Saturday, September 10, 2022

Ghost Photo?: The Hatman - Curious Observer or Something Worse?

Don't like to read? Watch the video instead.

Today’s photo was found on the Facebook group, Universal Paranormal and the unknown. This is not their original photo and the source is not listed. This is what the description says: 



You can see, clear as a day, a shadow figure wearing a hat. A lot of the comments section of this photo say they get bad vibes from this figure, with more claiming it to be the Hatman. A paranormal entity a part of the shadow figure category. However, some ufologists claim it’s actually an alien observing humans. Those who experience the Hatman say the figure appears to be a male with a hat. Not much is found on violent, poltergeist activity attached to the appearance of the Hatman and most say, he just stands there and observes you. 


However, some others who have experienced the Hatman, say he appears during sleep paralysis and that it is seen hovering over the person just like the 13 year old who took this photo. 


Some would say that it could be just a hallucination brought on by drowsiness or it’s just a dream. However, some have said they have seen the Hatman even during the day. Whatever the case may be, what do you think of this photo?



Sunday, August 7, 2022

Ghost Photo?: The Grinch That Stole the Photo

 Hate reading? Watch the video instead!

   





Today’s photo comes from the Facebook group Haunted, Old and Beautiful By Amanda APS. This group is not the original poster of this unsettling photo you’re about to see. The backstory of the photo is that a group of friends got together in October to have a good time along with a few drinks. To commemorate the fun they had, the seven ladies took a group photo. Upon looking at the photo, they spotted something that terrified them. 


Backstory of photo
Behind them is the pale figure of a disembodied head and you can make out the features of eyes, nose, and mouth. The owner of the flat, named Rebecca, has been having trouble sleeping. She had heard rumors that a former tenant died in the bath of the very same flat the photo was taken. 


A lot of commenters on this post nicknamed the spooky figure The Grinch. Some people have debunked this as just a curious bystander looking through the window and if that was the case this person would either be standing on something or is very tall to tower over the ladies in this photo. Some people have speculated the photo was a hoax and someone was wearing or holding up a mask. What do you think?


If you think you have a photo of a spirit, then please send it to scaredsheetlessncn@hotmail.com and I may feature it in a future video. 


Also, if you would be so kind to leave a like and subscribe for future Scared Sheetless content.


Keep it scary, Graveyard Disciples.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Ocean Born Mary - An Ocean of Lies and Very Little Truth (Henniker, NH)

The Ocean Born Mary house


Don't like reading? I have a video version of this as well. Click here


Not every ghost story’s origins takes place in a haunted house. In fact, one of New Hampshire’s most famous spiritual tales starts out at sea. While North Carolina may have Blackbeard, we have Mary Wallace, soon to be known, in legend, as Ocean Born Mary. But keep this as a disclaimer, because it will be important later, there is a catch to this story. 

I first heard about the legend of Ocean Born Mary in “Haunted New Hampshire” by Thomas D’Agostino. Most of the information in this column is from his book. If there is any other information that I got from anywhere else it will be listed at the bottom of the column.


Our story takes place on July 17th, 1720, as we set sail out to sea. A ship, by the name of The Wolf, is heading towards its destination, which is Boston, Massachusetts. James and Elizabeth Wilson are setting sail to the “new world”-The United States of America. And, within the U.S. was where their new land was, in Henniker, NH. Elizabeth was pregnant and as the coast of Massachusetts came into view, Elizabeth gave birth.


The newborn didn’t have a name though. This was about to change as the Wolf was taken hostage by pirates. Their leader Don Pedro - a ruthless, dark, and well … handsome pirate, got wind that there was a baby on board as Pedro went over to Elizabeth and James. The pirate who took them hostage asked what the baby's name was as Elizabeth said she was just born. Pedro’s demeanor changed from an intimidating pirate to a more kinder approach and asked if she could name the newborn after his mother, Mary. The Wilson’s agreed, but Don had one more request before he came back with gifts for the newborn. He presented Elizabeth with a silk dress and asked when Mary is to wed, he wishes she would wear this dress. Elizabeth told him she would make sure of it. Pedro left with nobody harmed and everyone’s possessions returned.


Sadly, it didn’t take long after they landed safely in Boston that James died. Nonetheless, Mary grew up to be a tall(records show her at 6’2”)and a beautiful woman. In 1742, Mary got married to Thomas Wallace. Mary honored Don Pedro’s wishes by wearing the silk dress. Mary and Thomas had four sons and a daughter. After the birth of the youngest, Thomas died.


As of that time, Don Pedro was retired from his pirate days and decided to settle down in Henniker, NH himself. Long forgotten about Ocean Born Mary, he decided to go and see what she made herself into. Feeling troubled about her being widowed, he begged her to be his housekeeper and promised to take care of her and her four children. Mary obliged and Don Pedro was a man of his word. 


Don brought Mary and her children to his grand mansion on 6,000 acres of land. Mary and her children couldn’t be happier as they lived in solace…for awhile. Don, however, being a pirate, had a curse, and that curse was about to catch up to him.


One night, after Mary and her children went to bed, former chums of Don Pedro decided to pay a visit. Sadly, Don Pedro was about to come to realize that his maties were not what they seemed. They killed Don by using a pirate’s cutlass in the front yard of his home. His former “mates” must’ve ran, because once Mary got to the room where Don laid with a cutlass hanging out of his chest, the men were gone. Don, with his final breaths, told Mary to bury his treasure under the hearth with him. Mary, a while before this tragedy happened, saw Don with a retired pirate, a friend of his, carrying a large black trunk out to the orchard. Mary honored Don’s request and buried the treasure under the hearth along with Pedro.


Mary kept her word to Don and buried him with his treasure. Mary lived a long and wonderful life right after that; she died in 1814. She only left in body, though, as some say her spirit remains in the house that her and Don Pedro shared. 


In the early 20th century, the house was opened to the general public and Ocean Born Mary made her presence well known after that. A rocking chair would sway softly back and forth(many said this was Mary’s own way of saying the visitors were welcomed). She has also been sensed near the hearth as legend says she was always there, maybe making sure Pedro still had his prized treasure? Also, Hanz Holzer, known for his book “Ghosts of New England” - which also has a chapter on Ocean Born Mary. Mr. Holzer conducted a séance in the Henniker home. Hans felt like there was something there, but he could never get to the bottom of it. He said that Mary kept 'alluding' him, but said that one day, Ocean Born Mary house will make history.


Some Henniker residents have said that on every Halloween, Mary’s ghost can be seen coming out of the Henniker Centre Cemetery, riding a horse drawn coach heading for her home. According to some eye witnesses who have seen her ghost, they have said they see a beautiful woman who is tall with red hair and green eyes watching over them.


However, fellow Graveyard Disciples, here is where the catch is and I hate to disappoint you, but most of this story is fabricated. A lie. Yeah, kind of a letdown, huh? A lot of it was a lie, but was all of it? No. Let’s get to where the story goes from truth to fiction. The last truthful part of this story happens all the way back to where Mary’s husband, Thomas dies. After that, it’s all fictional from there. Here’s the truth: After Thomas died, Mary went to Rhode Island and stayed there until her death on February 13th, 1814 at the age of 93. Her story ends in Rhode Island, but her body was buried in Henniker. But what about the Ocean Born Mary house? Why is it called that? 


