have adored for years. Thankfully, the results are highly pleasing and entertaining.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a solid continuation, telling a touching new story and introducing a new group of characters who are likeable and fun. As they conduct their own investigation surrounding the paranormal, there are many easter eggs, nods and well-known instrumental tunes from the original films. I also enjoyed the mysterious plot outline surrounding their grandfather and his past life. That being said, some mysteries that the film set up are generally obvious but still exciting as I wanted to see them unfold. Other mysteries, such as the film’s villain, I found to be more unpredictable. Either way, fans of the original Ghostbuster film’s are certainly going to have a blast going down memory lane and watching several aspects of the main plot unfold.
The new young cast here is also great. Their interactions with one another come across as highly witty and, at times, even just cute and charming. The leads are likeable and even deliver heartfelt moments relating to family and friendship. Supporting actor Paul Rudd playing a school science teacher named Grooberson was humorous. The actor sometimes unintentionally stole the screen with random moments and well-timed line delivery.
As for the film’s runtime, I found myself enjoying all that was on display and smiling at what had been achieved for the fans. My only real significant disappointment was the film’s villain. While some elements about the villain seem exciting, I found the choice of villain to be somewhat uninteresting and weak. With the film delivering a new cast, a new story and even new ghosts, I had hoped for something far greater as a major threat. Some scenes relating to the villain feel vague or somewhat rushed. Granted, many fans are not going to be fussed on this matter; I just wanted something in this area that felt fresher like the rest of the film.
Overall, fans of the original Ghostbusters films will have an excellent time with this new instalment. The film successfully introduces fun new characters who are highly likeable and charming. The plot is mysterious and exciting with lots of nods to the previous films, and generally speaking, there isn’t much on-screen that can be faulted. Visually this film is also pleasing, not to mention the fact we hear the original classic musical scores countless times. As a fan myself, I’m glad to say this is a worthy instalment. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) is Available in Australian Cinemas from January 1st.