All the cancelled 2020 movies are readying for their upcoming 2021 releases, the latest being Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which is currently slated for November (assuming we’re not right back into shutdowns by then). Just like Dune last week, Ghostbusters is re-kicking off their marketing campaign with a new trailer. The new trailer maintains the self-important tone of the original trailer, which I am trying not to let bother me. I hate this tone for Ghostbusters, which should be funny and scary first and foremost, but a few months ago Sony released a little clip of the new, mini-Stay Puft marshmallow men that is creepy and fun in the right way. This clip is doing a lot of work that the trailer isn’t, reminding everyone of how fun and bizarre Ghostbusters can be.
The new trailer features Carrie Coon as Egon’s daughter, bringing her kids to the obviously haunted house Egon left her when they go broke. There are two elements in this trailer I really like. The first is Phoebe (an unrecognizable McKenna Grace) discovering something cool hidden beneath the floor of her new home. You know what that reminds me of? Casper and Christina Ricci poking around Whipstaff Manor. Ghostbusters should be accessible to kids, and mysterious houses with secrets in the walls/floor/attic are GREAT cinematic kid stuff. Super into that. The second thing I dig is the old OG Ghostbusters commercial interspersed throughout. They should have stopped teasing the OG cast with Annie Potts and left Dan Aykroyd out, but restraint doesn’t exist in marketing anymore, so at least they cut the Aykroyd reveal in a way that would play GREAT in a crowded theater if, you know, we were all stoked about going to theaters right now.
This trailer has a much better balance of old and new than the first one did. It’s great to see Annie Potts and the OG team, apparently now faded to urban legend status, but it’s also fun to get a sense of this as a new adventure for a new generation. There are still a lot of references to the old movies, but at least in this trailer, it all feels of a piece, which is more than the 2016 reboot can say (again, ask yourself WHY that movie wasn’t allowed to tie into the original films). The self-important tone is not great, but I suspect that’s more about the marketing fluffing up the nostalgia angle to “win back” the “fans” who rejected the 2016 reboot (air quotes because those people don’t deserve the effort. Fine if you don’t like that movie, but let’s be honest, it never stood a chance). Will Ghostbusters: Afterlife be worth the wait? I don’t know, is anything? It at least looks like it could be fun.