The Ocean Born Mary house, the one I’ve been showing, is not her house. It did have connections to Mary. It was built by her son, Robert, who lived there, but Mary never did. I read some articles about this story that said her and Robert didn’t like each other, but most reports say she lived out the rest of her 20 years of life in Rhode Island. Wait? You’re thinning. 20 years? I thought she was young when Thomas died? I’ll get to that in a moment. There’s even a few things I read where it said they actually moved Mary’s childhood home from Henniker, NH to Rhode Island for reasons unknown. Does she have ties to Henniker? Yes, but not to the house that claims her spirit resides. Hans Holzer, as well as other paranormalists, may have thought they contacted Mary Wallace, but they were all looking in the wrong house. Reports say, Mary has haunted her home in Rhode Island, but that home burned to the ground in the 1920s. But some say the house that inhabits the location now may have the actual spirit of Ocean Born Mary there. Who knows for sure? 


So, yes, this means Don Pedro never came back and Don and Mary didn’t live happily ever after in Henniker. That also means there was no treasure, no pirate buried underneath a hearth, or anything like that. Like I said, after Thomas died, that’s where the story turned to fiction and I just went over what actually happened with Mary Wallace. But who fabricated this story? Who created this legend that some people still willingly buy as truth even though the evidence to contradict it is out in the open? This guy. 




Louis Roy. He was a photographer by trade and a legend fabricator as a side job it seemed. He purchased the Ocean Born Mary house in 1917, heard of the story of Robert’s mother, and from there created the story of Don Pedro returning to Mary after she had grown up and took care of her and her kids at his big mansion that he built. No. Mary’s son, Robert, built the house and Roy just spun the rest of Mary’s tale going from where Thomas died. He made it seem like Thomas died when Mary was still young, but Mary and Thomas actually were together for almost 50 years, meaning Mary was in her early 70’s when Thomas died. From here, she would move with her son William to Rhode Island. But people bought Roy’s story as fact for a long time. 


Roy's mother acting as Mary Wallace during tours of the house.
Roy had his mother reenacting older Mary’s life in a supposed pirate house with treasure hidden. He would also sell tickets for people to dig up the property, looking for the lost treasure. I’m willing to bet nobody ever found anything, but fools gold. Roy would keep this story going up until his death in 1965. Some reports say he confessed to the fabrication on his deathbed. 


When I found out, I was disappointed. I mean, New Hampshire has other great ghost legends and haunted locations that should be on every paranormal investigators list, but the Ocean Born Mary story seemed like something out of a fantasy book and it was in the end. Even if most of it is made up, Mary Wallace did have an exciting origin story where a ruthless pirate had a change of heart. I hope you enjoyed this episode. Keep it scary, folks. 


References Used for this Article/Further Reading/Photos Used: 


https://www.concordmonitor.com/Henniker-s-ghost-story-lives-on-30620373 


http://www.seacoastnh.com/Places-and-Events/Historic-Tours/The-Ocean-Born-Mary-House-Hoax/ 


https://alchetron.com/Ocean-Born-Mary#ocean-born-mary-41e1db9a-9b67-4e4f-adfc-c4cd98436c7-resize-750.jpg


https://www.tuckerfreelibrary.org/2015/12/11/ocean-born-mary-original-source-material/


https://www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/ocean-born-mary-new-hampshire-legend/


https://newengland.com/yankee-magazine/living/homes/famous-house-new-hampshire-house-sale/


https://hollowhill.com/spoiler-the-truth-about-ocean-born-mary/


https://newenglandghoststories.com/tag/ocean-born-mary/


https://newengland.com/today/travel/new-hampshire/the-legend-of-ocean-born-mary/


Thomas D’ Agostino’s Haunted New Hampshire 


Hans Holzer’s Ghosts of New England


Monday, July 25, 2022

What Happened to Ada of Cobwebs n' Stripes?

My C n' S reviews have brought in the majority of traffic here. Which either says I'm really good at reviews or people want to know what happened. I'm willing to bet it's the latter. I've been getting a lot of emails lately with people asking me, "What happens? Why did it vanish? Where's Ada?" I'm almost thinking that maybe they didn't read my last C n' S review before I had to stop, because of the fact, I don't know what happened. 

Yes, me and Ada would talk on social media and converse about ... well, Beetlejuice mostly, or that other comic I reviewed called The Ghost with the Most. The thing is, yes, I talked to Ada, but we weren't friends in a sense that we knew each other. We didn't exchange e-mails or social media accounts (I talked to her through her fan page on Facebook) or phone numbers. Our relationship was purely just talking about my reviews and her art and some ideas I would bounce off of her every now and then (funny enough, I gave her an idea of doing a "live" version of the comic, where people would voice act and she would post it on Youtube. I was going to play the Judge, but got cold feet and told her I'm too nervous. -shrugs-) But our relationship was just that. 

That means, I can't answer the question of where she went and if she is okay and if Cobwebs and Stripes will ever make a return and will we ever see the end? Ada posted something on the fan page about how she wanted to explore other ambitions and that C n' S was getting in the way and she simply didn't have a passion for it anymore, despite always loving Beetlejuice and its world. I understand her to a fault. I understand she doesn't want to be just known as that C n S woman, she wants to be known for more than that. I totally get that. But where the fault lies is she has so many fans who want to read. I've had so many people email me and say they only know about this comic because of my reviews and if I have them and sadly, I don't. I wish I did save the comic if I knew she was going to erase everything. But not only that, but fans are like friends, we hang on to every project, and I'm sure whatever ambitions Ada had, we would've supported her, but not only that, but we miss seeing her creativity and we hope she is okay, both mentally and physically. We just don't know, because she deleted everything. Facebook, Tumblr, her Deviantart account, all gone. Only broken traces of what was once her across the internet. 

Maybe someday, she will return, and we can all be happy for that. Hopefully she, or someone who has the comic in their possession, will bring that back as well. I will admit, for not knowing Ada on a personal level, I would be very happy to know if she is okay and all is well, but the remaining mystery would be why did she delete everything? I'm a staunch Beetlejuice fan. Huge fan. It's all over this blog and my name for crying out loud is a Beetlejuice reference. I'm also a stubborn person to impress when it comes to Beetlejuice fan fictions and I would say Cobwebs and Stripes is the best damn Beetlejuice fan fiction out there. Bar none. 

Ada, if you ever read this, I'm sure your fans will agree with me by me saying, we hope you're okay wherever you are, and hopefully one day, you will return. Until then, take care, and be creative. 

Sunday, July 24, 2022

The Princess Awaits Your Arrival - Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire (Updated Article)

 

Image by Ken Stampfer 


When you think of hotels, you may think of suites, a free breakfast, maybe even an indoor pool. From someone who’s worked in hotels for a few years, that’s commonplace, but some hotels come with extra amenities. Take the Mount Washington Hotel, for example. Beautiful on the inside, as well as out. A hotel rich in history as well as those who’ve called it home for a few days in life and forever in death. This is the story of the Mount Washington Hotel - where most guests have checked out, but not all. 


Joseph Stickney - our story starts with this gentleman


Our story takes place in the beautiful scenery of Carroll, NH. Joseph Stickney, born on May 31st, 1840 in Concord, NH collected a vast amount of wealth by investing in coal mining and was rich by the time he was only 30. In 1881, Joseph, along with business partner, John Conyngham, purchased the Mount Pleasant Hotel, which has since been torn down and a motel currently resides in its former place. Stickney had a vision and that vision was very close by, only across the street where his grand contribution to New Hampshire will be. Due to Stickney’s hard work and dedication of giving his guests the best hotel experience he can, he made Mount Pleasant a success. In 1894, he would buy out his business partners and become the lone owner of the Mt. Pleasant.


