GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE – Review by Susan Granger

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If you chose not to risk Omicron by going to the theater, now you can stream Ghostbusters: Afterlife, as a new generation battles the spirit world.

Directed by Jason Reitman, son of Ivan Reitman who directed the first two 1980s movies, it’s a continuation of the story from Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, including original cast members, including Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts and Sigourney Weaver.

This time the franchise focus is on teenage Trevor (Finn Wolfhard of Stranger Things) and his younger, science-loving sister Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) who have moved with their single mom (Carrie Coon) to a spooky farm in Summerville, Oklahoma, that was owned by their eccentric, gadget-wielding grandfather, Egon Spengler (the late Harold Ramis).

When Trevor gets a job at the local drive-in burger joint and develops a crush on Lucky (Celeste O’Connor), Phoebe enrolls in a summer school course taught by amateur seismologist Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd). There, she befriends Podcast (Logan Kim), so-named because he documents every moment of his life.

And when their goofball adventures – capturing demonic Muncher after razing the nearby town – result in them winding up in jail, Phoebe requests to make one phone call, reaching out to Ray Stanz (Dan Aykroyd) at Ray’s Occult Books.

Once again, the young protagonists must face the forces of the ageless demonic deity known as Gozer (embodied by Olivia Wilde), along with the Gate Keeper and Key Master.

As co-writer with Gil Kenan, Jason Reitman inserts several nostalgic nods to his dad – like having the town’s movie theater playing Cannibal Girls, the first independent horror picture his dad Ivan ever directed.

Reitman reinstates Ray Parker Jr.’s iconic theme song, and the VFX department has duly recreated Terror Dogs and the minion-like Mini-Pufts, referencing the original Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, along with metal-gobbling Muncher, replacing Slimer.

On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a blandly familiar 5, ghoulishly streaming on Amazon Prime, Vudu and YouTube.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.