Synopsis: In Ghostbusters: Afterlife the family of the recently deceased family of Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) inherit his old, secluded spooky house. His granddaughter, Phoebe (McKenna Grace) begins to notice some very strange goings on indeed . . .
Very much a story for today, which was vital. Ghostbusters: Afterlife could easily have been just a trite nostalgia fest. Fortunately, it wasn’t. The placing of the central cast into the old house of Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) was a wonderful idea. Furthermore, the fact that Egon’s daughter, Callie (Carrie Coon) and her two children Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Phoebe (McKenna Grace) were there as a last resort worked brilliantly. Viewers experienced these characters’ circumstances, and so, it meant this was very much their film.
The pace of the film was another example of the strength in writing and directing of Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The slow build allowed you to discover and connect with them. But perhaps best of all was having the presence of Egon there, too. And, of course the much loved and missed Harold Ramis. Having him as a ghost, given the nature of the film, was a masterstroke. It was the simplicity of it, and how it was pulled off with careful observation and planning. The film’s climax was absolutely brilliant and charged with atmosphere.
Undoubtedly, McKenna Grace stole the show. A master class in depicting a hero in formation. For such a young actress, Grace really showed she knew how to morph into a role, and understand who her character is. Other strong performances came from Finn Wolfhard, who also provided a relatable experience. The breakout character was definitely Podcaster (Logan Kim). Logan Kim proved what a wonderful comedy actor in the making he is. Both Paul Rudd and Carrie Coon also delivered brilliant comic relief, too and a fun, stereotypical awkward dating scene, and ongoing chemistry. They stuck with a tried and tested formula, showing real class.
CGI & Effects
Whilst things were clearly more impressive, visually than the original two films, why that was so matters. The effects were true to the original ideas, and the ret-conning was absolutely flawless. For example, the proton packs looked clunky and homemade, more so now than they did then (because effects have moved on so much). Arguably most important was getting the Ecto-1 right. Such an iconic vehicle needed to be depicted perfectly, and it was. The ghosts looked cool, and really quite scary at times, too. The finale was a visual spectacle and showed how incredible modern effects can be, when the people creating them take their time to get it right. This ties in with longtime fans’ desire to see their childhood nostalgia respected, something our recent feature on Ghostbusters: Afterlife – Scare also touches on. The new incarnation of marshmallow monsters was original and it was also highly entertaining , too.
There were many, many strengths to Ghostbusters: Afterlife that all contributed to the film’s success. Great to see a positive, and nuanced representation of neurodiversity in Phoebe’s character. Also, we were reminded of the importance of the character of Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson), too. In the original film, he was seen by some as just an as well as. That’s not the case at all, as we saw here. A great job of directing also helped in delivering a memorable film. The movie appealed to a new, younger audience, and stood up on its own merit, whilst paying homage to the originals, and being a treat for fans who remember them so fondly. There was a good soundtrack and great use of sound generally. Most importantly we got to once more hear one of the all time great movie songs!
Look out next week, for a Ghostbusters themed special, from May The Verse Be With You, to celebrate the new movie’s release . . .
- CGI & Effects10
- Incidental Music9.0