Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

2021, PG-13, 124 min. Directed by Jason Reitman. Starring Mckenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon, Paul Rudd, Logan Kim, Celeste O’Connor.

REVIEWED By Richard Whittaker, Fri., Nov. 19, 2021

It’s been 37 years since a quartet of New Yorkers saved the Big Apple (and the rest of the world) from Gozer the Gozerian, the Sumerian eater of souls. In the intervening years, the inevitable happened: They disappeared. The Ghostbusters, that is. And so it makes all the sense in the world that the second sequel movie, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, looks elsewhere than at whatever happened to Stantz, Venkman, Zeddmore, and Spengler.

Not that they’ve disappeared all together. They’ve left debris, in this case Egon’s abandoned daughter, Callie (Coon); and her kids, nerdy Phoebe (Grace) and gangly Trevor (Wolfhard). This is the Spengler family story, but that’s news to Phoebe, who knew nothing of her grandfather even though it’s pretty clear that the science genes skipped a generation. So of course she’s the one who’s going to unearth the family business, even if it’s buried in the wrecked farm in Summerville, Okla., that Egon left her mom, where the local summer school teacher (Paul Rudd, having a blast) is doubling as a seismologist. Because you don’t get earthquakes in Oklahoma. Especially not the kind that whatever dear late Grandpa was investigating, the kind that leads to supernatural action-comedy fun.

At some levels, Jason Reitman is exactly the kind of director who shouldn’t tackle a Ghostbusters movie. His films have dealt with delayed adolescence (Young Adult), being forced to grow up too fast (Juno), the generational divide (Men, Women & Children), and contending with career regret (Up in the Air). Then again, maybe those all make him just the right choice for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, since he’s always approached those topics with a comedic earnestness – a trait he arguably inherited from his father, Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman. Bringing in co-writer Gil Kenan to smooth away some of his more satirical edges worked, not least because Kenan has a lot of experience with kid-level weird adventures on Monster House and the underseen but endlessly imaginative City of Ember.

But it’s the family side that means most, because Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a son’s loving and spot-on tribute to his father’s biggest film. It comes from being immersed in the lore, of thinking about the nature of ghosts in this world, of thinking about where mad magician Ivo Shandor got all that selenium for the girders for 550 Central Park West, aka Spook Central. It comes from getting that the original wasn’t afraid to be funny, and heartfelt, and scary, and romantic, and nerdy, all at the same time. It comes from centering on Grace’s Phoebe, who’s not just a teen imitation of the late Harold Ramis’ beloved braniac ’buster, but a dead cert look-alike for his daughter, Violet Ramis Stiel, when she was 12. There’s history here, not Easter eggs.

Is Ghostbusters: Afterlife wish fulfillment? Absolutely. It’s the dream of every kid who grew up making a proton pack out of paper towel rolls and plastic bowls. It’s Reitman writing himself into the legacy that he grew up with, telling his part of the story his father started. And it’s one last chance to say thank you and goodbye to the original team, and most especially to Ramis. There will be some people who think what it’s doing is mawkish or even exploitative, but they should probably level those accusations at the grave-robbing antics of the deeply cynical 2016 remake. What Ghostbusters: Afterlife has, and that lacked, is heart, as well as a deep appreciation for how utterly weird and eclectic the original film was. 1984 was the year of Indiana Jones watching as a man got his heart pulled out before being dropped, screaming and alive, into a lava pit. It was the year that gremlins threw an old lady out of a window. But even by those standards, Ghostbusters was a bizarre film, originally written as a hard-edged horror/sci-fi/comedy but which transformed into a family-friendly smash, and transformed Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, and Harold Ramis from edgy oddballs into your quirky uncles. Ghostbusters: Afterlife may not change cinema in the way the original did, but it’s a worthy next generation.

