Comfort Entertainment: ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Trailer Reaction

Screenshot of McKenna Grace in the ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ trailer. Copyright goes to Columbia Pictures.

Hey! Hallie here!

If you’ve followed this blog for a bit you know that I’m a huge ‘Ghostbusters’ fan. Quotes from the movies fill my vocabulary, I gush about the video game as often as possible, and the comics and cartoons are extremely comforting to me. I’ve been anticipating this film since it was first announced and the waiting, as uncontrollable circumstances pushed this movie back further and further, has been insane. I was over the moon when we got both a full trailer and a release date yesterday. This movie is now being released November 11th! With some people speculating that circumstances could have pushed this movie back as far as summer of 2022, I’m ecstatic that we’ll be able to see this movie this year. And this trailer promises a lot to love once we get to finally sit down and watch the film. There’s so much I want to talk about, so let’s get into this!

The Story:

As the synopsis of the movie describes, ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ follows Callie, a single mother attempting to raise her two children, 15-year-old Trevor and 12-year-old Phoebe. Phoebe has been taking the spotlight for the majority of the content we’ve seen so far, and this trailer is no different. It starts with Callie speaking to Mr. Grooberson, a local teacher, about her struggles as a single mother. She notes that she can’t quite reach Phoebe in the same way she can connect to Trevor. As a response, Mr. Grooberson notes Phoebe’s awkwardness while the trailer shows us Phoebe getting bullied by some local kids, likely a result of her shown obsession with science. While Trevor goes to spend some time with friends at the site of a local mine, he explains that the family is broke and, because of this, has been forced to move into a rundown farmhouse his mother’s estranged father left their family. Then our first ‘Ghostbusters’ veteran appears! Janine is back and, given the way she’s speaking about Phoebe and Trevor’s mysterious grandfather, she seems to have spent a lot of time with him. She notes that he wasn’t the type to enjoy a relaxing home life and, as a result, left his daughter and her children with very little. Except, of course, a very familiar car. The Ecto-1 looks a bit run down, but it’s obviously been cared for to some extent because Trevor’s able to get the car functioning pretty well. After this Mr. Grooberson lays out our main problem. The entire town is shaking even though there’s no logical cause for earthquakes. And then ghosts erupt from the mine Trevor likes to hang around. We only get to see Phoebe suit up to fight these new ghosts in this trailer, but we know we’re going to see quite a few people suiting up in this movie. This set up is really interesting and I can’t wait to see how it plays out!

Nostalgia:

Jason Reitman has had his lips sealed about who this grandfather character is, but the trailers have already given it away. Our first teaser showed the family finding old Ghostbusters suits with the name “Spengler” across the front. In this full trailer, Phoebe says “Egon came out here for a reason” while the trailer shows her doing research on the Ghostbusters. Also, who else would keep such a close relationship with Janine? (Please don’t say Louis Tully. I’m trying to forget that happened.) In other words, Egon is obviously Callie’s estranged father and the grandfather of Phoebe and Trevor. That certainly explains why Phoebe looks so much like him. Because this family is moving into Egon’s house we get to see some memorabilia right away. Phoebe solves a puzzle in the floor and finds a ghost trap, and an old photograph of the four original Ghostbusters can be seen sitting amongst some books. Later on, Phoebe finds the original Ghostbusters ad, the one we see in the first movie, on YouTube. While the audio from the ad plays we get to see a P.K.E. Meter, the horrifyingly adorable mini Stay-Pufts we had the pleasure of watching cook each other a little while ago, and some doomsday supernatural occurrences that are very reminiscent of the first movie. Among the supernatural beings invading the town is what looks like a Terror Dog (Think Keymaster and Gatekeeper). At the very end of the trailer we finally get to see the Ecto-1 in action. The sound of the siren is easily recognizable, but the seat that swings out of the car is an undeniably awesome new addition. It’s also very satisfying to see Phoebe wrangle a ghost in a capture stream. But the best part of it all? Ray answering the phone at Ray’s Occult Books! He’s still in business and it seems he and the other guys are ready to step back in! I’m so excited!

The Pushback:

This trailer has generated a mostly positive response from fans, but I’ve seen a few concerns. The first is that this movie doesn’t look funny enough. I’ve even seen people go so far as to say that the epic light the trailer shines on references to the first film is an attempt to pay tribute to a movie that doesn’t exist. I think these concerns, to be blunt, are ignorant. Firstly, ‘Ghostbusters’ is a comedy, yes. But why does that mean ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ has to be a comedy? I don’t doubt that this movie will have comedy in it. If it wasn’t going to, why hire Paul Rudd? But ‘Ghostbusters’ has proven time and time again that it’s perfectly comfortable leaning more into a thriller/adventure storyline. I’d argue that the video game leans further towards thriller/adventure for the majority of its story. And with the sheer amount of storylines ‘Ghostbusters’ has tackled in comics and cartoons alone, it’s become an extremely versatile franchise. ‘Ghostbusters’ isn’t just a light, fluffy comedy. It tackles multiple genres just in the first film and it has tons of lore to explore. I’ve also seen some say that this movie feels like it’s relying too much on nostalgia. Firstly, this is a trailer. A trailer is going to rely on nostalgia to reel in fans. That doesn’t mean that we won’t get plenty of new things to enjoy once the movie comes around. Secondly, ‘Ghostbusters’ has been trying to extend itself into a franchise for a very, very long time. This movie is obviously trying to connect itself to the past movies in order to set up a story that could continue developing in the future. And, as someone who would love to see ‘Ghostbusters’ extend into a franchise, I don’t see a problem with that. In other words, just let ‘Ghostbusters’ fans be happy. We’ve been excited for this movie for a long time now.

This trailer makes me so happy. I love seeing a movie build off of the original storyline of its predecessors and still give us new things to enjoy. I’m so excited to see more women picking up proton packs and facing off against ghosts. I’m also excited to see the original busters joining back in. And I love that this film is paying tribute to the late, great, Harold Ramis. The series is truly nothing without him and this film aims to include Egon as much as possible despite his absence. I don’t want to get my hopes up, but I have very good feelings about this movie. And if you were expecting me to talk about the 2016 ‘Ghostbusters’ in this post, this is all you’re getting. I’m not starting up that discourse here. Right now I’m just going to live in the good mood this trailer put me in.

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!

Hallie

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