Early Reactions to “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” Call Jason Reitman’s Film Nostalgia Done Right
Sony Pictures screened Ghostbusters: Afterlife for critics as part of their CinemaCon event, giving us a very early taste of what to expect for a film that doesn’t premiere until November 11 (after repeated delays due to the pandemic). Obviously, full reviews will be embargoed for quite some time, but these early reactions are an indication of how writer/director Jason Reitman approached this sequel to his dad’s two iconic 1980s films.
As a brief refresher, let’s go back to Ivan Reitman’s Ghostbusters in 1984, which for a generation of kids was one of the major movie events of our childhoods. We waited a full five years for the sequel, Ghostbusters II, in 1989, and then that was it. It wasn’t until Paul Feig rebooted the franchise in 2016 did we get to inhabit a world of the Ecto-1, ectoplasm, and ghouls, but that film, while a hoot, wasn’t directly connected to Reitman’s original two films (it included some of the film’s stars, but as themselves).
This brings us to Jason Reitman‘s film, which is directly connected to the events in his dad’s movies, and will include some of the original cast—Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts. They join the film’s main stars, Carrie Coon as mom Callie, Finn Wolfhard as her son Trevor, and McKenna Grace as her nerdy, slightly distant daughter Phoebe. When the family moves to a farm in Nebraska once owned by none other than Egon Spengler (the late Harold Ramis from the original films), their lives are about to be changed forever. They find a lab in the basement, as well as the iconic Ecto-1, the 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Futura Duplex, and thus the events of Ghostbusters: Afterlife begin. A local teacher played by Paul Rudd gets involved in the action, which includes two of the original film’s most famous creations, Slimer the goblin, and multiple miniature versions of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
So, let’s see how Reitman managed fan expectations, his father’s legacy, and creating a new entrant to the franchise that can stand on its own. Not an easy task, but these early reactions indicate he pulled it off.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the Ghostbusters sequel that I’ve been waiting all my life to see. It is nostalgia done right. A perfect blend of classic Ghostbusters moments with a fresh & unique twist for a whole new generation to enjoy. I got goosebumps. #GhostbustersAfterlife pic.twitter.com/lOAtbMQedf
— Scott Menzel (@ScottDMenzel) August 24, 2021
Ghostbusters: Afterlife … Wow! Was not expecting how heartfelt it is. It has a very childlike Spielberg vibe to it. And @JasonReitman is extremely loyal to the original. #CinemaCon pic.twitter.com/APyHMzEuYd
— Jason Guerrasio (@JasonGuerrasio) August 24, 2021
Surprise #GhostbustersAfterlife screening just blew the roof off #CinemaCon. LOVED IT. This movie meant everything to me – an emotional sequel that is guaranteed to be almost indecipherable to outsiders. This is what the fans have been waiting for. I WOULD DIE FOR MUNCHER
— ben mekler (@benmekler) August 24, 2021
— Rebecca #FullyVaccinated! Murray (@becmur) August 24, 2021
Yes, Ghostbusters: Afterlife screened at CinemaCon. Yes I saw it. Yes, it’s very good. Yes, this is the true Ghostbusters sequel you’ve been waiting for. It does have a lot of callbacks but it’s a nostalgic homage for the franchise. #GhostbustersAfterlife #CinemaCon pic.twitter.com/iqDqGiC5bM
— Jeffrey Harris (@Wheeljack83) August 24, 2021
#GhostbustersAfterlife was really great. As someone who wasn’t a massive of #Ghostbusters I had so much fun even without understanding the references. A ton of heart with a great cast. New and old fans are going to love it. Stay through the credits! #CinemaCon pic.twitter.com/Gc3oySIXOa
— Kａiｔlyn Βоｏｔｈ✈ #CinemaCon (@katiesmovies) August 24, 2021
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Featured image: The theatrical poster for Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Courtesy Sony Pictures