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    "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" Is Super Fun, Nostalgic, And 100% Worth Watching — Here's Why

    Baby Stay Puft supremacy!

    FYI, the highly anticipated Ghostbusters: Afterlife is FINALLY* hitting the big screen Nov. 19 (this Friday!). And the newest addition to the iconic franchise serves as a sequel to the original 1984 film (and, technically, 1989's Ghostbusters II **), and it will hit you RIGHT in the feels if you're a fan.

    Paul Rudd looking intense — and young
    Kimberley French / Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    *The film was originally going to be released in summer 2020 but was pushed back because of the pandemic.

    **Afterlife specifically references events from the first Ghostbusters, but not the second. But also, they don't act as if Ghostbusters II didn't happen, so make of that what you will.

    FWIW, the whole thing feels like a love letter to costar–co-creator Harold Ramis (who died in 2014), and while I admit this film is not ~perfect~, I still really loved it — truly, 10/10 would recommend. It's a fun ride that ties back to a lot of story elements from the original film, and there are also some genuinely emotional twists!

    Columbia Pictures / Via giphy.com

    So here are 16 reasons why you should check it out:

    PS: There are no MAJOR spoilers ahead, but if you want to go into the movie totally knowing nothing (like, literally without even watching trailers), just save this for later!

    1. This movie is actually a sequel (unlike the 2016 reboot film, which IMO wasn't bad in and of itself, but just didn't fill that void for me).

    Logan Kim, Mckenna Grace playing with a proton pack
    Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    With Ramis's death in 2014, we lost half of the creative masterminds behind Ghostbusters (the other half being Dan Aykroyd). So, sadly, we'll never have a "proper" third Ghostbusters film that includes a throughline (and the entire cast) from the OG films of the '80s. However, Ghostbusters: Afterlife attempts to bridge some of that gap, and frankly, I think it's the closest thing we'll ever get to a "third" Ghostbusters movie.

    2. The opening sequence feels STRAIGHT out of the '80s movies of our childhoods (if you're ~old~ like me, anyway), and in a good way.

    The Ecto-1 chasing Muncher
    Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Not that Steven Spielberg had anything to do with Ghostbusters, but the opening sequence of Afterlife feels VERY much in his style (his style of that era, anyway). And I was VERY into it.

    3. I know you'll be curious, so I will tell you that there are cameos from some of the OG cast members...including Annie Potts, aka Janine Melnitz!

    Annie Potts as Janine, standing in an old home with red framed glasses, smiling
    Columbia Pictures

    I won't go into detail about WHO ELSE shows up in the movie, but let's just say y'all should be excited.

    4. And there are several iconic ghosts/demons/evil spirits that return from the original film, like Gozer the Gozerian...

    Gozer with her high-cut crew cut hairdo, climbing up out of a pit in a temple
    Columbia Pictures

    She's still rocking her iconic villain look from the '80s, albeit with some small costume upgrades (not mad about it), and a different actor in the role.

    5. ...the Terror Dogs...

    An evil doglike demon with giant horns, red eyes, and a flaming body
    Columbia Pictures

    There's also a new Terror Dog–esque creature, which, I'll be honest, I'm still not sure what it was exactly. Like, it was some kind of Terror Dog that stood up/was tall??? IDK. Either way, would not want to meet one IRL.

    6. ...and, YES, even the Stay Puft marshmallow man. Or, in this case, little baby Stay Pufts.

    A tiny Stay Puft marshmallow man bursting out of a mini package of marshmallows
    Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    If you watched the most recent trailers, you'll have seen the baby Stay Puft men, but I did not watch that before seeing the movie, so I was VERY pleasantly surprised. They're a fun twist on an old idea.

    7. And, for the record, the baby Stay Pufts KINDA steal the show.

    Tiny Stay Puft marshmallow men, making smores out of their own bodies
    Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Those little shits get into some ridiculously cute, mischievous fun/trouble that will make you squeal, laugh, and say, "Oh no!" 

    In a press release, director Jason Reitman explained, “It’s not that the Mini-Pufts are mean... They’re adorable, but some marshmallows just want to watch the world burn. They have nothing but curiosity and bad instincts.”

    Creature designer Brynn Metheney added, "I didn’t want them to be scary in any sense, at all, because I wanted that look to contrast with the horrible atrocities they were committing."

    8. Speaking of the ghouls, the filmmakers actually used practical effects where they could — in particular with the Terror Dogs — and I LOVE that.

