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Today’s Prayer Focus
MOVIE REVIEW

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

also known as “Biệt Đội Săn Ma: Chuyển Kiếp,” “Caça-Fantasmas: O Legado,” “Cazafantasmas: Más allá,” “Ghostbusters 3 - Afterlife,” “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” “Ghostbusters: El Legado,” “Ghostbusters: Legacy,” See more »
MPA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPA) for supernatural action and some suggestive references.

Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
CONTRIBUTOR

Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
• Teens • Young-Adults • Adults
Genre:
Sci-Fi Action Supernatural-Horror Comedy
Length:
2 hr. 4 min.
Year of Release:
2021
USA Release:
November 19, 2021 (wide release)
Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Picturesclick photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures
Relevant Issues

What are DEMONS?

DEMON POSSESSSION and Influence—Can Christians be demon possessed? In what ways can Satan and his demons influence believers? Answer

Who is Satan, the enemy of God and all people?

What does the Bible say about ghosts?

What is DEATH? and WHY does it exist? Answer in the Bible

What is the FINAL JUDGMENT? and WHAT do you need to know about it? Answer

What is ETERNAL LIFE? and what does the Bible say about it?

What is ETERNAL DEATH?

What is an OCCULTIST?

Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures
Featuring Carrie CoonCallie Spengler, Phoebe and Trevor’s single mother and Egon’s daughter
Mckenna GracePhoebe Spengler, Callie’s daughter, Trevor’s sister and the granddaughter of the late Dr. Egon Spengler
Finn WolfhardTrevor Spengler, Callie’s son, Phoebe’s brother and Egon’s grandson
Paul RuddMr. Grooberson, Phoebe and Podcast’s teacher
Sigourney WeaverDana Barrett
Bill MurrayDr. Peter Venkman
Dan AykroydDr. Raymond Stantz
Ernie HudsonDr. Winston Zeddmore
Celeste O'Connor … Lucky Domingo, Trevor’s classmate and love interest
Bokeem WoodbineSheriff Domingo
See all »
Director Jason Reitman
Producer Dan Aykroyd
Ivan Reitman
Columbia Pictures
Ghostcorps
See all »
Distributor Distributor: Columbia Pictures. Trademark logo.Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures

On a farm in the middle of nowhere a hooded man is trying to escape an invisible enemy. As they approach his farm it becomes unclear who is chasing whom, as the unseen ghost seems to hesitate before the farmer holds out a ghost trap as bait. The ghost moves in for the kill as we realize we may be witnessing the last stand of a Ghostbuster.

Callie Spengler (Carrie Coon), a single mom, has just moved to Summerville along with her teenage son Trevor (Finn Wolfhard of “Stranger Things”) and his younger sister Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) to claim her late father’s estate

While Trevor tries to fit in by getting a job at a local 50’s burger joint, Phoebe already knows she won’t make any friends since no one can relate to her. Much to her surprise she none-the-less ends up making friends with a kid named “Podcast”. Once mom meets the summer-school teacher Mr. Grooberson (Paul Rudd) the cast is complete and all seems as normal as it can be in this out of the way tiny town hidden by mountains and desert… until, naturally, the supernatural begins.

Late one evening Phoebe’s attention is drawn by someone or something in the house that leads her to a lab where she finds the equipment of the former Ghostbusters gathering dust. Realizing now she is interacting with her late Grandfather’s spirit she lets him guide her in repairing the Proton pack. The very next day she and Podcast (Logan Kim) take the equipment for a test run and in doing so have their first encounter with a metal eating ghost. Fortunately, Trevor has been fixing the old beat-up Ghostbusters car, found in the garage, and has it working just in time for them to chase their first ghost.

Yes, it’s all fun and games until a familiar demon bent on world destruction enters the picture. While an apocalyptic battle is brewing, a much younger and less experienced Ghostbusters decide it’s up to them to save the world.

Q & A

What are DEMONS?

What is the Apocalypse?

Admittedly many fans, myself included, were anxiously awaiting the return of the original “Ghostbusters” trio of Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, with a side helping of Ernie Hudson. Fans familiar with the 1984 film will appreciate the constant fan-service present throughout. While lighter on the sheer volume of inappropriate material in PG-13 films, there is still much to be considered.

