When I was a kid, one of my favorite movies was Ghostbusters. I can’t even tell you how many times I watched it. I also watched the animated show The Real Ghostbusters and was even moderately happy with the film sequel Ghostbusters II, despite it being an inferior movie.
In a time when Hollywood has gone woke and can’t seem to come up with original ideas, there has been a slew of reboots of old properties that never seem to find the magic of their source material.
I’m looking at you, Ghostbusters: Answer The Call. Uggh, that 2016 gender swap reboot was so bad. People could tell how awful it was based on the trailer alone. Reaction to the movie was so bad that writer/director Paul Feig even blamed Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy for the film’s poor performance. Because, apparently, 2016 audiences were supposed to be too wowed by the abundance of modern special effects to care that the movie wasn’t funny and had a terrible story.
But coming this fall, we’re getting Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which is actually more a sequel to the original films than a reboot. Believe me, after the disastrous 2016 reboot, word of yet another attempt to revive the franchise just made me groan. But the first trailer dropped in December 2019—a lifetime ago, and I was convinced: This movie is going to kick butt.
I can still remember watching this trailer for the first time. It didn’t feel like the original movies, but that’s okay. The trailer pointed to a compelling story behind this film. What happened after the events of the original movies? Who are these characters that this new film is focusing on? They’ve just moved to the old farmhouse belonging to a grandfather. The trailer strongly implies that it’s the family of Egon Spengler, who was played by the late Harold Ramis in the original films. It’s quite clear that even though the actor died in 2014, his character will loom large in this movie.
The trailer indicates that ghosts haven’t been a concern for decades. The original ghostbusters are just an old, faded memory for most people, so much so that the kids at the center of this film (presumably Egon’s grandchildren) don’t even know about the events of the original films and have never even seen a ghost trap. However, strange things are happening in this old town they’ve just moved to, including seismic activity and supernatural occurrences, pointing to the forthcoming return of ghosts.
The last third of the trailer features an original line spoken by Peter Venkman (played by Bill Murray) from the first film. “Call it fate, call it luck, call it karma. I believe everything happens for a reason.”
And then we see it—a terror dog from the original film. We only see its leg, but its snarl is unmistakable. And then there’s the moment that one of the kids, played by Finn Wolfhard, starts up ECTO-1, and then you see it driving through a field, and then to the town on the street, chasing after a ghost. It gives me chills every time I see it. This movie looks like it’s going to be awesome.
The film was supposed to be released last year, but it was delayed until November due to the Wuhan virus. And now I’m even more excited about it after a new trailer dropped on Tuesday.
There’s a lot to unpack in this trailer, but most importantly, the trailer confirms that the family at the center of the film is Egon’s Spengler’s descendants and gives you a full glimpse of a terror dog crashing through the window of a Walmart and chasing after Paul Rudd’s character. And if that’s not enough for you, there’s a pseudo cameo from an original ghostbuster at the end.
I didn’t expect to be interested in this reboot/sequel, but I’m now totally into it, anxiously awaiting seeing it on the big screen.