Small Details You Missed In The Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer


The trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the
fourth movie in the franchise – counting that non-canon 2016 one… is finally here. It
features callbacks galore, but plenty of these are so brief and subtle that they’re easy
to miss. But don’t be afraid of no Ghostbusters nostalgia. Be ready to believe us about these
crucial details from the trailer. Down-on-her-luck Callie has exhausted her
employment opportunities and money in the big city, so she packs up her teenage son
Trevor and tween daughter Phoebe to make the trip across the country to a dilapidated old
Oklahoma farmhouse, the only thing left to the family by their dear, deceased, conspicuously
unnamed grandfather. We learn from the wonderfully named summer
school teacher Mr. Grooberson that the town has become plagued by sudden and frequent
earthquakes, despite its considerable distance from tectonic plates and absence of loud music.
During one of those tremors is a callback to an early scene in the original Ghostbusters. As the earth starts to shake around Trevor
and his family, we see some books stacked unnecessarily high in the background. You
may recall that in the 1984 flick, one of the team’s first encounters with a malevolent
spirit comes as they investigate weird occurrences at the New York Public Library, where they
find a bunch of books stacked in just such a manner. “Symmetrical book stacking, Just like the
Philadelphia mass turbulence of 1947.” Those ominously stacked books seem to be the
herald of supernatural activity once again. Paul Rudd, who plays Mr. Grooberson, gets
a lot of face time in the trailer, and it certainly looks like his character will serve
a significant purpose. He’s a die-hard Ghostbusters fanboy, and he’s got the background info to
help our young heroes understand what the heck is going on in their new town. When Phoebe discovers one of the Ghostbusters’
old traps hidden in the family farmhouse, she brings it to school to puzzle over along
with one of her classmates. Mr. Grooberson proclaims it a, quote, “killer replica,” and
as he explains further, we hear a fluttery, unobtrusive piano motif. It’s the exact same
motif that Ghostbusters injects into its score as things start to get really creepy in the
library. We soon see the excitable teacher pulling
up old video of the Ghostbusters to show to the kids, as he explains, “There hasn’t been a ghost sighting in 30
years. New York in the ’80s? It was like The Walking Dead.” He pointedly asks Phoebe if her dad ever mentioned
this, to which the girl replies that only her mom is around. We then see Phoebe descending
via fireman’s pole to an underground chamber in the farmhouse, analyzing the surroundings
with a device that strongly resembles a PKE meter, she explains, “My grandfather died. My mom says we’re just
here to pick through the rubble of his life.” Grooberson examines the ghost trap as it begins
to glow green, as he wonders just who Phoebe really is. A quick look at her might offer…some
clue. Okay, we’ll just say it: Phoebe bears a pretty
strong resemblance to Egon Spengler, the only original Ghostbuster whom we know for sure
won’t be making an appearance in this film, since Harold Ramis, who played Egon, passed
away in 2014. Could Callie, Trevor, and Phoebe be the Spengler family? We don’t have ESP
or anything, but there are definitely some clues. As Phoebe picks through all of the stuff scattered
about the house, we see a number of labeled petri dishes sitting on a table. Examining
them very closely, we can see that they contain such things as “Cladosporin,” “Microconidia,”
and “Aspergillus fumigatus.” And Egon certainly expressed an interest in that kind of stuff. “Do you have any hobbies?” “I collect spores, molds and fungus.” Phoebe also conveniently finds a rack in a
closet where hang all of the Ghostbusters’ old uniforms. We can only make out the name
tag on the first one, though: “Spengler.” Unless all of this is seriously hardcore misdirection,
we’re pretty sure that dear old grandad was none other than Egon himself. It even makes
sense that he would have bought this property in the middle of nowhere, because as he would
have been well aware, there have apparently been strange goings-on here for a long time. Later on in the trailer, Phoebe and her classmate
approach the entrance to an old mine. They probably should have paid closer attention
to those “Road Closed” and “No Trespassing” signs, but another sign in the distance is
even more alarming to eagle-eyed fans. It reads “Shandor Mining Co.,” and if you
love Ghostbusters, this name will set off all sorts of alarms. As Egon explains when
the Ghostbusters are jailed after their containment unit was shut down, Ivo Shandor wasn’t just
a mining magnate he was an architect, the very same one who designed the skyscraper
in which Dana Barrett lived, the building referred to by Stantz as “Spook Central.” Shandor actually wore a lot of different hats. “He was also a doctor. Performed a lot of
unnecessary surgery. And then in 1920, he started a secret society.” That secret society worshiped Gozer the Gozerian,
the ancient evil entity which was threatening the Big Apple with utter destruction at that
very moment. And, speaking of the Gozerian… Before transforming into the Stay-Puft Marshmallow
Man and wreaking terrible havoc on New York, Gozer was first ushered into our plane of
existence by Vinz Clortho, the Keymaster, and Zuul, the Gatekeeper. These entities possessed
Louis Tully and Dana, respectively, and caused them both to mutate into giant, hideous supernatural
creatures which the Ghostbusters fandom has dubbed “Terror Dogs.” “Okay. So. She’s a dog.” In one very quick shot in the trailer, we
see Grooberson in his car at night, being menaced by a creature. All we see is its giant,
scaly paw, and it sure looks familiar. It appears that the Terror Dogs and, therefore,
Vinz and Zuul are back in business. And their business is to facilitate the coming of Gozer,
the Destructor. It’s also worth noting what the trailer didn’t
show us: the original surviving Ghostbusters, whom we know will be taking part in the madness
of Afterlife. As the spot concludes with Trevor, Phoebe, and Phoebe’s buddy, tearing around
town in ECTO-1 letting loose with their proton pack while pursuing what appears to be a “Class
5 full-roaming vapor,” we know that these kids have plenty of moxie. If Gozer the Gozerian
is on its way back to Earth, though, they’re going to need all the help they can get. And
when there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call? Check out one of our newest videos right here!
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