Objectionable Content

LANGUAGE: Moderate. The Lord’s name is taken in vain nine times (“God” 8x, “Lord” 1x), this includes times it is used blasphemously during the demon’s story and when the Ghostbusters are asked if they are a deity. Other offensive words include “sh*t” (6), a**h*** (1), and h*ll (6), “D*mn it,” and “fracking annoying.” Suggestive language includes euphemisms for sex (“I think Groobs is trying to b*ne your mom,” “h*mpy,” and “3rd base”), mocking of virgins and mention of “nip**es.” Although it contains less cursing than most PG-13 films, the words are still present and both Christians and parents of younger children are encouraged not to expose them to this film solely due to the language used.

VIOLENCE: Moderate to Heavy. Like its predecessors, the film features ghosts and demons wrecking havoc in their wake and possessing and transforming people into like creatures.

The Ghostbusters Proton packs cause enough destruction on their own including destroying much of Main street, but it all seems more benign as they are wielded by kids. The imagery of demons and the ripping in half of a man is more than enough to give spiritually-minded Christians and responsible parents serious pause.

SEX/NUDITY: Minor. A girl kisses a boy on the cheek, and the boy glimpses the girl in a bra as she is changing quickly. Like the first film of the franchise, two adult characters are required to mate in order to open the gateway for the major demon. Only slightly less suggestive than the original, implied sex takes place off-screen.

ALCOHOL: Minor. The mom is seen passed out on the table with a wine glass. During a dinner date with the teacher, they both appear to be drinking alcoholic beverages.

Lessons

The three themes that stand out most in this film deal with contentment, death and the end times.

CONTENTMENT—Callie suffers from very low self-esteem and it’s no wonder—abandoned by her own father, raising kids by herself, she admits, “The only thing lurking here is my own dying soul.” She travels to Oklahoma expecting to collect on an inheritance and begin a new life only to be disappointed again. Whether or not we ever find ourselves in her position, we should know the peace and contentment that begins with accepting the simple truth found in the Gospel of John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” —John 3:16

Knowing this truth, and believing in His only begotten Son will give us the joy of being able to call God our Father.

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God…” —1 John 3:1

The Apostle Paul, who suffered greatly for the cause of Christ and was eventually martyred like so many of the Apostles has perhaps the most succinct take on contentment.

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” —Philippians 4:12-13

DEATH—As entertaining as it might be to consider that there are ghosts needing to accomplish something here on Earth, this is pure fiction and couldn’t be further from the truth.

“And as it appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement.” —Hebrews 9:27-28

Q & A
  • What does the Bible say about ghosts?

  • What is DEATH? and WHY does it exist? Answer in the Bible

  • What is the FINAL JUDGMENT? and WHAT do you need to know about it? Answer

  • What is ETERNAL LIFE? and what does the Bible say about it?

  • What is ETERNAL DEATH?

But you need not fear this nor death itself if you are His. For so it was written:

“He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away tears from all faces; He will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth…” —Isaiah 25:8

END TIMES—In both this and the first film of the franchise, they quote a verse from the final book of Revelation.

“When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth…” —Revelation 6:12

Now, we shouldn’t expect a “Ghostbusters” film to accurately describe the world during the end-times, including the tribulation and our Lord’s return. We have the Word of God given to us for that purpose and more. I urge you to read all of the book of Revelation for the final chapter in the history of mankind before our Lord Jesus Christ’s return. If you need another reason consider this:

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophesy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.” —Revelation 1:3

Paul Rudd, delivers a fun take as the teacher dating their mom Callie. While he may have been the catalyst for the kids getting into the “Ghostbusters” scene, it is the character of Podcast, Phoebe’s new and only friend, that shines the most among the kids in this film. Finn Wolfhard as Trevor does a fine job as the new kid trying to get the girl.

Frankly, this may not be the sequel people were waiting for, considering so many years have passed and one of its stars, Harold Ramis, is no longer with us. The film does however continue the story and sweetly pays tribute to Ramis and manages to bring closure to the fans and, I suspect, his former co-stars as well.

