What’s great about Afterlife is that it doesn’t force-feed us the old-school. Rather, Reitman and Kenan give us a story that fits in naturally with the rest of the franchise (well, the first two parts) while, at the same time, establishing some great new characters. As we said, Rudd’s teacher is a trip, living for danger until it’s suddenly staring him right in the face (like with tiny Stay-Puft Marshmallow Men that wreak havoc in a local Walmart). Wolfhard and Grace play off each other perfectly as fellow kids, working alongside the humorous Kim to try and figure out what’s happening in their small town.
Source: Sony/Columbia Pictures
The film is also very well directed, with a handful of digital effects mixing in with the otherwise awesome practical ones. When a certain monster shows up from the first film, for example, you can tell he’s actually there instead of just popping up via CG (though it does have that at some points). It’s great how much Reitman leaned on the “older” side of filmmaking, rather than going for quick flash-in-the-pan stuff.
It all builds up to a great finale that really pours on the charm. There’s no getting me to say how it does it, but you’ll see for yourself. Make sure you stay for two great post-credits sequences as well.