Mount Pleasant House - Stickney's first hotel


However, Stickney had a vision, a grander revelation of what he could do if he could build a hotel from scratch and that vision was very close by, only across the street from the Mount Pleasant. This plot of land would be where his grand contribution to New Hampshire will be - his legacy was just within arms reach. Work began in 1901 and was designed by architect Charles Alling Gifford to look like a “Spanish Renaissance Revival”. The future New Hampshire icon would cost 1.7 million dollars and was completed in 1902. 


Charles Alling Gifford - the architect of what would be the beautiful Mount Washington Hotel
Joseph’s wife, Carolyn Foster Stickney, fell in love with the new hotel. Unfortunately, their time spent in the hotel together would be short, because only one year after completion, Joseph would die on December 21st, 1903 at the age of 63. Carolyn was heartbroken over the passing of Joseph, but would soon remarry to a French nobleman Aymon de Faucigny-Lucinge in 1913. Aymon owned hotels in Switzerland and France. They would spend their summers in New Hampshire and winters in Paris. He would also help Carolyn run the Mount Washington.


Carolyn Foster - The Princess of the Mount Washington Hotel 


Prince  Aymon de Faucigny-Lucinge
                        

Carolyn would soon have to grieve for the death of another husband. Prince Aymon would die on August 1st, 1922 in France at the age of 60. Carolyn moved back to the place she loved the most, her prize possession, the Mount Washington Hotel. She would continue running the Mount Washington Hotel and spending time there until her death at the age of 69 on November 2nd, 1936. Her nephew Foster Reynolds took ownership of the Mount Washington upon her death. Carolyn is buried in the Stickney mausoleum next to her first husband, Joseph at Old North Cemetery in Concord, NH. Due to her being married to a Prince, she was nicknamed the Princess of Mount Washington and even though she died in Rhode Island, some say her spirit currently resides in her home sweet home at the hotel. 


She watches over the guests as the check in to the hotel, greeting them. 
(Photo: Aimee Seavey) 
Watching over the many new faces who inhabit her former hotel every year. Some eye witnesses who have stayed at the hotel say you can see a woman that’s description strikingly resembles Carolyn watching over everyone from the balcony. Some have reported hearing a romantic, but ghostly melody from the depths of the hotel. In the “Tower Suites”, television channels will switch and tubs run by themselves. Scents of perfumes and strange lights can be seen. 


Carolyn can be seen in Room 314, nicknamed “The Princess Room“, her personal quarters when she was in the hotel. She can be seen sitting on the edge of the bed that she shared with her husband, brushing her hair.


In 2015, a staff photo was taken, and some people say you can see a lady in a Victorian era dress in the window of one of the rooms. Strangely enough, the window is directly below Room 314. Is it the Princess joining the photo? You be the judge. 


Is this a person or the spirit of the Princess? You be the judge. 
(Found this photo on: thehauntedplaces.com)

Other ghostly sights and sounds are: a baby can be heard crying in the ballroom.  Photographs get mysteriously slashed by unseen fingernails. A woman can be seen walking through walls. And, if you’re not of the ghostly kind and don’t like to be spooked, guests have said to watch out for rooms: 206, 217, 237, 425, and of course “The Princess Room”(Room 314). All of this has lead the higher ups of the Mt. Washington Hotel telling their workers not to tell ghost stories, but they do hint that some strange activity does go on to guests.


Question is, who can be haunting the hotel when neither Joseph Stickey nor “The Princess' ' died even remotely close to the hotel? Records show that some other guests have checked in, but never checked out. Such as: Daniel Willis James, a wealthy metal merchant from New York, had his last stay at the hotel, dying at the age of 75 on September 13th, 1907 due a heart attack. Almost ten years, right on date, a guest by the name of Alfred N. Beadleston died at the age of 69 due to intestinal hemorrhages.


The hotel played host to many famous individuals, such as suspense and psychological thriller film maker, Alfred Hitchcock(best known for the 1960 thriller, Psycho). Inventor and businessman, Thomas Edison. And, Major League Baseball legend, Babe Ruth. For you gamers out there, the Mount Washington Hotel is mentioned in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood in Rift: Cluster 3 - which is basically unlocking secrets in the game. I remember playing this and  feeling excited about New Hampshire playing a role in Assassin’s Creed lore. Course it’s not uplifting as it was actually a secret meeting for the game's antagonists, the Templars.  


On February 6th, 2008 the popular Sci-Fi Network show, Ghost Hunters, visited the hotel for a paranormal investigation. The results were astounding to say the least. When the team went up to Room 314 to do an EVP session, they asked the simple question, “Princess…Are you here?” What they got was this simple question back, “Of course I’m in here. Where are you?” Now, I saw this episode and all the things that happened THAT was pretty neat. 


For those of you who want to stay in one of New Hampshire’s most beautiful hotels, then yes, the Mount Washington hotel is a great destination for you, but if you're looking for a “surprise” or two around the corner, and maybe don’t mind sharing your room with a spirit or two, then this is definitely the place for you. The Princess of the Mount Washington Hotel will be eagerly awaiting for your arrival and perhaps watching you from the balcony. 


References/Photos (this includes those used in the video on top): 


https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/45059309/carolyn-salome-stickney

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/45059161/joseph-stickney

https://spookt.com/person/carolyn_stickney

https://thehauntedplaces.com/mount-washington-hotel-ghost-picture/

https://whitemountainhistory.org/Mount_Washington_Hotel.html 

https://whitemountainhistory.org/Mt._Pleasant_House.html 

https://www.ancestry.com/genealogy/records/aymon-de-faucigny-lucinge-24-4yr1vb


Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Is Ghostbusters Afterlife Woke? (Warning: Spoilers Inside)

Disclaimer: Hey there, Graveyard Disciples. What you're about to read is a deleted section of my Ghostbusters: Afterlife review. The reason why I deleted this from the main review is because I didn't want to drag the review down with politics. I was actually considering never showing this part, but I do know people eat into these woke crap. I guess for self-torment? I dunno. People are weird and that's coming from a guy who has a blog dedicated to the strange. But since people may want to know if the movie is woke, I decided to give this its own post, so if people are interested they can read it or if not, cool. Enjoy. 

-----

Some people have complained about Ghostbusters: Afterlife being woke. Yes, even being considered a "righty" when it comes to politics, even I roll my eyes at this observation. I'm not a "righty" by the way. I'm an independent who has agreed with different sides of the political spectrum, but if you don't fully agree with one side, "you're THIS!" and they write you off as an extremist without asking you questions. I think if you get so mad at someone who doesn't agree with your political view, I take it you're not that confident in your beliefs, but that's just my opinion. 

I've been seeing some "righty" or center Youtubers accusing this movie of being woke. I, I personally, don't think this movie is woke. Yes, I know woke garbage exists and anyone with half a brain can spot when a TV show, movie, or what not is woke. Personally, I'm not in that stuff for numerous reasons and if your mind automatically goes to, "Uh, duh. It's just because you're a ist-a-phobe!" Then you're a jackass. Plain and simple, you're an airhead. I'm allowed to like what I like and if you like it? Good for you. Personally I think you're poisoning your mind with filth, lies, and hatred disguised as 'diversity' and 'inclusion.' 

