Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

The first Ghostbusters: Afterlife trailer arrived this morning, delivering a heavy dose of nostalgia in the form of an Amblin-style adventure that looks like it came straight out of the ’80s. Even though the trailer does have plenty of fan service in it, this sequel, which is a direct follow-up to the first two films in the franchise, looks rather promising. Naturally, there were plenty of interesting details for us to pluck out and note, including a bunch of Easter eggs.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

The opening shot of this trailer reveals that we’ll be heading to where no Ghostbusters movie has taken us before: outside of New York City. This isn’t even close to a city of any kind. It’s the middle of nowhere in a town called Summerville, Oklahoma.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

Here’s Finn Wolfhard as Trevor, the oldest sibling in a family of three led by a single mother. Here, he sits on some mining equipment, talking to a girl he’s just met, explaining a troubled situation that would be hard for any teen to deal with.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

Carrie Coon (Gone Girl) plays his mother, Callie, who picks up an eviction notice from the front of their apartment. She’s fallen on hard times and even though she won’t admit it, Trevor knows they’re broke. That leaves them only one option.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

They have to move out. Grabbing as much as they can, including what appears to be a couple toolboxes, they head out of their old home. Thankfully, they have a new one waiting for them, but it’s a less than ideal sitaution.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

Here’s Mckenna Grace as Phoebe, sharing some interesting traits with a certain member of the Ghostbusters. That curly hair and those round spectacles undoubtedly call back to Egon Spengler, but we’ll get to that later. Phoebe clearly isn’t enjoying this drive away from their home, especially when they see where they’ll be staying for the foreseeable future.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

This farmhouse was left to Callie by the father she never knew. It’s old and rundown. There are multiple old cars outside the front. The barn looks like it’s about to collapse at any minute. And what are those tanks that look like they have antennae sticking out of them? Is that some kind of back-up power source? Why would a farmhouse need that much power?

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

Back at the mine, Trevor has his chat interrupted when the mine elevator seat suddenly shakes. All the kids hanging out are a bit spooked when they see a green glow grow from the mine.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

Then a burst of green shoots out of the mine. We’ve seen those kind of trails before, and it’s not an explosion or anything like that. What we have here could be a a Class 5 full roaming vapor. More than likely, it’s a real nasty one too.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

Summer school is in session, and Paul Rudd is the teacher, Mr. Grooberson. He’s talking about how Summerville has been experiencing earthquakes on a daily basis despite not sitting on any tectonic plates or fault lines. Clearly something else is about to shake up this sleepy town in a big way. It’s interesting to note that the green marks on that map look a little like slime trails.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

Before one of these earthquakes catches the family off-guard, they’re checking out the house that is now their home. There’s not much to see just yet, but take note of the books stacked in the living room. Surely no human being would stack books like this.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

The family rushes to hide under the kitchen table to avoid getting hit by anything that might fall on them. Finn Wolfhard brings the one shred of comedy we get from this trailer when he says, “Hey, remember that one summer we died under a table?”

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

After surviving the earthquake, the family is back to exploring. Phoebe has stumbled upon something interesting. There’s some kind of puzzle using the sliding wood pieces that make up the floor. After shifted around the right way, they open up some kind of hole in the floor.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

That’s apparently where Phoebe stumbles upon a familiar device. Mr. Grooberson is impressed with what he calls a “killer replica.” But Phoebe has no idea what it’s supposed to be a replica of. It doesn’t even register when Paul Rudd says it’s a ghost trap. These kids have no idea who the Ghostbusters are or what they did in New York City back in 1984.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

Mr. Grooberson shows them some footage on the internet of the “Manhattan Crossrip” from 1984 where an explosion of paranormal activity rocked the city. He says New York in the 1980s was like The Walking Dead. Recently released details explained that Rudd’s character was a kid when these events happened, and he’s one of the few who still remembers that day. Since then, there hasn’t been a ghost sighting anywhere, as far as he knows.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

It looks like that ghost trap isn’t the only thing that Phoebe stumbles upon. In this shot, a PKE meter leads her to what appears to be a shed, presumably behind the farmhouse.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

Inside that farmhouse is a pole that goes somewhere underground. Yes, the pole still works. It’s dark at first, but we can make out some items lying around.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

First, there are all these jars and petri dishes lying around. If you look up some of those names on the labels, you’ll find that they’re various spores, molds, and fungus. Do you know anyone who would have a collection of those lying around?

