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Ghostbusters: Afterlife (PG-13)
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This came out in 2021; I first saw it in 2022. It's the fourth movie in the "Ghostbusters" franchise, but only the third movie in the original continuity (the 2016 reboot is a separate continuity). It was directed and co-written by Jason Reitman, the son of the first two movies' director, Ivan. This movie has some funny bits (I really liked Phoebe's "bad" jokes), but I didn't think of it as being as much of a comedy as the other movies were, so I'm only listing it under "supernatural".

It begins one night when a man, whom we don't see clearly, catches a terror dog in a ghost trap, and brings it back to his farm, being pursued by another terror dog (which is invisible most of the time). He tries to trap the pursuing one, but the power fails, and he ends up being killed. After that, we see his financially struggling daughter, Callie, get evicted, along with her teenage son, Trevor (Finn Wolfhard, from Stranger Things), and 12-year-old daughter, Phoebe (Mckenna Grace). They inherit the farm, and are forced to move to the small town of Summerville, Oklahoma, because of the eviction (and the fact that the farm, which didn't grow anything, was the only thing her father had to leave her). The movie spends a fair amount of time hiding the identity of the man who died, and the surname of Callie and her kids, but it's important to the plot that Callie's father was Egon Spengler, from the first two movies. She had never met her father, as he had abandoned his family when she was a baby to move to Summerville, for reasons unknown. (Later in the movie, Callie finds evidence that her father had kept track of her and really cared about her, which is supposed to be a touching revelation, but it still seems to me like it was too little. Maybe he was trying to keep his family safe by leaving them, but I feel like he still could have been more involved in Callie's life if he really wanted to.)

Anyway, Phoebe is an aspiring scientist, who doesn't believe in ghosts. She goes to summer school because she likes learning, though she doesn't seem optimistic about her chances of learning anything in this small town. And her concerns seem to be proven correct, as the teacher, Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd), despite being enthusiastic about seismology, has no interest in actually teaching summer school. Instead, he just plays horror movies for the kids to watch. But Phoebe ends up becoming friends with him. And he begins spending time with Callie, as a potential romantic interest. Phoebe also befriends a classmate, a boy who calls himself "Podcast", because he has a podcast about mysteries and conspiracy theories and such. (He apparently has only one subscriber.) Meanwhile, Trevor fixes up the Ghostbusters' old car, Ecto-1, which he finds on the farm. He also gets a job at a diner in order to get close to another employee there on whom he developed an instant crush, a girl named Lucky Domingo. Phoebe, Podcast, and Mr. Grooberson all find out about ghosts after Phoebe finds the ghost trap that her grandfather had hidden. Separately, Trevor and Lucky also have a ghostly near-call. Eventually they all start working together to figure out the mystery of what Egon had been working on before he died. But I don't want to spoil any details of that, or how it all ends.

The movie has some fun cameos from the old movies. And I liked all the characters, especially Phoebe. Plus the closing credits have a song I liked by Mckenna Grace, Haunted House (though despite the title, it's not about ghosts). And... I'm not sure how much of the special effects might have been CGI. A lot of it looked like CGI to me, but I know a lot of practical effects were used, and I'm not sure which is which. But at any rate, I liked the whole look of the movie. I liked the drama, and the humor, and the action, and the overall story, and the nostalgia, and everything. Oh, and I wanted to say I got the feeling the town of Summerville might have been named after Sumer, where the antagonist Gozer was supposedly from (or whatever). But that never came up in the film, I'm afraid. Other than that... I enjoyed both the mid-credits scene and the post-credits scene. And I don't know what else to say.

Ghostbusters * The Real Ghostbusters * Ghostbusters II * (Ghostbusters: Answer the Call) * Ghostbusters: Afterlife

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