The people who advocate for the woke ideology in media parade themselves around like they're the nice ones, while their ideology is based on just building up this race, this sexuality, this gender by knocking down and demoralizing another race, another sexuality, another gender, and it's not even limited to that. Every time I hear those two words, 'diversity' and 'inclusion' it doesn't mean what it's supposed to, it means either: take over, erasure of another character, demoting a beloved character, shitting all over people of a certain race, gender, creed, sexuality, etc. You're insulting a potential fanbase and then stupidly wonder why people don't buy into it like the lemmings who do. But people are accusing Afterlife of doing this? I think you watched the wrong movie. 

I do realize some people on the left can be unfortunately a hivemind, but I also realize people who I agree with, 'my side' can be a hivemind too and 'my side' has a few people who have said this movie is woke. Most of these Youtubers make a living bitching about wokeness, you would think they would know what it is, but in this case, they couldn't be more wrong. 

Batwoman on the CW is woke. This is not Batwoman on the CW. That's probably the pinnacle of woke garbage in TV shows, just ask Az from HeelvsBabyface. This is nowhere near that. Phoebe had some issues with certain things. She wasn't a Mary Sue, knowing how to do everything, because she's the BESTEST EVAR! She didn't know everything and she had faults to her character. She needed help from her grandfather - a straight, white male, to guide her on how to fix the Proton Pack. She didn't automatically fix it on her own with no help from a male. "I don't needs no help from a penis. YAASSS queen!" There was none of that. She also needed Egon's help, as well as the rest of the Ghostbusters (who are all male, if you forget), as well as her brother's help to beat Gozer. Again, how is this woke? 

If this was woke, her, her mother, and Callie (the woke crowd would give her bonus points for skin color) would be able to defeat Gozer, the Terror Dogs, and the old Ghostbusters would look like bums who don't know what they're doing. Maybe except for Winston, but he's straight, so they'll dock a few points off of his social credit score. Phoebe would've been able to defeat Gozer on her own, no problem, and while she did that she would spit on Egon's grave, proclaiming she did a better job than HIM at busting Gozer. Then she would demand an apology from Peter and Ray for being white and then they tell her she's super amazing and then suddenly they die of heart attacks, become ghosts, Phoebe traps them as well. Winston says he never liked whitey anyway ... GHOSTBUSTERS! The end. Thankfully they didn't go this route. Again, how is this movie woke? 

Callie is a struggling mother who doesn't blame her problems on the patriarchy. Lucky is a black woman who doesn't blame her problems on white people or doesn't once whine about white privilege, despite Summerville being mostly white. Yes, she makes the comment about Gozer being woke for someone from 3,000 B.C. but I don't think it was the movie flying the woke flag and I took it more as something someone from modern day would say about Gozer, no matter if they're right or left. Remember, in the original 1984 Ghostbusters, they did say Gozer is neither male or female. Now put that in a 2021 context and someone would say that sounds woke, even if they're just kidding. I still rolled my eyes, I think it would've been better if she didn't say that, but in the end, I understand why given the time we're in. Whether Jason Reitman did it as a dig towards Republicans or did it as a joke, I don't care. I'm not going to let one line of dialogue ruin a movie for me. 

Also, if it was woke, it is a very patriotic woke movie. Did you see all the American flags in Ghostbusters: Afterlife? There was a ton! Whether it was on a flag pole or in the classroom or in Wal-Mart or there were also few places where you had the color scheme of red, white, and blue. If this was truly woke, they wouldn't have American flags everywhere. Why? Because woke people hate America. Hell, I think the woke people reading this will even proudly agree with that sentiment. I mean, yes, I'm fully aware that they probably only did that because it's a small town and 'small town folk' are normally patriotic or at the very least have a respect for the country, so American flags are common place and they probably just did that to get the small town aesthetic right. I should know, I'm from and still live in a small town. I don't know Jason or Ivan Reitman's politics. I know Dan Akroyd has had some lefty takes over the years, but I don't think he necessarily hates the U.S. But even if they were leftist, woke, whatever, at least they swallowed their opinions to make a small town look like a small town. Again, if this was woke --- no U.S. flags. 
 
In closing, while yes, I, James, the guy behind Scared Sheetless, does not like the woke stuff, think it does more harm than good for inclusion and diversity, think the people claiming this is woke need to get their eyes checked. Jesus Christ, this movie is nowhere near woke and I think some people, even those "on my side" are just looking for things to bitch at, it's pathetic. 

Friday, January 14, 2022

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Spoiler Spooktacular Review: I Loved It, But It's Not Without Issues


Future me: Hello folks. I've been working on this review for about eight days now (it's currently January 14th, 2022). I've written so much about this movie that for your sake, I've gone through it many of times to delete parts I think I can recycle for something later, but also trim the fat and give this review some breathing room. The parts I deleted, which there were some big chunks, I'm going to recycle for some different related posts about Afterlife or Ghostbusters. I'll make sure to link them at the bottom of this when they become available. There's so much I want to discuss about this movie, but if I don't get this out soon, I know I never will, because I'll constantly go, "Oh, shit! I forgot to talk about (this or that)." Anyway, this review is hopefully not long-winded and I really appreciate you reading it. Hell, if you even make it half way I'd still be thankful. So much to cover. Enjoy.

It All Started with a Teaser 

I remember seeing the first teaser trailer, the one where it takes place at the Dirt Farm and it's slowly panning toward the barn, as you can hear the Proton Pack, then you see a familiar car draped over with canvas, and just as that wonderful Elmer Bernstein score reaches it's high pitch, the drape moves to the side and you see the Ghostbusters logo on the Ecto-1. Talk about chills. Well, much like Grease, as time went on, they started multiplying. 
 
Then we got the official first trailer, where we get to see some of the new characters and Phoebe using the PKE Meter to find Egon's secret underground lab with some of the props from the first movie, as well as the jumpsuits and the Proton Pack. I remember watching it with a friend of mine and he's a huge Ghostbusters fan too, and we just had these huge smiles on our faces pointing out all the details, like the spores, molds, and fungus, and that the mining company was owned by Ivo Shandor. I remember telling my friend in manic detail about why it makes sense Ivo Shandor would have a mining company. That in the first movie, the jail scene where they were going over the blueprints of the apartment building Dana Barret lived in, and how Ivo Shandor used specific metals to create the gateway at the top of the building to bring Gozer back. It was like being a kid again! 

Then, we get to the movie ... well, two years later. Because of Covid, they had to keep pushing the date further and further back, but eventually it came out. But did it came, did it saw, did it kick ass? Short answer: yes. Unfortunately I didn't get to see it in theaters and there's a few reasons why: I live in New Hampshire and the part I live in, there's not a lot of theaters around that are open due to Covid. This movie had to come out in winter time and I'd rather not drive in the middle of a snow storm. The last reason is I accidentally stumbled upon the ending of the movie, just reading about it, not seeing it, and I knew there might be a slight chance some water works will happen, so I'd rather not be a thirty-three year old, grown ass man sobbing like a baby in the middle of a potentially packed movie theater.

