Ghostbusters seems like a franchise that we’re all in love with and want more of, but it’s not meant to be. Since The Real Ghostbusters cartoon ended in 1991, we haven’t been able to rekindle the magic. Now we have another sequel that has been promised to bring back as much of the originals as possible. This week we got the first trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Although it’s a movie in the Ghostbusters universe, it doesn’t look like Ghostbusters 3.
I think the movie will do well. It will sell lots of tickets, and there will be a buzz about a big blockbuster comedy from a blockbuster franchise. It’s a movie that will have plenty of throwbacks and references to the 1980s, which we are presently obsessed with. It doesn’t have to take place in the 80s to stir up the nostalgia of the original movies. As the lights go down in theaters, everyone’s head will already be filled with excitement and thoughts of the 1980s Ghostbusters return. Hopefully, this fixation will pay off and force the movie to bring back some of the real magic and essentials from the originals.
The movie will also do well because it’s following the successful style of It and Stranger Things. Ghostbusters has never been about kids, but bringing kids into the mix reaches out to the same audiences who like watching kids battling spooks. This also will make the movie more enticing for kids, who likely weren’t the original intended audience, but became a massive part of it that eventually spread to cartoons and toys. Now with kids and Ghostbusters as part of the same movie, the whole family has something to look forward to in the same film. It will sell more tickets but stray from the Ghostbusters formula.
The problem is that it seems that what we love about Ghostbusters is those four bumblers and scientists facing off against the supernatural. This combination is what the first two movies and cartoons have in common that nothing since has. It seems their personalities and chemistry are what sell ghostbusting. The concept is really the first of its kind, but it also seemed to have just the right formula. I’m worried that this movie will not be able to replicate that and therefore, won’t be the Ghostbusters movie we’re looking for.
A few cameos from the old guard and a lot of references to their past exploits places the movie in the wide-open Ghostbusters universe but leaves a lot to chance. People may not want to see some kids, and Paul Rudd dressed as Ghostbusters trying to copy what the actual Ghostbusters guys did 30 years ago. It may be a success and likely will help the actors careers involved, but will it help Ghostbusters? Will it provide a proper send off to the guys, or will we be left regretting seeing the continuation of their stories. Will we have to wait another ten years for the next reboot, or will the movie show enough dedication to the originals to correctly pass the torch?
Right now, the movie seems to have promised a lot and is not ready to reveal what it’s actually going to give us. We get to see some kids driving the old Ecto-1 and an original ghost trap in the trailer, which builds some excitement, but it doesn’t get me excited for Ghostbusters 3. It may not be possible to ever capture the Ghostbusters magic again, but right now, we still are left wondering. Maybe moving on and accepting this is the point of Afterlife. Perhaps this fresh and ambitious restart with enough Ghostbusters elements can bring the franchise back to life in a different way for a new generation instead of just frustrating fans.