Showtimes

Sat., Dec. 4

11:55am, 3:15, 6:35, 9:55

Sun., Dec. 5

12:00, 3:15, 6:35

Mon., Dec. 6

2:50, 6:25

Tue., Dec. 7

3:05, 6:25

Wed., Dec. 8

3:05, 6:25

Sat., Dec. 4

11:30am, 2:50, 6:15, 9:35

Sun., Dec. 5

11:30am, 2:55, 6:15

Mon., Dec. 6

3:20, 6:40

Tue., Dec. 7

3:10, 6:40

Wed., Dec. 8

3:10, 6:40

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Sat., Dec. 4

7:35, 11:10

Sun., Dec. 5

7:50

Mon., Dec. 6

7:50

Tue., Dec. 7

7:50

Sat., Dec. 4

12:15, 3:30, 6:45, 10:00

Sun., Dec. 5

12:15, 3:45, 7:00

Mon., Dec. 6

6:30, 9:45

Tue., Dec. 7

6:15

Wed., Dec. 8

7:25, 10:40

Alamo Drafthouse Village

2700 W. Anderson #701, 512/861-7030, www.drafthouse.com/austin/theater/village

Tuesday matinee Baby Day shows (first show of the day) are intended for parents and their children younger than 6. Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Sat., Dec. 4

12:30, 3:45, 7:30, 10:50

Sun., Dec. 5

11:25am, 2:45, 7:30

Mon., Dec. 6

3:20, 7:00

Tue., Dec. 7

3:20, 7:00

Wed., Dec. 8

4:15, 7:30

AMC Dine-In Tech Ridge 10

12625 N. I-35, 512/640-1533, www.amctheatres.com

Sat., Dec. 4

7:00
CC/DVS 2:00, 5:00, 8:20

Sun., Dec. 5

7:00
CC/DVS 2:00, 5:00, 8:20

Mon., Dec. 6

8:00
CC/DVS 7:00

Tue., Dec. 7

8:00
CC/DVS 7:00

Wed., Dec. 8

8:00
CC/DVS 7:00

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 Capital of Texas Hwy. S., 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Sat., Dec. 4

CC 10:30am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30
CC/DVS 10:30am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Sun., Dec. 5

CC 10:30am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30
CC/DVS 10:30am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 9:55

Mon., Dec. 6

CC/DVS 12:00, 3:10, 6:10, 9:15

Tue., Dec. 7

CC/DVS 12:00, 3:10, 6:10, 9:15

Wed., Dec. 8

CC/DVS 12:00, 3:10, 6:10, 9:15

Thu., Dec. 9

CC/DVS 12:00, 3:00

Blue Starlite Downtown

300 San Antonio, 707/787-5072, www.bluestarlitedrivein.com

Sat., Dec. 4

7:00, 9:45

Sun., Dec. 5

6:00

Tue., Dec. 7

7:00

Wed., Dec. 8

7:00

Thu., Dec. 9

7:00

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Sat., Dec. 4

10:15am, 1:25, 4:35, 7:45, 10:45
digital 10:15am, 1:25, 4:35, 7:45, 10:45
XD 6:25, 9:25

Sun., Dec. 5

1:25, 4:35, 7:45, 10:45
digital 10:15am, 11:50am, 1:25, 4:35, 7:45, 10:45
XD 6:25, 9:25

