I had fun watching Ghostbusters Afterlife last night no spoilers

Last night I went to the movies to see Ghostbusters Afterlife. It was the first time I had gone to the theater since before the pandemic began. I wanted it to be a treat, a night out on the town. This is my recall of the evenings events.

I try to mark special occasions in my mind. It helps me keep track of the good days from the monotonous ones. I wanted to make it a memorable event as the movie was something I have been anticipating seeing for a very long time.

It started with the preparations. I wanted to dress up for a night out. I spent some time during my discord call with my loving girlfriend applying makeup with my limited resources. I settled on an outfit then proceeded to do my hair. Once I was fully dressed I said goodnight to my partner and hit the road.

My first leg of the night outside the house had me facing the typical traffic one would expect in the Dallas suburn of Plano. By the time my Google Assistant and I reconciled our differences I arrived safely on time at my destination.

As this was my first time attending a theater since the start of the pandemic I was in for a surprise. The first shock was how contactlessness affected everything. Tickets had to be purchased in advance as the box office itself was closed. Instead of standing in the usual packed line for concessions where an underpaid teenager scrambles to fulfill my order, I was presented with a buffet style self serve popcorn station with other snacks around. I paid for my extra large popcorn then made my way towards the auditorium.

The first thing I noticed was the size of the room. This was a Cinemark XD theater and it was huge. Not Imax huge but much larger than the screens I was used to viewing in Sherman, Texas. After a brief sting of confusions as I searched unsuccessfully for my assigned seat the only other adult in the theater realized the crisis I was having and showed me how to find the aisle label. Once I found my way to my seat I got comfortable.

These are reclining seats which I have experienced before but I was slightly disappointed they didn’t recline nearly as much as I would  have liked. This was made up for by the fact it included a small table with cup holder for my snacks. As I hard ordered the extra large popcorn I was grateful for the table.

By the time the auditorium filled clear full of people the pre-film entertainment had begun. It was mostly the sort of cringy affair you’d expect from today’s movies nothing out of the ordinary save for one particularly disturbing advertisement where Matt Damon was shilling Crypto currency. I am sure I rolled my eyes loud enough Damon heard the vain in my eye pop. Ugh. Once that was over the only noteworthy trailer was the latest for Spider-Man No Way Home.

Once the trailers had ran their course it was time for the feature presentation to begin. Before the movie could start I was taken out of the zone and plopped right back into reality. While movies in the 80’s certainly had title cards promoting the production company they weren’t anything like the badly photoshopped fair we endure endlessly today. Seeing the title cards of a production company completely different from those I have seen in front of the original Ghostbusters over and over was slightly jarring.

This is where my brain remained throughout the course of the film. I ran two competing trains of thought each attempting to assert dominance over my consciousness. The first was pure bliss. This was two fold as the familiarity of nostalgia mixed with the rush of adrenaline from watching a modern sci-fi horror blockbuster tickled my sense.

The second school of thought was a bit more sinister in nature. I was reminded how much distance there was between the 1980s and today. The movie reminded me this in two ways as well. The first was the constant throwbacks to the original. It was a score of bits and pieces sprinkled in as fan service meant to satiate the appetite of the nerds who were upset over the previous attempt to revive the franchise.

In addition to that was the part  being taken out of the past. Seeing the time-locked world of the 80’s classic being tainted by bringing those characters into our post-modern near apocalyptic world pierce my heart with reality.

One of the reasons I revisit the classic so much is it is a time stamp of a specific point in my childhood. I can return to that youth nearly four decades gone now anytime I want. Bringing the characters of that film out of their magical 80’s time warp thrusting them into a post-Trump world felt very surreal, almost sacrilegious in a way.

The film itself was quite enjoyable once it began. There were plenty of cameos to keep the fans happy along with little touches that not only connect to the original movie itself but the era in which it was made. The plot point of how an entire generation of kids could grow up in the same world the great ghost take over of New York took place while also not believing in ghosts is a stark reminder of the reality denying conspiracy laden world we live in today.

The film walks a fine  balance between sci-fi horror and comedy nearly as perfectly as the original, with an obviously modern twist. It doesn’t take itself too serious when it needs to be self aware but it can get down to business when it needs to be taken seriously.

The threat facing the world in this movie is considerably darker than the previous end-of-the world threat they heroes faced in yonder past.The Disney-esque subplot revolving around an estranged daughter trying to get over the sins of her father while raising her own kids is woven into the narrative of a pre-teen girl’s self discovery, a coming-of-age b-line thrown in for good measure, then a ton of deeper mythology building on top of the previous movies cannon. This puts the movie in a unique position as the least like a pure summer Blockbuster and more like a well-rounded modern Disney flick. The Post-MCU influence is quite strong in this movie.

There are spoilers I can’t discuss in this article. The movie itself works tremendously well where it works at all. It’s deficiencies lie more in the reality we face today than in the utopia of the nostalgic past. The movie experience itself was fantastic. The film was superb and the fans will surely be impressed with what they find here. If I were to give it a preliminary rating I can give it an enthusiastic thumbs up. It recaptures the spirit of the original while bringing the world that film created into the modern world in a way that respects the original with homages and updated references.

I intend to do a full in-depth review on the podcast this weekend which will include spoilers. Those wishing to learn what I truly thought of the entire movie be sure to look for that bonus episode shortly. In the mean time charge up your proton packs, dust off  you ghost traps, put some gas in your Ecto car and let Ray Parker Jr. sing “busting makes me feel good” in your head on a loop.

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Stephanie Bri

A transgender writer who also does podcasts and videos. If you like my writing please consider helping me survive. You can support me directly by giving money to my paypal: thetransformerscollector@yahoo.com. If you prefer CashApp my handle is @Stephaniebri22. Also feel free to donate to my Patreon. I know it's largely podcast-centric but every little bit helps. Find it by going to www.patreon.com/stephaniebri, Thank you.