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Ghostbusters: Afterlife – Blu-Ray Review

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Ghostbusters: Afterlife – Blu-Ray Review

Trailer/Thumbnail Courtesy Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

With his sequel to the beloved paranormal comedies about those ghost-catching scientists, Jason Reitman did a lovely job of handing the torch to the next generation. A filmmaker always willing to reinvent himself, Reitman showed an incredible ability at stepping into a familiar franchise with Ghostbusters: Afterlife. While the movie includes multiple references to the earlier films, he never forgets to put the most importance on characters. The Spengler family all have intriguing and entertaining arcs, with Phoebe being the stand-out. Mckenna Grace does a superb job of portraying her excitement and curiosity with science and her Ghostbuster lineage. Rewatching the movie on Blu-Ray, the film’s pro-science message is one of its most wonderful aspects.

Through Phoebe’s interests and her teacher Mr. Grooberson’s enthusiasm, Ghostbusters: Afterlife showcases the need for science education and learning how the world works. Science has done so much good for the world and it’s great to see a mainstream Hollywood film like this highlight that. The visual effects are incredible, with the artists mixing practical and computer-generated effects to help bring the spirits to life. The humour remains on-point, but what makes the film extra special is the surprising emotional element. There are a number of scenes that elicit quite the heart-tugging response and it never comes across as forced. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is an example of what a talented director and storyteller Jason Reitman is and his understanding of people and what drives them.

The Blu-Ray looks fantastic, allowing one to appreciate the visual language of the film even more. The audio mix is also taken full advantage of, whether it’s the use of Elmer Bernstein’s classic Ghostbusters themes or the various sounds of the gadgets used to catch those spooks. Ghostbusters: Afterlife had some of the most creative uses of sound in 2021 and it’s great that hasn’t been lost in the home video presentation. A decent assortment of special features has been packed onto the disc. “Summoning the Spirit” provides an overview of the production. In between the usual comments about how great everyone was to work with, there is plenty of neat behind-the-scenes footage. We get a glimpse at the pre-production meetings and Jason Reitman, his co-writer Gil Kenan and producer Ivan Reitman discuss the inspirations and motivations behind Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

A couple of featurettes look at the special effects, designs and the retooling of the iconic Ecto-1 automobile used by the Ghostbusters. These present a lot of info that show the incredible effort taken by the entire production team. “We Got One!” highlights some of the Easter Eggs throughout the film. While some are obvious, others were extremely well hidden. The final two featurettes interview the people involved in the ‘80s films, providing their perspective on the earlier movies as well as the current direction of the franchise. The last extra is a single deleted scene, with more footage of Annie Potts’s Janine Melnitz talking to the Spengler family. Rewatching Ghostbusters: Afterlife reaffirms it as one of the pleasures of the past year and the Blu-Ray is definitely worth picking up for fans of the film.

Stefan Ellison