Who You Gonna Call? In the New ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Film

There’s no need to be afraid of the newest installment in the Ghostbusters franchise, which pays tribute to the late Harold Ramis and introduces us to the Spengler family.

‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ follows the story of Egon’s daughter, Callie, who inherits her estranged father’s farm after his demise at the beginning of the movie.

Along with Egon’s death, we also see the return of Zuul in the film’s cold open.

Unable to stop the gatekeeper, Egon is killed in his efforts. In addition to setting up the plot of the movie, this opening scene is also quite emotional, as it signifies the end of Egon Spengler. This is confirmed when the P.K.E Meter, the same tool he created, registers his spectral energy.

The remainder of the film focuses on Callie and her two children, Trevor and Phoebe, as they begin to uncover the secrets within Egon’s house and the small town of Summerville.

The movie feels like it’s attempting to pass the torch to the youngest members of the Spengler family and their newfound friends.

This becomes evident when the young cast members stumble upon the original Ghostbusters tools of the trade and take it upon themselves to stop the imminent danger that threatens to put an end to human existence. This threat is none other than Gozer the Gozerian.

This is why the film also feels like a bit of a rehashing of the original film.

The film centers around the original plot of ‘Ghostbusters’ with the story focusing on the return of Gozer the Gozerian, the same deity from the original film. Like in the original, Gozer can only come into our world through Zuul (the gatekeeper) and Vinz Clortho (the keymaster).

Enter Paul Rudd, who feels like a modern-day version of the Rick Moranis character, Louis Tully, even down to the fact that, like Moranis, he gets attacked and unwillingly becomes the human host of Vinz Clortho.

Callie later becomes the host for Zuul and, like Sigourney Weaver’s character, after Callie becomes possessed, she even utters the line, “There is no mom, only Zuul.”

The two hosts then consummate their union and open a portal to bring Gozer into the world.

Unlike the original, the kids temporarily stop Gozer and lure it back to Egon’s farmhouse where they attempt to spring the trap that Egon had intended to use to stop Zuul.

It’s here that ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ really hits the nostalgia button, as we get to see the three remaining original Ghostbusters suited up and ready to do battle against their old foe. 

The scene features one of the funniest moments when the team engages in banter with Gozer which mimics their original interaction in the first film, including the moment when Gozer once again asks Dan Aykroyd if he’s a god. After a little hesitation and a reminder from his teammates, he remembers that whenever someone asks you if you’re a god, the answer is always yes.

Together, the original team combines their efforts with this new set of Ghostbusters, along with a spectral CGI Harold Ramis who returns to do battle against the forces of evil one last time, to stop Gozer and its terror dogs once more.

This final sequence is the most emotional moment of the movie, as each member of the original team gets their opportunity to say goodbye to their friend for the last time. But it also provides the Spengler family the closure that they need as they realize that Egon sacrificed his life for the greater good.

For fans of the Ghostbusters franchise, this movie offers numerous easter eggs, including Egon’s collection of spores, molds, and fungi in his lab, the brain scan helmet worn by Rick Moranis, the symmetrical book stacking in Egon’s living room, and the Twinkie in the Ecto-1 glovebox to name just a few.

Along with the aforementioned cameos and villains, we also see the return of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man in the form of a tiny marshmallow horde, and an appearance of Ivo Shandor, the cult leader who developed Dana’s Manhattan skyrise.

The only faces missing from the film were Rick Moranis and everybody’s favorite ghost, Slimer.

This film marks a good ending for the franchise and helps wash the taste of the 2016 reboot out of your mouth. And that’s exactly what this film needs to be: the end.

An after-credit scene hints at the idea of another film, but for the sake of the Ghostbusters legacy, a follow-up movie to ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ would be a bad idea. This needs to be a one and down.

The film was able to pay tribute to the late Harold Ramis and come full circle, battling the creature that started it all.    

‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ stars Carrie Coon as Callie, McKenna Grace as Phoebe, Finn Wolfhard as Trevor,  Paul Rudd as Gary Grooberson, Logan Kim as Podcast, Celeste O’Connor as Lucky, Dan Aykroyd as Ray Stanz, Bill Murray as Peter Venkman, Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore, Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz, Bokeem Woodbine as Sheriff Domingo, with special guest appearances by Sigourney Weaver as Dana Barrett, J.K. Simmons as Ivo Shandor, and Olivia Wilde as Gozer.