With the release of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, audiences will be introduced to an entirely new generation of ghostbusting as a young cast takes center stage and straps on proton packs to fight back against the spirit world. Interestingly, those new characters aren’t all that familiar with the events of the first two Ghostbusters movies. Is that surprising, though?
It’s been nearly 30 years since the first Ghostbusters film hit theaters and in terms of story, the same amount of time has passed since Gozer was first unleashed on New York City and the Ghostbusters initially rose to prominence. With three decades having come and gone, Afterlife co-writers Jason Reitman and Gil Kenan thought it seemed reasonable to expect the next generation would be in the dark about what happened.
“There are things that break through the sort of the murk or the fog of time and there are other things that perhaps are important when you’re living through them, maybe something that rises to the level of an anecdote or a blip,” Kenan explained to GameSpot, noting the Cuban Missile Crisis as a major world event which has faded in recognition over the years. “But many, many other stories, including ones that were consequential at the time, sort of disappear into the rearview mirror.”
He continued, “It felt to us like a safe assumption to make that a young character like Phoebe could have grown up in a world where the events of 1984 are lost to her general knowledge.”
While there would certainly be some kids that have knowledge of the events of ghosts invading New York City in 1984, that would not necessarily be the case across the board. After all, by the beginning of Ghostbusters 2 the team was seen as a joke, with Winston (Ernie Hudson) and Ray (Dan Aykroyd) being underappreciated birthday party entertainers. Perhaps forgetting the Ghostbusters was easier than anyone thought.
Whatever the case, there will be a history lesson soon enough. According to GameSpot’s review of the film, Ghostbusters: Afterlife “strike[s] a balance between action, family-friendly levels of horror, and a comedic tone that doesn’t overpower the story. There are some decent scares in the movie, but nothing that should be too overwhelming for younger audiences. And while the other Ghostbusters films are undoubtedly in the comedy/horror genre, Afterlife is a sort of adventure movie more akin to The Goonies than anything else. It’s about the journey these kids go on as they figure out how to be Ghostbusters in order to save their town, and the world. And that’s when Afterlife is at its strongest.”
Ghostbusters: Afterlife hits theaters on November 19.
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