    A terror dog with red evil eyes, long horns, and growling
    Columbia Pictures

    In the same press release, the studio explained that in Afterlife, the team created life-size mechanical puppets (just like the 1984 film did). Creature effects designer Arjen Tuiten said, “They are fully mechanized, controlled with servos and cables, and used to interact with the actors for close-ups and over-the-shoulder shots. The mouth and eyes glow and everything moves." 

    9. Seeing the Ecto-1 and other iconic ghostbusting tools back in action is just SO great.

    Ecto-1 driving through a field of grass in the middle of nowhere
    Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Seeing the Ecto-1 back in action will make you feel like a kid again (or for the first time, if you're new?!), and the little upgrades that have been made to things like the ghost trap are just really fun ideas. 

    “Ecto-1 is actually an old Cadillac ambulance,” SPFX supervisor Elia Popov explained. “So we needed to resurrect that look to make it seem like it’s been stuffed in the barn for all these years, aged and rusted in the right spots. We also took great care working with J.R. to loosen certain body parts, because he really wanted to sell that this thing’s dilapidated.”

    10. The casting? It's A+. Finn Wolfhard and Mckenna Grace don't need praise from me, because, let's be real, we all know how great these young actors are.

    The kids standing in front of the Ecto-1 in the middle of nowhere looking up at something
    Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Y'all are probably VERY familiar with Wolfhard's quick rise to fame in lead roles in Stranger Things and the It movies. And Grace has been crushing it as the "younger" version of so many iconic characters, including Tonya Harding in I, Tonya, Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel, Theodora “Theo” Crain in The Haunting of Hill House, and Sabrina Spellman in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina  — among her many other outstanding roles. And newcomer Logan Kim makes his impressive big-screen debut with Afterlife, although you may also recognize him as the Grandson from the Home Movie: The Princess Bride mini series of shorts.

    11. BTW, speaking of rising stars, if you loved Reservation Dogs as much as I did, keep your eye out for a super-brief appearance by Paulina Alexis (aka Willie in Reservation Dogs) in one of the scenes.

    Gary Farmer, D'Pharoah Woon-A-Tai, Paulina Alexis, Devery Jacobs in Reservation Dogs
    Shane Brown / FX / Courtesy Everett Collection

    I literally did the Leo "Pointing Rick Dalton" meme when I spotted her, LOL. She doesn't actually have a line in the movie (ugh), but I'm assuming she was cast in this movie before her breakout role on Res Dogs

    12. It's not just about the young actors, either. The adults are awesome, too. Frankly, I'll watch Carrie Coon in anything.

    Paul Rudd and Carrie Coon walking into a school talking to each other in the movie
    Kimberley French / Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    If you were a fan of The Leftovers like I was, then you KNOW how good Coon is. I mean, she's just one of those actors who are literally good in everything they're in — even if you can't really ~tell~ it's her (hello, Avengers: Infinity War???). Look, the bottom line is, Coon could read the phone book and I'd be like, "Yup, she's good."

    13. Paul. Rudd.

    Paul Rudd looking intense with a beard
    Columbia Pictures

    Do I even NEED to say anything about the man, the myth, the Sexiest Man Alive? It's Paul Rudd, you guys. If you don't already love him, then, well, IDK...there's something wrong with you. 

    He's charming, adorable, funny — everything you want him to be in the movie.

    14. Also, Olivia Wilde and J.K. Simmons have some pretty hilarious/wild parts in the movie...which go totally uncredited.

    Frazer Harrison / Getty Images, Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images

    It honestly took me a minute to recognize Wilde in her role, which I guess is a testament to the makeup and costume departments! So, kudos to them!

    And Simmons hilariously doesn't even have dialogue. But it's an ~important~ character! YOU'LL SEE!

    15. I won't give anything big away about the ending, but I will say this: I legitimately cried.

    Phoebe and Callie looking back over the shoulders in a storm, and some strangers holding up proton packs
    Columbia Pictures

    Not, like, sobbing-like-a-baby crying, mind you. But there were tears. IDK, maybe other people will hate the ending (and AGAIN, I admit it's not perfect), but the way Reitman handled it totally worked for me, and it hit me RIIIIIGHT in the feels. 

    16. And finally, you should sit through the credits because they're VERY intriguing and left me with QUESTIONS.

    Columbia Pictures / Via giphy.com

    If Marvel has taught us anything, it's that you should hang around until the end, and I mean the very end. And that's all I'll say about that.

    Ghostbusters: Afterlife hits theaters THIS FRIDAY, Nov. 19, and in case you need another tease, here's the final trailer:

    View this video on YouTube

    Columbia Pictures / Via youtube.com