On January 4th, I received a Facebook message from my cousin, who was someone else looking forward to this movie. He sends me this image: 


My eyes zeroed in on two words, "Watch Now." Look at my reaction. Doesn't sound desperate at all, does it? 


Literally 10 seconds after starting the movie ... 



He probably thought I was going nuts. 

So, I watched it ... then I watched it immediately after the first viewing. Then ... you know what, this will take a while. Since January 4th, I have watched this movie seven times. May watch it again tonight, it's only been a few days since my last viewing! You may be thinking to yourself, wow, he must really like this movie. I do, but is it perfect? Let's finally get to the review. 

Okay, about to start the review, but because I haven't done this in a while, let me give newcomers a disclaimer. I don't do normal reviews where people break down the movie. I just give you The Good, The Middle Ground, and The Bad, because I'm assuming anyone who is reading a spoiler review has already seen this movie. With that out of the way, suit up, get your Proton Packs on, and let's talk Ghostbusters: Afterlife. 

The Good to The Great to The I Love This:
 
Despite what some reviewers are saying, I loved this movie. It was the most fun I've had watching a movie in quite a while. I can't name any Marvel movies that made me feel this happy like this movie did. A lot of people, even those who weren't crazy about this movie, have said this is a love letter to not only Ghostbusters movies, but fans as well, and I fully agree. Afterlife has a lot of heart and even those who didn't care for this movie have said the movie's heart is in the right place.


 -Afterlife also has a ton of emotional moments. Now, the only thing that really gives the tear ducts a workout is the ending, or at least to me. The other moment that got me teary eyed was when Callie, who thought her father, Egon, abandoned her, finds out that Egon had been tracking her entire life. 

When Callie goes into Egon's secret lab, she finds a wall dedicated to her life, from her being a baby to adulthood. I'm assuming she at least knew her father for a short amount of time by reading Egon's post it notes, which I loved discovering, because I missed those on my first few watch throughs. The post it notes give a little bit more of a back story and they're totally Egon. I remember smiling when discovering them and just exclaiming, "That is so Egon!" Because the notes are scientific. My favorite is a photo of a young Callie and above Egon writes a note saying along the lines, "Get a strange feeling when seeing this photo. Heart pulse goes up. It may be frost bite." Which makes me think Egon actually took the photo, because how would he get frost bite by just looking at a photo?

As of right now, we can only guess by piecing this movie's hints together that Egon did have something to do with her earlier life, which could by why Callie feels abandoned and resentment towards him. Now, if Egon was never a part of her life, she would feel bad, but not this bitter resentment towards him like she does in the movie. She really drives the hate wagon with people when the subject of her father comes up. I think if Egon had nothing to do with her whatsoever, she would hate him for sure, but wouldn't be this mad at him, or at least I don't think. 

Also, if you read the notes, you can get a better idea of how old Callie is; the earliest note I found was from 1982 (I think, I know there's one from 1983), so that means Egon had Callie a few years prior to the first Ghostbusters movie, which is 1984, making Callie somewhere in her late 30s by the time the Summerville incident takes place in 2021. 

Yes, I know, some people have said they ripped off the "Do It For Her" bit from The Simpsons, but as someone who has had a similar experience to Callie, I think that's why I'm being more lenient towards this part of the movie, because I've felt the same way she did. I'm not going to get into it too much, but I didn't know my father until I was eighteen and always had mixed signals about him prior to meeting him. This group of my Mom's side would say he's a nice man, but this other side would say he's not, and it confused the hell out of me. By the way, when I did meet him, he wasn't a bad guy. He had problems showing his emotions, sure, but he meant well and was a nice guy. Also, where I can relate to Callie is all those photos. I remember when I went to my Dad's parents, my grandparents house, and they had photos of me throughout my childhood as well, and come to find out my mother had been sending them photos of me, so that way they could watch me grow up ... unfortunately through photos, but still. Again, I can relate to this, so that's why I loved this part of the movie, because I can relate to it. 


-I also really enjoyed Egon's ghost reactions with Phoebe and I actually really liked how they did it. I call it the Jaws affect where we don't see the shark, but we know he's around. This is the same thing with Egon's ghost in Afterlife. We don't see him, but we know he's guiding Phoebe. Whether it's through the PKE Meter or turning on lights one by one or moving lamps around, we know he's there. That's one thing I have to give this movie credit for is that it's subtly is its charm. They don't make this movie a special effects extravaganza and they don't have to, they do clever things to make us aware of Egon's presence even without showing him.

Phoebe finding the jumpsuits, the Crunch bar (not sure if it's the same one Peter gave him. "You earned it."), Egon's glasses, but then also Egon helping her fix the Proton Pack was a terrific scene and showed that, yeah, Egon needed help to save the world, but he was also trying to spend time with his family is touching. 

-Afterlife's cast is pretty good in this, but there are a few standouts who I think if they weren't in this movie, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it as much. 

Phoebe - McKenna Grace

She's basically the best part of Afterlife, in my opinion. You can tell McKenna Grace is a Ghostbusters fan and did her homework for this part. She didn't do an Egon impersonation, but instead exhibited traits of him to where people will think that's Egon's granddaughter. Callie and Trevor don't show signs of this at all, which isn't a bad thing. I know some people were like, "How can she act like Egon when she's never met him?" To that I defend it with, dude, I said before I didn't meet my father until I was eighteen, but family members would tell me when I was growing up that I had traits of him, despite not knowing him. Years later, when I did meet him, my uncles would tell me that I have his sense of humor and bits and pieces of his personality. I only knew my father for a year, by the way, even though he lived for a few more years. Long story and this isn't the place to discuss it, but basically what I'm trying to say is some things are genetic. Like I get told quite often I'm grumpy just like my maternal grandmother. 

Phoebe also had signs of just being her own person. She wasn't as stiff as Egon was and I would say she was a mixture of Ghostbusters 1 and Ghostbusters 2 Egon, because remember, Egon was a little bit more outgoing in the second movie: cracking jokes (he even tells a dick joke to Peter - "I think they're more interested in my epididymus."), grinning more often, sleeping with the mood slime, "Do Ray Egon-" Wait. Sleeping with mood slime? It's always the quiet ones. Phoebe also likes to tell jokes, but I think this is more of a nervous tick to make friends. 

McKenna Grace did wonderful in this role and I hope she's a mainstay in future Ghostbusters installments. 

Podcast - Logan Kim

Although I don't like to make comparisons from the new characters to old characters, but Podcast is to Phoebe like Ray was to Egon. Ray was the wide eyed believer who was always excited by anything paranormal. Compared to Egon, who viewed the paranormal through a lens of science rather than excitement. This is the dynamic I felt between Podcast and Phoebe's characters and it worked great. Both of them have proven to not let youth think they can't act, because in their respecting roles, they did fantastic. 

Even those who didn't get as much joy out of this film agreed that Podcast was a welcomed addition to the growing assemble of Ghostbusters characters. He's funny, adventurous, smart enough to hold his own, and compliments Phoebe's shy, nerdy demeanor. Also, he's a great friend for laughing at Phoebe's terrible jokes. I wish some of my friends would've done that for me! 

Logan Kim, Podcast, did a great job and this was his first movie. Wow! I wish him a bright future and hope he's a mainstay in Ghostbusters. Yes, I've said this twice now, but I'd love to see more of these characters. 

