Ghostbusters: Afterlife

124 minutes | Rated PG-13

Fans of “Ghostbusters” and “Ghostbusters 2” are in for a treat as “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” hits theaters. The new film is directed by Jason Reitman, whose father Ivan directed the older films. The new movie is filled with little nods to the original movies that fans are sure to enjoy. 

The movie begins with single mother Callie, played by Carrie Coon, and her children Phoebe, played by Mckenna Grace; and Trevor, played by Finn Wolfhard, being evicted from their apartment. She discovers that her father has left them an old farmhouse in a small town in Oklahoma. 

Arriving in the small town, everyone Callie talks to responds that “the dirt farmer had a family?” when they find out about her inheriting the home from her father. The family stops at a drive-in restaurant, Trevor is attracted to one of the girls working there and applies for a job so he can get to know her.

When Callie takes Phoebe to school, she meets Gary Grooberson, played by Paul Rudd. Grooberson is the middle-school science teacher, who takes a liking to Phoebe and her mother. Grooberson is a seismologist who is fascinated by the unusual seismic activity in town. He usually turns on an old movie on VHS to entertain the class while he spends time in his office studying the activity. 

He is impressed by Phoebe who is also interested in science. In school, Phoebe also meets and befriends a boy nicknamed “Podcast,” played by Logan Kim.

At the farmhouse, Phoebe discovers a strange device under her grandfather’s chair. That night, something knocks a chessboard in her room to the floor. Phoebe sets the board back up and sees one of the chess pieces move. She makes a move as well and goes to sleep. When she wakes up she finds that another move has been made. 

The device she found earlier leads her to another odd device buried underneath the floorboards in the farmhouse. She takes it to school and shows it to Podcast. When Grooberson sees the object he asks them about the “killer replica.” The kids don’t know what he’s talking about. He explains that this is a replica of a ghost trap. He tells them about New York in the eighties. The kids tell him that that was twenty years before they were born. 

They soon discover that the ghost trap is not a replica and that Phoebe’s grandfather was a Ghostbuster. We also discover that the unusual seismic activity is due to some unusual happenings at the old mine near town. These unusual activities have a mysterious connection to the older films which should delight fans.

“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” is a highly entertaining movie that features many nods to the older films while telling its own story. The new characters are quite likable much like the cast of the older film. This movie is a bit like Star Wars Episode VII, it is highly reminiscent of an older beloved film while having its own identity. 

The cast is quite enjoyable and the special effects have improved greatly since the eighties. The film is enjoyable and works for those that have never watched any of the Ghostbusters films. There are little nods to these previous movies sprinkled throughout “Afterlife” that will delight fans of the series. 

“Ghostbusters: Afterlife’’ is rated PG-13 for spooky action and some suggestive material. It should be fine for older kids and up. I rate it four-and-a-half out of five Marshmallow men.

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