Mon., Dec. 6

1:25, 4:35, 7:45, 10:45
digital 1:25, 4:35, 7:45, 10:45
XD 6:25, 9:25

Tue., Dec. 7

1:25, 4:35, 7:45, 10:45
digital 1:25, 4:35, 7:45, 10:45
XD 6:25, 9:25

Wed., Dec. 8

1:25, 4:35, 7:45, 10:45
digital 1:25, 4:35, 7:45, 10:45
XD 10:40

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Sat., Dec. 4

digital 11:50am, 1:10, 2:50, 4:10, 5:50, 7:20, 8:50, 10:20

Sun., Dec. 5

digital 11:50am, 1:10, 2:50, 4:10, 5:50, 7:20, 8:50, 10:20

Mon., Dec. 6

digital 11:50am, 1:10, 2:50, 4:10, 5:50, 7:20

Tue., Dec. 7

digital 11:50am, 1:10, 2:50, 4:10, 5:50, 7:20

Wed., Dec. 8

digital 11:50am, 1:10, 2:50, 4:10, 5:50, 7:20

Thu., Dec. 9

digital 11:50am, 1:10, 2:50, 4:10, 5:50, 7:20

Sat., Dec. 4

digital 10:55am, 11:50am, 2:05, 3:00, 5:20, 6:05, 6:45, 9:10, 10:15

Sun., Dec. 5

digital 12:55, 2:10, 4:00, 7:05

Mon., Dec. 6

digital 4:05, 5:30, 7:15

Tue., Dec. 7

digital 1:55, 3:25, 5:00, 7:00, 8:05

Wed., Dec. 8

digital 4:05, 5:30, 7:15

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Sat., Dec. 4

digital 11:20am, 12:55, 2:30, 4:10, 5:40, 7:20, 8:00, 8:50, 10:25

Sun., Dec. 5

digital 11:20am, 12:55, 2:30, 4:10, 5:40, 7:20, 8:50

Mon., Dec. 6

digital 12:55, 2:30, 4:10, 5:40, 7:20, 8:00

Tue., Dec. 7

digital 12:55, 2:30, 4:10, 5:40, 7:20

Wed., Dec. 8

digital 12:55, 2:30, 4:10, 5:40, 7:20

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sat., Dec. 4

digital 10:30am, 11:05am, 1:35, 2:10, 4:40, 7:45, 10:15

Sun., Dec. 5

digital 10:30am, 11:05am, 1:35, 2:10, 4:40, 5:30, 7:45, 9:00

Mon., Dec. 6

digital 1:30, 2:30, 4:35, 5:35, 7:40, 8:40

Tue., Dec. 7

digital 1:30, 2:30, 4:35, 5:35, 7:40, 8:40

Wed., Dec. 8

digital 1:30, 2:30, 4:35, 5:35, 7:40, 8:40

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Sat., Dec. 4

digital 11:15am, 12:45, 2:15, 4:00, 5:15, 7:15, 8:30, 9:30

Sun., Dec. 5

digital 11:30am, 1:00, 2:45, 4:15, 6:15, 7:15

Mon., Dec. 6

digital 4:40, 5:45, 7:40

Tue., Dec. 7

digital 4:40, 5:45, 7:40

Wed., Dec. 8

digital 4:40, 5:45, 7:40

Sat., Dec. 4

1:10, 2:00, 4:00, 4:50, 7:00, 7:40, 9:50, 10:30

Sun., Dec. 5

1:10, 2:00, 4:00, 4:50, 7:00, 7:40

Mon., Dec. 6

4:00, 4:50, 7:00, 7:40

Tue., Dec. 7

4:00, 4:50, 7:00, 7:40

Wed., Dec. 8

4:00, 4:50, 7:00, 7:40

Thu., Dec. 9

4:00, 4:50, 7:00, 7:40

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Sat., Dec. 4

12:20, 1:05, 3:50, 4:10, 6:45, 7:10, 9:50, 10:20

Sun., Dec. 5

12:20, 1:05, 3:50, 4:10, 6:45, 7:10

Mon., Dec. 6

12:20, 1:05, 3:50, 4:10, 6:45, 7:10

Tue., Dec. 7

12:20, 1:05, 3:50, 4:10, 6:45, 7:10

Wed., Dec. 8

12:20, 1:05, 3:50, 4:10, 6:45, 7:10

Evo Cinemas Belterra

166 Hargraves Ste. A-100, 512/457-0700, www.evocinemas.com/belterra

Sat., Dec. 4

11:45am, 3:45, 8:15
EVX 6:00, 9:15

Sun., Dec. 5

2:15, 5:15
EVX 7:15

Mon., Dec. 6

1:00, 4:00, 7:00
EVX 6:00

Tue., Dec. 7

1:00, 4:00, 7:00
EVX 6:00

Wed., Dec. 8

1:00, 4:00, 7:00
EVX 6:00

Thu., Dec. 9

1:00, 4:00, 7:00
EVX 6:00

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Sat., Dec. 4

10:00am, 10:30am, 1:00, 1:30, 4:30, 7:00, 7:30, 10:00, 10:30
EVX 8:00, 11:00

Sun., Dec. 5

10:00am, 10:30am, 1:00, 1:30, 4:00, 4:30, 7:00, 7:30, 10:00, 10:30
EVX 8:00, 11:00

Mon., Dec. 6

10:00am, 10:30am, 1:00, 1:30, 4:00, 4:30, 7:00, 7:30
EVX 8:00

Tue., Dec. 7

10:00am, 10:30am, 1:00, 1:30, 4:00, 4:30, 7:00, 7:30
EVX 8:00

Wed., Dec. 8

10:00am, 10:30am, 1:00, 1:30, 4:00, 4:30, 7:00, 7:30
EVX 8:00

Thu., Dec. 9

10:00am, 10:30am, 1:00, 1:30, 4:00, 4:30, 7:00, 7:30, 10:00, 10:30
EVX 8:00, 11:00

