The new Ghostbusters sequel is subtitled Afterlife, and that’s absolutely apt. As made apparent from this new trailer, this is not a resurrection. This is not even the cursed reincarnation of 2016’s Ghostbusters. This is a long-dead corpse being trucked out for another go around the block in its iconic Ecto-1 hearse. Or, rather as they label it here, its station wagon.
The film seems to see Egon’s granddaughter (Mckenna Grace, in loose child-Egon cosplay) solve a floorboard puzzle-box that opens up a reference library of the original film. Before you know it, there’s the PKE meter; there’s the Ecto-1; there’s a bunch of tiny Mr. Stay-Pufts; there’s the goofy effects from the “I Believe It’s Magic” containment system eruption; there’s Dan Aykroyd for the cameo he shot in 20 minutes. Most egregiously, there’s Paul Rudd aping Rick Moranis’s Terror Dog scene—now in front of a Walmart, the perfect analogue for this soulless, corporate-driven, well, afterlife.
Stranger Things already gave us derivative, pandering ’80s horror references starring Finn Wolfhard. And it was pretty entertaining! This is, apparently, the natural devolution of that—the stupid blue “Muncher” to the original’s Slimer, undeserving of a boxed, branded sugar drink. How is this a better trotting out of nostalgic Ghostbusters imagery than Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters” music video?