Ghostbusters Afterlife: reviews and trailer of 2021 movie, release date, and who is in cast with Paul Rudd?

Ghostbusters: Afterlife was originally scheduled to be released last year in July 2020

Nearly 40 years after the release of the original films, Ghostbusters is, once again, being given the reboot treatment following the 2016 all-female remake in 2016.

Combining a new cast with the likes of Paul Rudd and Finn Wolfhard with the familiar faces of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is now available in cinemas after experiencing a number of delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is everything you need to know.

What is Ghostbusters: Afterlife about?

Ghostbusters: Afterlife follows the estranged daughter and grandchildren of the famous Egon Spengler, a founding member of the Ghostbusters.

Set 32 years after the events of the second Ghostbusters film, single mum Carrie and her kids, Phoebe and Trevor, are forced to move across the country after being evicted from their home.

The new film is set over 30 years after the events of the second Ghostbusters film (Photo: Sony Pictures)

Upon their relocation to Summerville, a small town in Oklahoma, it doesn’t take long before the family find themselves at the heart of ghostly goings ons.

The official synopsis reads: “In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, when a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.”

What’s the age rating?

The newest Ghostbusters movie has been issued an age rating of 12A, which means that no-one under than 12 can see a 12A film in the cinema, unless accompanied by an adult.

The BBFC says that it was given a 12A rating because of “implied use of strong language, occasional comic sex references and scenes of threat and horror”.

It also contains “flashing images which may affect viewers who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy”.

Parents unsure if the film is suitable for their children can check the ratings information in more detail on the BBFC website. 

Who is in the cast?

Ghostbusters: Afterlife sees the entire main cast of the 1984 original Ghostbusters film reunite, with the exception of Harold Ramis who passed away in 2014.

Bill Murray (Groundhog Day, Lost in Translation) returns as Dr Peter Venkman, Dan Akyroyd (The Blues Brothers, Trading Places) as Dr Ray Stantz, Ernie Hudson (Grace and Frankie, The Crow) as Winston Zeddemore, Sigourney Weaver (Alien, Avatar) as Dana Barrett and Annie Potts (Young Sheldon, The Fosters) as Janine Melnitz.

Joining the Ghostbusters cast is Mckenna Grace, who plays Phoebe Spengler, the granddaughter of the late Dr Egon Spengler (played by Harold Ramis). Despite only being 15-years-old, Grace already has an impressive number of acting credits under her belt, including starring in the likes of Designated Survivor, The Haunting of Hill House and The Handmaid’s Tale.

Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard plays Trevor Spengler, Phoebe’s older brother. After his breakout role in the 80s Netflix original series, Wolfhard starred in the recent adaptation of Stephen King’s It and It: Chapter Two as young Richie Tozier.

Paul Rudd and Carrie Coon star in the new film alongside the original Ghostbusters cast (Photo: Sony Pictures)

Phoebe and Trevor’s mother, and daughter of Dr Egon Spengler, Callie Spengler, is played by Callie Coon, who you may recognise from films and TV shows like Gone Girl, The Leftovers, The Sinner and Fargo.

Paul Rudd (Friends, Ant-Man) stars as Chad Grooberson, the teacher at the local school in Summerville, and Bokeem Woodbine (Fargo, Wu-Tang: An American Saga) as the local sheriff.

Celeste O’Connor (Westlands, Freaky) plays Lucky Domingo, daughter of the town sheriff who befriends Trevor, and newcomer Logan Kim stars as Podcast, who befriends Phoebe.

Directing is Jason Reitman, who is the son of original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, and who has also directed projects like Home Movie: The Princess Bride, Up in the Air, Juno and Young Adult.

When is Ghostbusters: Afterlife out?

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is out now in cinemas, as it was released on Thursday 18 November.

Originally the film had been slated for release way back in July last year, however the Covid-19 pandemic caused the film’s release date to be delayed three times.

There has been no announcement in regards to when Ghostbusters: Afterlife will make its way onto streaming services, however a number of recent blockbusters have enjoyed a slightly shorter run in cinemas than usual - approximately 45 days, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife could follow suit.

What are reviews saying?

Reviews for Ghostbusters: Afterlife have been pretty mixed - currently the film sits at a 95% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 63% tomatometer.

The critics consensus on the film review site says: “Ghostbusters: Afterlife crosses the streams between franchise revival and exercise in nostalgia - and this time around, the bustin’ mostly feels good.”

Kevin Maher, from The Times, called the sequel a “shamefully flat mishmash rehash” in his review and gave it a paltry two out of five star rating.

Robbie Collin, chief film critic at The Telegraph, also gave the film a two out of five star rating in his review.

Collin wrote: “The action itself is drab, the jokes scarce, and the town itself is both entirely characterless and oddly deserted, giving the impression that nothing’s really at stake.

“It’s just what we were warned about all those years ago: something weird that don’t look good.”

It wouldn’t be a Ghostbusters film without an appearance from a Marshmallow Man (Photo: Sony Pictures)

It’s another two out of five star rating from Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw, who said that “the only Ghostbusters sequel that made any sort of sense was the spiky gender-switch reboot of 2016 with Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones - a film which understood that, like the original, it was supposed to be a comedy”.

Bradshaw wrote: “[The 2016 reboot] is airbrushed out of existence by this new, defanged and child-oriented Night-at-the-Museum approach, in which the keynote is vanilla blandness.”

Nick Levine, from NME, was clearly more impressed than many of his fellow critics, giving the film a whopping four out of five stars.

“Against the odds, this franchise might be back from the dead,” Levine wrote in his review.

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