“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” is not the greatest film, but rather a nostalgic homage to its predecessors. An enjoyable movie that is unfortunately tainted by violence, language, demonic worship, imagery and the lack of acknowledgment by any of the characters of God or the Heavenly Hosts. Incidentally, neither God nor angels need nuclear accelerators to save the day. Guard your minds and focus on the true afterlife for the time is near.

Q & A
  • What is ETERNAL LIFE? and what does the Bible say about it?

  • What is ETERNAL DEATH?

  • Learn about spiritual LIGHT versus DARKNESS

  • What are DEMONS?

  • DEMON POSSESSSION and Influence—Can Christians be demon possessed? In what ways can Satan and his demons influence believers? Answer

  • Who is Satan, the enemy of God and all people?

  • Is Satan a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer

  • Occult: Heavy— This film is more about demonic beings than ghosts.
  • Violence: Moderate
  • Profane language: Moderate
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Moderate
  • Sex: Mild
  • Nudity: Minor
  • Drugs/Alcohol: Minor
  • Learn about DISCERNMENT—wisdom in making personal entertainment decisions
  • cinema tickets. ©  Alexey SmirnovEvery time you buy a movie ticket or buy or rent a video you are in effect casting a vote telling Hollywood, “I’ll pay for that. That’s what I want.” Read our article

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive
Positive— All my life, from the original 1984 “Ghostbusters” film to “The Real Ghostbusters” cartoon series, I’ve been a fan of the Franchise. While “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” was scheduled for November 19th release, some movie theaters were showing the movie on November 18th.

Having just seen the film, I was impressed, it was worth the wait. Paul Rudd was superb as Gary Grooberson, while the character of socially awkward Phoebe Spengler was very similar to the character of Sheldon Cooper on the prequel series Young Sheldon. While there were some cussing in the film, it wasn’t too severe.

This film showed the importance of teamwork, cooperation, friendship, family, trust and having heart.

The Special Effects were superb, new Ghostbusting gadgets added to the films overall coolness, the mini Stay Puft Marshmallow men were cute and funny to watch. Even Muncher was great as the new Slimer-type Ghost. The film itself was also a touching loving tribute to the late Harold Ramis.

Rick Moranis wasn’t in this film; it needed him. My only complaint is that the surviving three original Ghostbusters appeared too late and near the end of the film. While they aged well and had funny lines, they really should have appeared much earlier in the film, or the middle of the film. Overall, all things considered, “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” is a very enjoyable work of pop culture fun and nostalgia, setting up the possibility of even more Ghostbusters sequel films. “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” is an instant classic, a movie for the ages.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Jeff Andrew Winters, age 41 (USA)

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Secular Movie Critics
…Rarely has a sequel been this listless, this creatively bankrupt, or this unaware of the charm and appeal of its predecessors. …
Roxana Hadadi, Los Angeles Times
…As goofy as it all sounds, the story is told with a lot of reverential seriousness. …derivative but not unwatchable—until the horrible last act. …
David Sims, The Atlantic
…It is more like half a movie, standing in the shadow of its parent. It is a film made to sell us more lunchboxes. …
Mark Kennedy, Associated Press
…This is a movie that is one giant Easter Egg, cracked and rotten and sulphurous in its stink. …
Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
…only sporadically funny — with too many overblown action set pieces in much the same way as many modern blockbusters… The obligatory nature of the fan service constantly undercuts the bittersweet, occasionally tearjerking tone, with the filmmakers more concerned about extending the franchise’s commercial life than really saying anything meaningful about loss and reconciliation. …
Tim Grierson, Screen Daily
…“Afterlife” wants desperately to summon the spirit of watching the first movie back in 1984. It winds up ghoulish in the wrong way. …
Jesse Hassenger, The A.V. Club
…“Afterlife” is a laugh-starved, jerry-rigged clunker that finds about one fifth as many laughs as the originals. …[2/4]
Roger Moore, Movie Nation
…Trapped under clumsy nostalgia… Nostalgia is fine in limited doses, but the sequel ends up feeling like J.J. Abrams directed “Now That’s What I Call Ghostbusters,” undoing any of the goodwill established by the film's first two acts. The movie is trapped in the past so much that it might taint any potential future there might be to keep the franchise alive with these new characters. …
Ethan Anderton, Slash Film