Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Proves Surprisingly Wistful

by Erik Amaya

Considering the original Ghostbusters films — and the 2016 remake — are thoroughly made to be comedies, the wistful tone of the Ghostbusters: Afterlife trailer is surprising. In it, the daughter and grandkids of one of the original Ghostbusters move to a small town as their economic situation deteriorates. There, they discover the Ecto-1 and some of the old ghostbusting gear. Surprisingly, the trailer seems to suggest team never reformed in 1989 to deal with Viggo the Carpathian. But even if they did, it seems the business did not last long. Or, perhaps, Egon Spengler (the late Harold Ramis) took an early retirement.
But whatever reason he left them this farmhouse, a psychokinetic force is loose in this town, and Egon’s grandkids answer the call to deal with it.

On the one hand, the apparent change of tone here is probably a good idea. As the 2016 remake proved, the Ghostbusters concept is incredibly brittle as a comedy. Although, we’re inclined to point out director Paul Feig’s inability to choose a punchline when presented with six as that film’s major problem. Shifting it to something about legacy makes sense. And considering director Jason Reitman is the son of Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2 director Ivan Reitman, legacy is probably the easiest way for him to approach it.
All that said, the implied negation of Ghostbusters 2 and the notion the business went under is not the best of takes. But maybe we’ll feel different when Ghostbusters: Afterlife opens next summer.

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