Gary Grooberson - Paul Rudd 

When I first heard that Paul Rudd was being considered to be in a new Ghostbusters movie, I was excited. In terms of new comedians, I'm usually not a big fan of today's comedians, but I always thought Rudd would fit in nicely in a Ghostbusters movie and thankfully I was right. Afterlife didn't have that many comedians in it, so I was afraid Paul Rudd was going to have to pull double duty to try to make up for the laughs and fall flat, but honestly his comedic timing worked perfectly well with everyone. He pretty much had chemistry with all those he interacted with. 

Of course, his best moments is the Mini-Pufts scene. His facial expressions, his timing, and the "Hey, buddy" with the Terror Dog work very well and although I've seen this scene many times, I still haven't tired of it, and it's one of my favorite scenes in the movie. The good thing is, it seems like Paul Rudd enjoyed his experience making this, so hopefully that means he's here to stay and we'll see more of him in future installments.

"Are you a God?" 

- Seems I'm in the minority, because I quite dug Gozer's updated look in Afterlife and thought Olivia Wilde did great in the role. But in actuality the credit doesn't just go to Wilde, because three people played Gozer in Afterlife. The face was Wilde, the almost dancer like movement was Emma Portner, and Gozer's vocals were done by Shohreh Aghdashloo (yes, I had to copy and paste that one). All did very well, in my opinion. 

"Did you miss us?"

- I remember hearing this in the last trailer and I don't want to admit this, but I did that annoying thing where people fan themselves off with their hands and go, "Oh, my God! Oh, my God!" Listen, I'm not proud of it now, but I was very excited then and I think I came close to having a stroke, so leave me alone! It was great seeing them. Sadly, the boys role in this was minimal, by about ten minutes (which I talk about more in the Middle Ground section), but it was awesome seeing them and I was smiling from ear to ear. I gotta laugh at when Gozer asks Ray again, "Are you a God?" and Winston's like, "Ray?" and Venkman says, "Oh, come on, Ray!" Great part, but you know what's also great is with Gozer remembering them, Gozer asks it almost mockingly, which I thought was a nice touch. 

- Speaking of the ending, I think the last thirty minutes of this movie is where it goes from really good to spectacular. The earlier pacing issues are nonexistent in the last half hour of the movie and it seems to go into high gear. I was glued to the TV for the last hour, but was at the edge of my seat for the last half hour. 

- The special effects were great in Afterlife. It wasn't neon vomit like it was in 2016 and the great thing is they use practical effects! Like the Terror Dogs are actual puppets and they look great! Yes, they still use CGI, but most of this is practical. Terrific idea and I wish more movies would do practical effects. 


- Speaking of special effects, let's talk about the newest addition to the Ghostbusters rogues gallery. That being Muncher. Some people are trying to compare him to Slimer, but I just don't see it aside from their appetites. I like Muncher, though and enjoyed the scenes he was in. I also liked how he inadvertently helped Phoebe and Podcast retrieve the equipment in the jail. I thought that was clever. 

- The music. Recycling Elmer Bernstein's original Ghostbusters score was, well, a score for this movie. It fit in well with the scenes they used them for and quite honestly, the new score works well too. A posthumous great job to Mr. Bernstein and a great job to the new composer, Rob Simonsen. 


The Middle Ground:


- I understand where some fans biggest criticisms is where are the original Ghostbusters? Aside from Janine showing up early in the movie. Ray shows up about one hour into the movie, but it's a short scene. The rest (Peter and Winston) do show up, but it's not until the very last ten minutes of the movie. Then, Peter and Dana have their own bonus scene during the credits, and Winston and Janine have their own scene post credits. 

Other than that, their roles in this movie are relatively short, which I understand where people may feel gipped. I mean it does say Ghostbusters in the title, right? But the thing is, Egon's presence is felt throughout the movie, as stated in the Good section of this review and the reason why this is Middle Ground is, yes, I would've felt better if the originals got more screen time, but I also understand what Jason Reitman was trying to do in that this is a movie about the Spengler family and them finding out about their grandfather. 

Plus it wouldn't make sense for the Ghostbusters to show up early in the movie when there wasn't a known danger present until later in the movie. As seen in the movie, Egon burned bridges with his friends by taking most of the equipment, the Ecto-1, and high-tailing it to a small town in Oklahoma, where people, including the other Ghostbusters, deemed his ramblings crazy. In movie time, Phoebe doesn't call Ray until the night before Gozer emerges from the "sacrificial pit" (as Podcast calls it). 

For reference, it takes 22 hours by car to reach Oklahoma from New York City. If Ray, Peter, and Winston flew they would get there quicker, but even then Ray would have to call Peter and Winston, tell them what's going on, or maybe they met up somewhere, and convince them to drop everything to go to Summerville, OK to help out a small girl they've never met. They would have to pack, maybe test out the equipment they have, jeez, getting all that through the airport would've been quite the experience, I'm sure. Which is why I don't think they flew and they probably pulled an all nighter driving. As of right now it's just a head canon idea of mine is that Ray must've told them about the phone call from Egon's granddaughter and they probably drove, because as said before, they probably wouldn't be able to get three Proton Packs (three nuclear accelerators, mind you) through the airport. I do agree that they should've elaborated more on how they got there. But quite honestly, I'm just glad they showed up, so screw it, this is middle ground for me. 

- As mentioned before, I like Muncher, but with what Mr. Grooberson said about how there hasn't been a ghost sighting in 30 years, you would think either Podcast or Phoebe would mention this or how it must be that ghosts didn't disappear, but the threat of the Ghostbusters made them go into hiding. 

"And together ... we can rule the-" RIP!

- J.K. Simmons as Ivo Shandor was a cool surprise and I think they based his look off of Shandor in Ghostbusters: The Video Game, which would be wicked cool if true. They even have the same beard. Simmons did a great job in his Ghostbusters debut and I loved what I saw, but the problem is he's only in it for like ten seconds, if you don't include the bits he's lying motionless in his glass coffin. The reason why this is middle ground is I liked what I saw and I'm okay with what they did, but I wish they would've given Simmons more time to shine as Ivo. 


Counter Arguing Some Negative Reviews/Misconceptions: 


Ghostbusters 2 Ecto-1a on left, Ghostbusters 1 Ecto-1 on right. 

- Where is Ecto-1A? Well, it's been right there the entire time! People have asked why the Ghostbusters just didn't take Ecto-1A, the car from Ghostbusters 2, to Summerville. I agree that them pulling up in Ecto-1A would've been awesome and a great moment for GB2 fans, but there is a problem with that. Ecto-1 and Ecto-1A are the same car, at least movie canon wise. In reality, they're two separate cars used for their respective movies, but movie wise, they're the same car. Remember in Ghostbusters 2 when Ray and Winston were making ends meet by doing birthday parties, the car was in rough shape, but after they were back in business, the car looked like it had been updated and fixed up. After the events of Vigo, they restored it back to its original Ecto-1 state and then eventually Egon stole it and took it to Summerville. 

Jason Reitman was asked about this in an interview about why the car was reverted back to it's original state. He said it would be revealed later, which points to a sequel to Afterlife which may tell us more about the events of Ghostbusters 2 In the same interview, Reitman did say Ghostbusters 2 is canon, but what happened in 2 will be explored some other time. Hey, I love Ghostbusters 2, so I'm all for the movies that come after this to have more references to the sequel. 

 "Ugh. Disgusting blob."
 