Film Alley Bastrop

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, bastrop.filmalley.net/

Sat., Dec. 4

11:40am, 1:00, 3:25, 4:10, 6:45, 7:25, 9:55, 10:35

Sun., Dec. 5

11:40am, 1:00, 3:25, 4:10, 6:45, 7:25

Mon., Dec. 6

11:40am, 1:00, 3:25, 4:10, 6:45, 7:25

Tue., Dec. 7

11:40am, 1:00, 3:25, 4:10, 6:45, 7:25

Wed., Dec. 8

11:40am, 1:00, 3:25, 4:10, 6:45, 7:25

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Sat., Dec. 4

11:00am, 12:00, 2:30, 3:30, 6:00, 7:00, 9:30, 10:20

Sun., Dec. 5

11:00am, 12:00, 2:30, 3:30, 6:00, 7:00, 9:30, 10:20

Mon., Dec. 6

2:30, 3:30, 6:00, 7:00, 9:30, 10:30

Tue., Dec. 7

11:00am, 12:00, 2:30, 3:30, 6:00, 7:00, 9:30, 10:30

Wed., Dec. 8

11:00am, 12:00, 2:30, 3:30, 6:00, 7:00, 9:30, 10:30

Thu., Dec. 9

11:00am, 12:00, 2:30, 3:30, 6:00

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Sat., Dec. 4

CC 10:00am, 1:00, 4:20, 7:30, 10:30

Sun., Dec. 5

CC 10:00am, 1:10, 4:15, 7:20, 10:20

Mon., Dec. 6

CC 2:15, 3:00, 6:10, 9:20, 10:15

Tue., Dec. 7

CC 2:15, 3:00, 6:10, 9:20, 10:15

Wed., Dec. 8

CC 2:00, 3:35, 5:00

Thu., Dec. 9

CC 2:15, 3:00

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sat., Dec. 4

CC 3:40, 10:10

Sun., Dec. 5

CC 12:10, 3:10, 6:20, 9:30

Mon., Dec. 6

CC 12:10, 3:10

Tue., Dec. 7

CC 12:10, 3:10, 6:50

Wed., Dec. 8

CC 12:10, 3:10, 6:20

Thu., Dec. 9

CC 12:10, 3:10

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart, 512/398-4100, www.hometowncinemas.com

Sat., Dec. 4

11:30am, 1:30, 2:00, 4:00, 4:45, 7:00, 7:35, 9:30, 10:15

Sun., Dec. 5

11:30am, 1:30, 2:00, 4:00, 4:45, 7:00, 7:35

Mon., Dec. 6

4:00, 4:45, 7:00, 7:35

Tue., Dec. 7

4:00, 4:45, 7:00, 7:35

Wed., Dec. 8

4:00, 4:45, 7:00, 7:35

Thu., Dec. 9

4:00, 4:45, 7:00, 7:35

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Sat., Dec. 4

3:00, 8:00, 11:00

Sun., Dec. 5

3:00, 8:00, 11:00

Wed., Dec. 8

7:30, 10:45

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Sat., Dec. 4

CC/DVS 11:45am, 3:10, 6:45

Sun., Dec. 5

CC/DVS 11:45am, 3:10, 6:45

Mon., Dec. 6

CC/DVS 6:45

Tue., Dec. 7

CC/DVS 6:45

Wed., Dec. 8

CC/DVS 6:45

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sat., Dec. 4

CC 12:50, 2:00, 3:45, 4:00, 5:10, 6:45, 7:15, 8:20, 9:45, 10:20
CC/DVS 12:50, 2:00, 3:45, 4:00, 5:10, 6:45, 7:15, 8:20, 9:45, 10:20

Sun., Dec. 5

CC 12:00, 12:50, 2:00, 4:00, 5:10, 6:15, 7:15, 8:20, 9:30, 10:20
CC/DVS 12:00, 12:50, 2:00, 4:00, 5:10, 6:15, 7:15, 8:20, 9:30, 10:20

