HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Hunter Will Get You
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Revolver
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Faye
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Saint-Narcisse
Souvenir Part II, The
Knockabout
400 Blows, The
Virus: 32
Studio 666
Great Movement, The
Lost in La Mancha
Cellar, The
Sacred Spirit, The
Chess of the Wind
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Scream
All I Can Say
You Are Not My Mother
   
 
Newest Articles
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
   
 
  Ghostbusters: Afterlife Bustin' still makes 'em feel good
Year: 2021
Director: Jason Reitman
Stars: Carrie Coon, Paul Rudd, Finn Wolfhard, McKenna Grace, Logan Kim, Celeste O'Connor, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, Sigourney Weaver, Bob Gunton, J.K. Simmons, Shawn Seward, Billy Bryk, Sidney Mae Diaz, Hannah Duke, Bokeem Woodbine
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Science Fiction, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: After losing their Chicago apartment single mom Callie (Carrie Coon) moves her children to a creepy old country house in small town Summerville, Oklahoma that belonged to her estranged and now late father. While teenage Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) quickly lands a fast food job to try and cosy up to his girl crush, awkward introvert and wannabe scientist Phoebe (McKenna Grace) struggles to fit in. Instead she becomes intrigued by her grandfather's strange legacy, specifically the basement full of ghost-busting equipment. Eventually Phoebe and Trevor discover their mysterious grandfather's research is connected to an ancient otherworldly evil that once terrorized New York and will soon rise again.

While the response to this second sequel to Ghostbusters (1984), leaving aside the disastrous 2016 reboot, was as predictably divisive as greets any blockbuster in the twenty-first century, Ghostbusters: Afterlife stands as one of the better, more thoughtfully conceived franchise revivals. With Jason Reitman inheriting director duties from his father Ivan Reitman - and co-scripting alongside Gil Kenan, director of the similarly artful kids' supernatural romp Monster House (2006) - the next generation sequel adopts a canny commercial survival tactic. On the outside it presents itself as yet another cynical cash-in on a beloved Eighties property. Yet its seemingly calculated box-ticking nostalgia beats are wrapped around a much more heartfelt Jason Reitman drama about a family dealing with bereavement, bitterness and adversity.

The talky first act may turn off fans waiting for characters to break out the Proton packs yet sets up themes and character dynamics that make up the spine of the movie. And elevate Ghostbusters: Afterlife above the shallow cash-grab it could so easily have been. Sure, Reitman Jr. layers the film with crowd-pleasing call-backs to the original (reoccurring gadgets, variations on iconic scenes, even music cues lifted from Elmer Bernstein's score designed to twang your nostalgia cells) yet weaves them originally into an all-new story. One arguably with more substance than the unintentionally mercenary message of the first Ghostbusters, arguably the only movie where the Environmental Protection Agency are the bad guys (that's the Eighties for you). The key to unlocking the real agenda at play in Ghostbusters: Afterlife lies arguably in Carrie Coon's unexpectedly real performance as Callie. Her character echoes Jason Reitman's back catalogue of acid-tongued anti-heroines (Charlize Theron in Young Adult (2011) and Tully (2018), Ellen Page in Juno (2007)): cynical yet vulnerable and lashing out at the wrong targets. Callie's simmering resentment for an absent father blinds her to her own daughter's need to connect to the family legacy and thus forge her own identity as a bright and intrepid scientist.

While Stranger Things alum Finn Wolfhard is on charming form as snarky but insecure teen hero Trevor, the standout turn comes from talent to watch McKenna Grace, building on the promise of Gifted (2017). Instantly iconic as complicated (and, as some suggest, possibly Asperger's afflicted) geek girl Phoebe she brings a deliciously deadpan wit and girl power gumption that energize every scene she is in. Elsewhere Paul Rudd, by now a genial presence no matter which franchise he's slot into, essentially essays the Rick Moranis role as Phoebe's helpful back-story-explaining schoolteacher-cum-Ghostbusters fan boy-cum-love interest for Callie.

The film has its flaws: a superfluous sequence with Stay Puft mini-marshmallow men there just to placate the marketing department and romantic subplots that don't really go anywhere. At first glance the third act threatens to slavishly mimic the original until Reitman puts a fresh spin on some old plot points and throws a few welcome curveballs. Various talk show appearances more or less spoiled most of the film's big surprise cameos (although Olivia Wilde fans will likely do a double-take). But that does not make them any less delightful and satisfying. Even affecting in bittersweet moments that acknowledge the passing of time including a climax that, though it flirts with exploitation, miraculously pulls off sincere tear-jerking pathos.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 392 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: