Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a supernatural comedy that is another sequel to the original 1984 film that starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson. They all show up in this new version, but this one focuses on the descendants of Egon Spengler. Gil Kenan and Jason Reitman co-wrote the script in which Reitman ends up directing. Carrie Coon, Paul Rudd, Finn Wolfhard, McKenna Grace, Celeste O’Conner, and Bokeem Woodbine are also included in the new cast.
Strange things are happening in a small Oklahoma town where Egon Spengler spent his remaining years. After his death, his daughter and her two children leave their problems in New York and take on new challenges when they decide to stay in Egon’s dilapidated house on the outside of town. Grace plays the genius granddaughter, Phoebe, who starts to figure out that her estranged grandfather was not just the mad old kook. She finds the equipment used by the Ghostbusters and starts repairing it. Wolfhard’s Trevor manages to get an old strange car the resembles an old hearse working again. There are unexpected earthquakes and an old abandoned mine that seem to have been the focus of Egan’s studies. When it becomes more obvious that an ancient evil is returning to the land of the living, the youngsters may the need the help of a legendary team that saved New York City decades ago.
Well, this was better than the previous attempts at sequels and reboots, however it still had some problems. In spite of the vastly different setting, there still remained that sense of “been there, done that”. The young cast members were charming and well cast. Phoebe became the catalyst for the others to get involved in this latest round of ghostbusting. The film ended up being a rather moving tribute to the late Harold Ramis, who actually died five years ago. The story gets pretty wobbly toward the end, but there is some fun to this latest addition. Although it does bring up some welcome nostalgia at times, my only real reaction to this film is that “it could have been worse”.