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

How about somebody with a proton pack in the middle of the table? Is that ringing any bells now? Whoever their grandfather was, he’s dead now, and Phoebe’s mother says they’re just picking through the rubble of his life.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

Mr. Grooberson, still fascinated with the ghost trap as it glows and opens, can’t help but wonder exactly who she is and why her grandfather has all this stuff. In case you haven’t figured it out by now, it’s very likely…

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

Egon Spengler. He’s the man who figured out how to capture and store ghosts so he and his cohorts, Ray Stantz and Peter Venkman, could get into the ghostbusting business. They’re paranormal exterminators, but what happened to them after the 1980s? Are all of their suits in storage here, or just Egon’s?

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

Upon first inspection, this is just a shot of Phoebe and her new friend standing in front of a place that they’re not supposed to go exploring. The signs show this area has been abandoned for some time, and it’s dangerous thanks to the open mine shafts. But there’s an interesting little detail to spot here. Notice the sign that has the name of the mining company? It’s called Shandor Mining Co. Does that name sound familiar? It should.

Ivo Shandor was the leader of the Cult of Gozer and the designer of 550 Central Park West, which is where the Manhattan Crossrip took place in 1984, the apartment complex in which Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) was living. Perhaps this will give us some more information about how Shandor came to worship Gozer and attempted to summon him to our world.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

Trevor is about to stumble upon another interesting piece of Ghostbusters history. He’s opening the barn door, and thanks to the first teaser trailer for the new Ghostbusters movie, we know what’s hiding under that sheet. But we’ll get to that in a moment

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

The next part of the trailer is a series of shots in quick succession, including this one of Tracey Letts. We caught a quick glimpse of him earlier in the trailer when the earthquake hit and shook this hardware store. Letts seems to be the owner, or at least the employee working there. And something strange seems to be going on since the power is flickering and the man is approaching cautiously with a shovel in his hand.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

Another quick series of shots shows some kind of force moving through parked school buses, shattering the windows and scaring the hell out of Phoebe, who is caught in the middle of it.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

Whatever is causing this explosion of shattered glass appears to catch Mr. Grooberson off-guard, forcing him to duck and look in surprise at whatever just swooped past him. Could this be something that was still inside the ghost trap? Or is it whatever came out of the mine before?

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

Another shot in the montage shows Phoebe looking rather concerned as some king of orange, glowing mass surges in the background. Could this be the collection of energy that’s causing all these earthquakes. Is there a chance Egon attempted to figure out a way to store the ghosts in some kind of underground containment unit and it’s on the verge of unleashing a bunch of ghosts again?

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

It would seem at least one paranormal creature has been unleashed on the town. Paul Rudd looks rather shocked when this foot smashes down on his car’s hood. That looks like it could belong to one of the terror dogs controlled by Gozer.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

Trevor has taken some time to mess with what he found under those sheets in the barn. It’s a certain old vehicle we’ve seen plenty of before. It needed a lot of work back in 1984, and it appears to need some love again. But Trevor gets it started.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

A door opens up to show off an unmistakable license plate with the vehicle’s namesake on it. And then…

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

The Ecto-1 is back, roaring through a wheatfield in the middle of nowhere. It’s a little dusty and worn down, but at least it’s running again. But we’re wondering why this isn’t the Ecto-1A from Ghostbusters 2 As far as we know, there was only ever one car the Ghostbusters had, and it was just upgraded in the second movie. But all the details from that version of the car are nowhere to be seen on this one. Maybe there’s an explanation for that. We know they’re not entirely disregarding the second movie since Paul Rudd said a ghost hadn’t been seen in 30 years, which would take us back to 1989, when the sequel took place. Anyway, we’re about to see something the car has inside that has never been used in the movies before.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

The Ecto-1 has a “gunner seat” that rotates out from inside the car and allows the passenger to shoot from the moving vehicle.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

Thankfully, video games have probably prepared these kids for this moment their whole life. Phoebe in the gunner seat, using a proton pack and neutrino wand as Trevor drives the Ecto-1 in pursuit of a ghost.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

Look carefully and you can see the ghost flying away near the Empress theater sign as the proton stream rips into it and creates an explosion of sparks. I love that the stream looks exactly as it did in the original, even going so far as to appear imperfect, like it’s still a visual effect from the 1980s.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Breakdown

You can get an even better glimpse of the ghost as the Ecto-1 speeds through town here, still blasting stuff apart as the kids are in pursuit. It looks like a mix of Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man or Fatso from the Casper movie. Could the ghosts that the Ghostbusters dispatched with before be slowly getting released into the world again? Will Mr. Stay Puft make a return? What about Gozer?

***

This is a great tease of this movie to start with. It sets the stage for what’s to come, peppers in some nostalgia, and lays out exactly what kind of adventure we’re going to have. It’s missing some of that trademark humor from the original movies, but I’m betting that’s something we’re going to get plenty of in the full movie. The next trailer, whenever it arrives, may even deliver more of that after people are more aware that it even exists.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife arrives in theaters on July 10, 2020.

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