Ghostbusters: Afterlife – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Ghostbusters: Afterlife – In a Small Town … Who You Gonna Call?

The art of storytelling provides a spark of endless possibilities.  Falling into a world unknown, we experience fondness and joy.  From romance to the fantastical, it is a return to certain franchises that allows us to breathe that escape.  In this review, I look at the latest installment of a classic franchise.  A sequel to a popular 80’s film, it provides a moving journey within the familiar.  Even with moments of nostalgia, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a whimsical journey that begs the question … who you gonna to call?

The story follows Callie (Carrie Coon), a single mom who has inherited an old farmhouse from her recently deceased father.  Being evicted from their current home, they have no choice but to move and live in this house in Oklahoma.  In the beginning, there is a quick prologue that sets the story for Callie and her two kids, Trevor (Finn Wolfard) and Pheobe (Mckenna Grace).  Once they move to this farmhouse, the first half weaves through moments of self-discovery and coming-of-age themes.  As commonality roots the audience within a smalltown feel, it allows for the mysterious elements to slowly build within their new lives.  Callie is trying to piece together a connection to life gone, Trevor is looking to find his own place with the local teens and Pheobe becomes intrigued by the mysteries surrounding her grandfather and unusual earthquakes.  Through a blend of general conversations, cheeky humor and everyday occurrences, it helps provides a slow build towards the mysteries surrounding their deceased father/grandfather.  This approach also provides strong individualism, allowing for the story to move familiar aspects with a sense of new beginnings.  The balancing act is solid, creating a genuine connection of characterization.  As the mystery of who their father/grandfather’s life (and life’s work) comes to the forefront, iconic items (of previous films) come into their possession.  This leads to some convenient story elements, paving the way for a second half of nostalgia overload. 

As the coming-of-age story builds purpose for the new characters, it is the trickling effect of the familiar that causes structural chaos.  With elements of past films coming through textualization, the obviousness triggers a predictable trek through an ambivalence of fondness over development.  As the supernatural comes to life, specific scenes/one-liners and conversations become expositional dump of explanation.  As the family leans the truth of the small town, they must hatch a plan to stop the resurgence of certain entities.  This leads into a finale where originality gets overshadow with the familiar.  Even within the lack of risk in storytelling, the bridged connections still provide that charm of what is at stake.  This leads into a full circle climax, ending on a high note in the epilogue.   Ghostbusters: Afterlife does enough to be a really fun ride.  If you are a fan of coming-of-age stories or the Ghostbuster’s lore, this is one for you.  I say this can be fun for you and your family at the theaters.        

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

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