What better to go with turkey on Thanksgiving weekend than a ghost. Well, I hope you like slime with your cranberry sauce because a ghost is what you got with the reboot of the 80’s classic Ghostbusters.
Ghostbusters, for those that do not know, is the 1984 movie starring Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson as the title characters of ghost hunters. Aykroyd, as Ray Stantz, Murray, as Peter Venkman, and Ramis, as Egon Spengler, play college professors who study the paranormal. When they get fired from the college, they decide to open their own business of catching ghosts. They are joined by Ernie Hudson, as Winston Zeddemore, and start to catch ghosts. They go against a spirit named Gozer the Gozerian and save New York from being taken over by the evil spirit and the other spirits he has to invade New York.
A loose Readers Digest on what happened.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife takes place 34 years after the original. The movie is based on the daughter and grandkids of Harold Ramis’ character, Spengler. Harold Ramis passed away in February 2014 so with the use of body doubles and creepy CGI they were able to bring him into this movie in order to kill his character and bring him back eventually as a ghost.
The movie opens with Spengler, played by body doubles without actually showing his face, is killed by spirits in an old farmhouse. His estranged daughter, who never knew him, and her two kids inherit his old farmhouse in Summerville, Oklahoma. Annie Potts, who reprises her role as Secretary Janine Melnitz from the original movie, is there to tell them that all they inherited was the house because he was flat broke.
The mother and two kids find out that the town thought of him as a weirdo that kept to himself and called him the dirt farmer. Of course, the kids find the Ghostbusters car and gadgets and find out granddad was a cool iconic Ghostbuster. This makes sense because you cannot have a plot unless you have kids getting into stuff they have no business getting into.
We find out that the other Ghostbusters were angry with Spengler for taking everything and leaving not realizing that he went to Summerville to protect the world from the return of Gozer. He had a failsafe in place to keep Gozer from returning but of course, the kids messed that up and all hell breaks loose.
Eventually, they figure out how to fix everything because of course one of Spengler’s grandkids is a science geek. Everything comes down to a big standoff where of course the three surviving Ghostbusters come at the last minute in full gear to save the day with smart quips and jokes. Ghosts hate quips and jokes. They all defeat Gozer as a CGI Spengler who does not talk makes a creepy appearance. The End.
Post credit scenes. Stay for two if you have not seen this yet.
I gave you the basic plot of the movie leaving out a few details because, for those who have not seen it, I want you to see it.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I give Ghostbusters: Afterlife a 6. This movie had a lot of moments of nostalgia that a lot of old school viewers who loved the original movie would enjoy. However, the plot was very predictable. You went in knowing the ghost would be defeated and everyone would live happily ever after. You went in knowing that at some point the original Ghostbusters team was coming in to save the day.
The characters were also plastic and predictable. The misunderstood kid genius that figures everything out. The teenage sibling who falls in love. Moving to a new town and making friends who end up in your dangerous drama. A mother who has no idea what is going on with her kids because she is wrapped up in her own self-made drama. The teacher who befriends the smart kid and also gets caught in the drama.
The movie seemed to drag at one point towards the middle in the kids finding out who exactly their grandfather was and what was going on. It was part of the script that could have moved on had you had his estranged daughter know a little more about her dad to tell the kids. This way we would not waste half the movie on the discovery that the audience all knew but were waiting for the kids to discover. It was painfully annoying to sit through.
Overall, this is a good movie to see for the nostalgia and reminding you how good the original was.