- Where is Slimer? This is the more common question I saw from friends and even though I'm okay with his absence in Afterlife, it does leave somewhat of an empty void, because we're used to seeing him. The last time we saw Slimer, in this canon at least, was in Ghostbusters 2. He seemed to be living in close proximity to the guys and scared poor Louis Tully on a few occasions. He was last seen in the movie driving a bus. I'm sure after Vigo was taken care of, the New York transit probably didn't let him keep driving bus, so where did he go? 

It's clear that in GB2, Slimer must've befriended the Ghostbusters and they kept him as a ghost pet, much like The Real Ghostbusters cartoon. Although their relationship isn't shown, he is seen roaming freely in the firehouse. With that in mind, what happened to him? Well, unfortunately we didn't get our answer in Afterlife, and from what I can see there are no Slimer Easter eggs either hinting at what happened to our favorite disgusting green blob. Is he still roaming the firehouse? Did he go back to the Sedgewick Hotel? ... Is he still driving bus? We don't know.

I can't really see Slimer fitting in with this story. Egon left New York City in a rush to stop, or delay, the return of Gozer. I don't think he would bring Slimer with him, as he would get in the way of his work. I thought maybe to shoehorn Slimer in the movie, Slimer could've followed Egon to Summerville, but how can that be explained in the movie? Maybe Egon re-catches him and builds a makeshift containment unit that Phoebe later finds and uses to study a ghost? Podcast would surely release him on accident and Slimer and Muncher could've been good friends. They like to eat, though their diets are vastly different. I'm not sure and I know some people are not going to like me saying this, I love Slimer, but I just don't see how he fits in this story. Maybe next movie. 

- It doesn't mention Ghostbusters 2016! No, that wasn't meant to be a happy yell, which if it was me it surely would be. That was meant to mimic the angry REEEEEEE! from the peanut gallery who just don't quite get how a sequel works. People actually hated Afterlife, because it ignored Ghostbusters: Answer the Call. Again, do you know how a sequel works, people? This is a sequel to the original Ghostbusters in 1984 and the sequel, Ghostbusters 2 in 1989. Who decided to neglect both these movies? Yes, I can see you shyly raising your hand ATC (Answer the Call). So, why would they put ATC in Afterlife when it completely ignored the original movies? Just because? Oh, I know why. I'll use this South Park gif to explain the reason. 


My question to Paul Feig is: How does it feel to be ignored? Doesn't feel nice. That's how we felt with your movie. 


The Bad: 

-There's not really a lot of bad with this movie. A lot of these are just knit-picks. I know people have talked about pacing issues where the movie just kind of becomes boring, which I somewhat agree. The movie does tend to become less interesting when it doesn't have to do with the story and some parts feel like filler. 


- Yes, I agree with most that the Trevor and Lucky stuff wasn't all that interesting. I mean, people could make parallels to the original with Peter and Dana, but I didn't see any. At least with Peter and Dana the story and the romantic interest intertwined. With this it's just Trevor trying to get lucky with Lucky and unfortunately it does drag the story down a little and takes me out of the movie. I'm not saying I didn't like their characters and this is not a knock on Finn or Celeste's performances, I thought they both did fine. But their love story didn't add anything to the overall story. Their scenes at the diner just kind of took me out of the movie and it's one of the only times this doesn't feel like a Ghostbusters movie and just feels like a young adult movie. 
 
Thankfully the scenes that do take me out are relatively short, so they're not a big deal. I understand character building, but I also felt there was no pay off for their story. Sure, they both had a hand in saving the world and that's great, but for their romantic link ... nothing comes from it. There's not even a kiss at the end, so there's no 'reward' for Trevor's part in saving Lucky from eternally becoming a Terror Dog. I also feel that they just didn't really have any chemistry with each other. Again, their acting is fine and I'm good with their inclusion in the story. I just felt like they could've done something else or more to make their connection interesting.

-The first hour has it's moments that keep my interest, but it also has it's moments where my interest went down a little. Only a little. I didn't 'fall asleep' like some other people said. I mean, Reitman does a good enough job to sprinkle some of that delicious Ghostbusters lore between the slower parts to keep me invested in the movie. In other words, there were some pacing issues, but Retiman at least put some stuff in between them to not make the story fall into sleepville. 

The RC Ghost Trap is cool and all, but ... 

There were some scenes that I think should've been elaborated more on. When Phoebe and Podcast get a ride from Trevor in the Ecto-1, Podcast finds the RC Ghost Trap in a compartment. There's no reaction from anyone in the car, not even Podcast questions, "What is this?" It's almost as if everyone knew that was there, but this is the first time Phoebe and Podcast have been in the Ecto-1, so they wouldn't know about the secret compartments or the RC Trap. I think they should've been a bit more perplexed of the car's features, rather than just knowing how to use them from first sight. At least both Phoebe and Podcast reacted when they accidentally found the Gunner Seat.

- Another thing is, I think they should've fleshed out Egon helping Phoebe with the Proton Pack. I loved the scene with him helping her, but I think it should've shown Egon also finding a way to help her with the mechanics behind using the pack. She does say to Podcast that she met her grandfather last night and he helped her with the Proton Pack, so maybe Egon taught her about how to use it, but I think the movie would've benefited more showing this than just telling us. 


I did enjoy the scene where she used it for the first time, but Phoebe is small and should've had more issues with handling the Proton Pack. Maybe when she first put it on, having her stumble around with it before finding her footing, maybe Podcast helps her by ends up falling over or something, and having problems with aiming, because of the power of the neuron stream would've been more realistic. If the original four grown men complained about the Proton Pack and how heavy it is, bulky. Even Venkman stumbled putting it on in the court scene in Ghostbusters 2. Then a tiny, little girl should've had even more problems with it. The fact she's wearing it doesn't bother me at all, but they should've taken a bit more of a realistic approach to it is all. 

Also, during the climax of the movie, when Lucky kicks open the door and uses the Pack, she automatically knows how to use it. Now, I can just use my head canon and think that Phoebe did a quick course with both Trevor and Lucky on how to use the Proton Packs, but a lot of people are not as forgiving as me and I think the audience would've appreciated seeing this, rather than just accepting it as they just know how to use it. It's not like a regular gun, there's a bit more to it and I think them being taught how to use it would've shown more respect to the equipment they're using. As Egon said to Bobby Brown in Ghostbusters 2, the Proton Pack is not a toy. It shouldn't be treated as one either. 


-I know Jason Reitman said the lore of Ghostbusters 2 would be explored in later installments, but I still think it would've been cool to show a little bit more love to the sequel. I know they had Ray's Occult, which was first seen in GB2, and that was great, but maybe when Ray was discussing with Phoebe the downfall of the Ghostbusters, have him say something along the lines of, "Business was good until shortly after our battle with Vigo the Carpathian, a haunted painting." And go from there. There's some reviewers who, despite what Reitman has confirmed, staunchly believe Ghostbusters 2 does not exist in Afterlife's canon. So maybe a little bit more of GB2 loving would've gone a long way.


- How did Phoebe get Gary's map? Remember not even a half hour before Phoebe is showing Podcast, Lucky and Trevor the old map of Summerville, Gary was looking through Egon's belongings along with Callie and found the old map of Summerville. Gary asked Callie if he can have it and she told him he could. But in a later scene, Phoebe now has the map with no explanation of how she now has it. Was there another one? Did Gary show her it at school? We could use our head canon and think of a fantasy scene of Phoebe telling Gary about the ghost that came out of the trap resembled one of Gozer's Terror Dogs and Gary shows her the map, which he allows her to borrow it. But the problem is, there's a few moments in this movie where we do have to use our own imagination to connect the dots. If there's one major issue I can say about this movie is that they don't show some things when showing it would've been better in this movie. 
 