Mon., Dec. 6

CC 12:00, 12:50, 2:00, 3:05, 4:00, 5:10, 7:15, 8:20
CC/DVS 12:00, 12:50, 2:00, 3:05, 4:00, 5:10, 7:15, 8:20

Tue., Dec. 7

CC 12:00, 12:50, 2:00, 3:05, 4:00, 5:10, 6:15, 7:15, 8:20
CC/DVS 12:00, 12:50, 2:00, 3:05, 4:00, 5:10, 6:15, 7:15, 8:20

Wed., Dec. 8

CC 12:50, 2:00, 4:00, 5:10, 7:15, 8:20
CC/DVS 12:50, 2:00, 4:00, 5:10, 7:15, 8:20

Thu., Dec. 9

CC 12:00, 12:50, 2:00, 3:05, 4:00, 7:15
CC/DVS 12:00, 12:50, 2:00, 3:05, 4:00, 7:15

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 FM 620 N., Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Sat., Dec. 4

11:30am, 3:00, 6:30, 9:00

Sun., Dec. 5

11:30am, 3:00, 6:30, 9:00

Mon., Dec. 6

3:00, 6:30, 9:00

Tue., Dec. 7

3:00, 6:30

Wed., Dec. 8

3:00

Thu., Dec. 9

3:00, 6:30, 9:00

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Pkwy., Bldg. 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Sat., Dec. 4

10:45am, 12:30, 4:00, 6:30

Sun., Dec. 5

10:45am, 12:30, 4:00, 6:30

Mon., Dec. 6

12:30, 4:00, 6:30

Tue., Dec. 7

12:30, 4:00, 6:30

Wed., Dec. 8

12:30, 4:00, 6:30

Thu., Dec. 9

12:30, 4:00, 6:30

Southwest Theaters at Lake Creek 7

13729 Research #1500, 512/291-3158, www.southwesttheaters.com

$6.50 children and senior tickets (all-day), $5 Tuesdays (all tickets), Bargain Matinees before 5pm daily.

Sat., Dec. 4

CC 11:20am, 2:05, 4:30, 7:20, 10:15

Sun., Dec. 5

CC 11:20am, 2:05, 4:30, 7:20, 10:15

Mon., Dec. 6

CC 11:20am, 2:05, 4:30, 7:20, 10:15

Tue., Dec. 7

CC 11:20am, 2:05, 4:30, 7:20, 10:15

Wed., Dec. 8

CC 11:20am, 2:05, 4:30, 7:20, 10:15

Thu., Dec. 9

CC 11:20am, 2:05, 4:30, 7:20, 10:15

Sat., Dec. 4

10:30am, 12:00, 1:15, 3:15, 4:00, 7:00, 9:45

Sun., Dec. 5

10:30am, 1:15, 3:15, 4:00, 7:00, 8:30, 9:45

Mon., Dec. 6

1:15, 4:00, 7:00, 8:30, 10:00

Tue., Dec. 7

1:15, 4:00, 7:00, 8:30, 10:00

Wed., Dec. 8

1:15, 4:00, 7:15, 8:30, 10:00

Thu., Dec. 9

1:15, 4:00, 7:00, 8:30, 10:00

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sat., Dec. 4

CC 12:00, 12:45, 3:00, 6:00, 7:15, 9:00, 10:15
CC/DVS 12:00, 12:45, 3:00, 6:00, 7:15, 9:00, 10:15

Sun., Dec. 5

CC 12:00, 12:30, 3:00, 6:00, 7:00, 9:00, 10:00
CC/DVS 12:00, 12:30, 3:00, 6:00, 7:00, 9:00, 10:00

Mon., Dec. 6

CC 12:00, 1:00, 3:15, 4:00, 7:00
CC/DVS 12:00, 1:00, 3:15, 4:00, 7:00

Tue., Dec. 7

CC 12:00, 1:00, 3:15, 4:00, 7:00
CC/DVS 12:00, 1:00, 3:15, 4:00, 7:00

Wed., Dec. 8

CC 12:00, 1:00, 3:15, 4:00, 7:00
CC/DVS 12:00, 1:00, 3:15, 4:00, 7:00

Thu., Dec. 9

CC 12:35, 1:00, 3:45, 4:30, 6:45
CC/DVS 12:35, 1:00, 3:45, 4:30, 6:45

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Jason Reitman, Mckenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon, Paul Rudd, Logan Kim, Celeste O’Connor

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