Is Ghostbusters: Afterlife OK to Watch with Kids? - Family Movie Review

Ghostbusters: Afterlife - Image from Sony Pictures


There was a time in my life where I dreamed of owning a real proton pack and cruising around town in my very own Ecto-1 vehicle.  I mean, after all, if you were a child of the 80s, was there anything cooler than dreaming of being a Ghostbuster?  In looking back on the original films, they're not exactly "kid friendly," but I remember watching them and planning my own ghost-busting missions around town.  In 2021, the Ghostbusters franchise has been resurrected with the arrival of Ghostbusters: Afterlife.  I definitely knew this was on a "must watch" list of mine, but was debating whether or not to see it with the kids.  Following our IMAX viewing this weekend, I'm ready to answer the question - is Ghostbusters: Afterlife OK to watch with kids?

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Movie Review


Ghostbusters: Afterlife is set in the present day - nearly 40 years after the OG Ghostbusters crew saved New York from total annihilation.  Our new film picks up with a family coming to rural midwestern America following the death of an estranged father and grandfather.  When they arrive, the precocious tweenage daughter, Phoebe (McKenna Grace), quickly discovers that there is much more to this small town than what meets the eye.  With the help of her equally curious summer school teacher, Mr. Grooberson (Paul Rudd), they start to speculate about what might be leading to strange occurances around town, while at the same time Phoebe and her family uncover their families connection to the original Ghostbusters.  


Ghostbusters: Afterlife - Image from Sony Pictures



Similar to the original movie, there is a good mix of comedy, scares, and even a little love story for the audiences.  Unlike the original though, the graphics are way better leading this to be a more "real" experience for the viewer.  Watching the movie in IMAX was immersive - featuring a few jump out of your seat moments, even though they were predictable.  Grace, Rudd, and Logan Kim (who plays Podcast) all carry the film and fans will be happy to know that there are quite a few cameos and nostalgic nods as well.  

Don't forget to stick around during the credits for both a mid-credits AND a post-credits scene.  They are worth the watch and hint that maybe we haven't heard the last of the Ghostbusters just yet!

Is Ghostbusters: Afterlife OK to Watch with Kids?


Ghostbusters: Afterlife - Image from Sony Pictures



All in all, I think this movie is more kid-friendly than our 80s original.  Looking back, I actually can't believe that I watched the Ghostbusters movies at such a young age.  There is less sexual dialogue than the original, but there is some mildly inappropriate language for young kids spaced throughout the film.  The violence is cartoonish / supernatural - nothing bloody or gory.  The same goes for the scare factor.  I actually think this one is a bit scarier than the original with a few more "jump-in-your-seat" moments throughout.  My kids curled in to us to cover their heads quickly and then were right back into the movie.  The real stars of the film are kids this time around which makes this storyline even more relatable to younger audiences than what we watched growing up in the 80s and 90s.  Ultimately, I use an Avengers litmus test and don't rate this any worse than watching an Avengers movie with your kids.  If that's too much for your family, then you may want to screen this first before watching with your little ones.  

About Ghostbusters: Afterlife (From Sony Pictures)





From director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman, comes the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, when a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind. The film is written by Gil Kenan & Jason Reitman.