-How did Gozer come back? Unless you remember the crossing the streams climax from the first film, "total protonic reversal", a lot of casual fans will not understand. I understand how Gozer is back, as well as other Ghostheads, because we live for the lore of Ghostbusters and eat up any information we can like Slimer at a hot dog stand. We're all set and even if it's not explained, we can connect the dots. My point is, casual fans who do not study the lore will eventually overtime forget details of the story. I mean, Ghostbusters came out almost 40 years ago in 1984. There's a lot of casual fans, but I'm sure they're not watching it multiple times a year like hardcore fans, or both movies multiple times a year in my case. 
 
Also, I can't count how many Youtubers I saw who are self-proclaimed Ghostbusters mega-fans, can't even name one of the Terror Dogs actual names or even forget names of main characters. You can't rely on the actual die hard fans to tell the casuals how Gozer came back to Afterlife. I'm not saying this to insult casuals, I'm looking out for them, because I want them to enjoy this movie just as much as we do. A simple line could've worked or maybe Phoebe finds a notebook Egon was constantly updating on his pursuits of stopping the arrival of Gozer. He explains how when they crossed the streams, they ended up destroying the gate hence sending Gozer out of our world, but he finds out there are other gateways across the country or the whole world. Ivo Shandor, using his Shandor Mining Company as a cover up, found another shrine with another gateway that would allow Gozer to return. Again, that's one of my major issues with this movie is that they should've done a better job connecting the dots as it would've definitely helped those who wouldn't know how to connect those dots.

- I loved the ending, but I think an additional ten minutes would've been good. With the ending, the Spengler's got closure with their grandfather, but then it just fades to black and I feel like we, the audience, should've gotten closure with the family and the originals. Peter made reference to have cocoa inside (with rum in it for the adults) and maybe we should've seen this bit. I further elaborate on what I would've liked to seen in the Fantasy Writing section, but we got closure from Egon, but I think seeing what happens to the Spengler family would've been nice too. I mean, I know Sony has signed Jason Reitman to a deal and there's a big chance we'll see more Ghostbusters movies from him, but just in case we don't, it would've been nice to see the aftermath of Gozer with the Spengler family and where they go from here. This is something I would've love to see, but I still think they should've had something for the Spengler family after Egon's goodbye. Speaking of ... 

That Ending 

The ending of this movie deserves it's very own dedicated spot in this review, because it is one of the best, most emotional tributes to a childhood hero of mine that I've ever seen. It has heart and love for not just a character, but for the man who created and played the character. I'm referring to Egon Spengler/Harold Ramis. As we all know this movie's main premise is telling the story about the Spengler family and Callie, Trevor, and Phoebe finding out more about Callie's father and Trevor and Phoebe's grandfather. 

I remember accidentally stumbling upon what happened in the ending from a review I watched. I actually did a pretty good job staying away from spoilers and just stuck to non-spoiler reviews, but I did unfortunately hear about the ending to Afterlife before I watched it, but it didn't tarnish it for me. How the ending is is when Peter, Ray, and Winston's plan to cross the streams doesn't work a second time on Gozer and throws them against the car, Phoebe tries to buy them time by taking Gozer on herself and a ghost power versus neuron power ensues, but just when hope seems lost, Egon makes an appearance in ghost form to help out his granddaughter, giving them the hope they need and it's beautiful. 

The way the camera is positioned and how at first you just see a ghostly hand go over Phoebe's on the neuron wand and then the camera pans around to the front, you see Callie's shocked face, and then you see him - Egon Spengler for the first time in this movie and maybe final time in a Ghostbusters movie. Graveyard Disciples, I'm telling you, I do get emotional with some movies, especially ones I really love, but I don't cry. It's not a tears running down my cheeks type of cry, just an emotional feeling. This? I lied on my Facebook post where I told my friends and family that I had tears in my eyes. No, no, no. I ugly cried. Both the kid in me who would watch Ghostbusters 1 and 2 on repeat, The Real Ghostbusters, Extreme Ghostbusters, marveled at the Ghostbusters Spooktacular show at Universal Studios: Orlando (I can still smell the marshmallow effect from that show). The adult who played and beat Ghostbusters: The Video Game maybe over ten times, read every IDW Ghostbusters comic, and kept watching both movies in my adult years were both crying in unison. 

The best way I can describe it is like how Tom from Midnight's Edge described the whole movie, it was like a religious experience and it was a wonderful ending. A happy hello, it's been a while since we've seen you our old friend, but a tearful goodbye knowing this will be the last time. A true memorial for Egon Spengler to the fans who adored him. The first time I saw this ending was the worst, ugly crying, almost sobbing. The second time I watched this it was a little bit dryer, but folks, I've watched this movie seven times, as of this writing, and the tears don't go away, and I hope they never do. It's that great of an ending and it goes right up there among my most favorites.
 
I have read and watched numerous reviews for this movie and even the ones who didn't like this movie agree that the ending is great. It's also not cheap either. They really make it look like an aged Harold Ramis is suited up in his Ghostbusters gear. It's so realistic, it's amazing. Great job by the special effects team. 

Don't worry about crying, Phoebe. You had grown men in their 30s, 40s, and beyond crying with you.


In Closing ... 

I actually feel bad for the people who couldn't get any joy out of this movie. I understand some of their reasons, but I loved this movie. I feel like it is the perfect love letter not just to the movies, but to the fans as well. The references, for the most part, are subtle enough to not go into 'memberberries' territory, or at least I don't think they did. I know some people will disagree with me on that. The movie is charming. The characters fit the movie quite well and I want to see where they can take this and I look forward to it. I also really enjoyed how the movie was Ghostbusters, but it also had flavors of other movies as well. To me, it felt like Ghostbusters meets The Goonies meets Back to the Future (some of the music sounded very BTTF-ish/Alan Silvestri vibes). The Mini-Pufts scene had to be inspired by Gremlins and I don't think I was the only one who was reminded of E.T. from time to time. Like I explained to some family and friends, this movie is like a trail mix of different movies. It's Ghostbusters, yes, but it pays soft homages to other movies as well. 
 
Is there some issues? Yes. This movie isn't perfect. When I started writing this review, I was going to give it 10/10, perfect grade, but when I watched the movie a couple more times, and the excitement mellowed out a little bit, I started seeing the problems and unfortunately it does bring the final grade down a little. I would say this movie is a 7 - 8/10. A really good to great (it may take me a couple more viewings to decide on if it's a 7 or an 8.) The first time experience was definitely a 10/10 and I'll always fondly remember the first time watching this and how much fun I had. All things considered, I still really enjoy the story, the characters, the setting, and most certainly that ending. It may not be as perfect as the original Ghostbusters, but I do find it to be a worthy successor. 

My hat is off to everyone who worked on bringing us a continuation of the movies I loved as a child. Jason Reitman, you should be proud, and I look forward to what you have in store for this incredible franchise.

More Ghostbusters Afterlife: 
Coming Soon!

More Ghostbusters: 
Coming Soon!