By: Amanda Guarragi
This is the second movie of the year, where I went in with very low expectations and it surprised me. Everyone knows that I am not a huge Ghostbusters fan, but this sequel had so much heart, even though it felt like a reworked version of the first instalment. For some reason, I got attached to these characters because of the generational pull of the Spengler family. We have Callie (Carrie Coon) and her two kids, Phoebe (McKenna Grace) and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original ‘Ghostbusters’ and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.
Director Jason Reitman was able to reinvent the franchise with this legacy film by having a young girl take on her grandfather’s life’s work. Phoebe is a scientist first and a kid second. McKenna Grace continues to blow me away with how talented she is because she showed such range in this role. She held this movie together; well, her and Paul Rudd because it’s Paul Rudd and he’s just fun to watch at this point. Grace had the emotional pull that made this movie so heartwarming and Rudd brought his charisma, especially when running away from mini-marshmallow puffs.
Apart from the very basic looking location, and the rough editing, what really added to the excitement of the action scenes, were the visuals. There weren’t that many ghosts, but cinematographer Eric Steelberg and the VFX team came together and made some really interesting choices to tell this fun ghost story. We had ghosts coming out of the shadows and there were some perfect jump scares. What I really loved was that they got the kids involved and put them in the action, just so a new generation can appreciate the ‘Ghostbusters’.
People say that nostalgia ruins sequels or reboots, but sometimes, when it’s not overstuffed in order to make the audience feel something, it can be really great. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is actually a beautiful tribute to Harold Ramis and the legacy he left behind. It has such an emotional ending and will leave you wanting another one with this fun cast. This movie is special, if it could make a non-Ghostbusters fan shed a tear at the end. It’s funny, a bit far fetched in the third act, but it has character, just like the first installment. Make sure to stay for the post-credit scene to see a familiar face.