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Ghostbusters: Afterlife | 2021 | PG-13 | – 3.5.3

content-ratingsWhy is “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” rated PG-13? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “supernatural action and some suggestive references.” The evaluation includes an implied sex scene, a few sexual references and some flirting between an adult couple and between a teenage couple, several scenes of encounters with ghosts and supernatural entities with a couple of scenes of possession, discussions of the end of the world and catastrophic events, a dead man reanimating and being torn in half (no blood is shown), a ghost moving through several scenes, several scenes of mischievous ghosts making trouble, and some strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.

A woman (Carrie Coon), evicted from her apartment, takes her two children (Finn Wolfhard and Mckenna Grace) to her father’s dilapidated farm and finally finds out the truth about why he went away and never came back. Also with Sigourney Weaver, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Logan Kim, Celeste O’Connor, Paul Rudd, Annie Potts and Bokeem Woodbine. Directed by Jason Reitman. [Running Time: 2:04]

Ghostbusters: Afterlife SEX/NUDITY 3

 – A woman pulls off her blouse and we see her wearing a low-cut dress under it (cleavage and her bare back are seen), and a man nearby wears a torn short that reveals his bare shoulder and partial chest; they walk toward each other, kiss and lie down below the frame (sex is implied).
 A woman kisses a man on the cheek. A preteen boy hugs a preteen girl and she pulls away. A woman possessed by a demon caresses a preteen boy’s hair and face and the woman’s preteen daughter is uncomfortable and calls out, “Mom!”
 A man and a woman refer to having sex earlier in an evening, when they were possessed by demons. People talk about a man and a woman that have been possessed by demons and that they will “unite formally.” A preteen boy says that a man is trying to have sex with a woman (using crude terms). A teen boy sees a teen girl and goes to flirt with her in a diner and other teens tease him. A man and a woman flirt in a few scenes. A man says that at least a preteen girl’s interest in science keeps her away from pole dancing. Teenagers joke about sacrificing virgins.
 A teenage girl changes her clothes while standing next to a teen boy and he looks at her (we see her wearing a bra and her cleavage, bare abdomen and back are shown). A woman wears low-cut tops and dresses that reveal cleavage in several scenes.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife VIOLENCE/GORE 5

 – Spooky music plays with the opening credits accompanied by the sounds of thunder rumbling and we see a large swirling cloud over a mountain, and a bolt of light shoots out of the mountain.
 A woman sits in a chair and speaks with a deep voice and her eyes glow red, and she caresses a preteen boy’s hair and face after snapping at him; after her preteen daughter reprimands her, the woman jumps through a first floor window and runs away. A truck speeds out of a closed mining area and crashes through a gate; something invisible chases the truck and slams it on the side (we see the dent), flipping the truck over in a cornfield and the driver runs toward a house, where he engages a force field but it fails and we see the entity approaching him as he hides in the house; a cloud of mist flows into a room, it forms into what looks like a giant horned being behind the man seated in a chair and the man is grabbed by what look like claws punching through the arms of the chair. Three young people stop a car and a preteen girl aims a machine at a ghost, she shoots energy streams at the ghost and holds it as a preteen boy drives an RC car with a trap on it to capture the entity; the car swerves through a town while the preteen girl hangs outside the car on a gunner seat holding the ghost in the energy streams, they nearly crash into an oncoming car, lose grip on the ghost and the energy streams shoot through a restaurant; they then swerve on a bridge and eventually the ghost is caught in the trap.
 A man and a woman stand on ledges and are struck with flashes of energy transforming them into monstrous creatures that roar and snarl as a dead man breaks out of a glass coffin and a glowing entity tears him in half from the head down using her hands (we hear ripping sounds and see glowing tissue). We hear rumbling and screaming coming from a deep pit and see lava swirling around in it as a preteen girl leans over it and a glowing hand reaches up to grab her but a teen boy pulls her away to safety. A dead man in a glass coffin breathes and rolls over to look at a preteen boy outside the coffin (we see that the man’s eyes are white). A man walks through a store and finds a monstrous creature with horns and sharp teeth eating from a feed bag; it stops eating and sees the man, chases him through the store, to his car in the parking lot, and pops the tires of the car when it jumps onto the hood and roars at the man (the scene ends). A woman in an underground lab is unaware as a cloud of mist seeps into the room, transforms into a monstrous creature and roars at her (the scene ends). A glowing entity walks through a cornfield toward a woman and a preteen girl; a lever is pulled and the entity is trapped in a stream of energy, many marshmallow creatures attack the machine, and a teen girl is thrown and transformed into a demon. A preteen girl shoots energy blasts at a glowing entity, and the girl is pushed back by the entity’s force.
 A man hooks up battery cables to a containment device and has a preteen boy start a school bus, flashes of electricity bounce around the cables and nothing happens; the man taps on the containment device’s hatch and it pops open releasing a giant swirling, snarling ghost before it shoots through the air in a glowing trail. A teen boy and a teen girl sit on a platform at the top of an open mine shaft and they hear rumbling and growling; they see glowing molten lava and what looks like horns, a figure stirs around under them and they jump off the platform and to the side of the opening as a bright stream shoots out of the shaft. A preteen girl wears a heavy backpack equipped with machinery and a wand that she holds in her hands; a preteen boy switches the machinery on and the girl activates the weapon that sprays light beams at cans and pottery items set up in the distance destroying them. A preteen boy and a preteen girl follow noises coming from an empty warehouse, they find glowing goo dripping from bite marks in metal beams and find a ghost eating metal; the boy blows a death whistle and the ghost shoots bits of metal at them, the girl aims the machine at the ghost and shoots the streams of energy at it, and it is wrapped and struggles to get free (its abdomen glows, it breaks free and flies away screeching). We hear a report about an animal taking a bite out of a man’s truck; we see glowing bite marks on garbage cans, a stop sign and other metal objects as a car drives through a town; the car stops when they see a ghost noshing on a fireplug. A glowing orb shoots through a town and we see a man in a store as he discovers a tiny marshmallow man moving in a bag of marshmallows; the man pokes the being in the back and it turns around and bites his finger, as many more little marshmallow beings pop out of bags and run around, and a few play with paper cocktail umbrellas and poke themselves through the head and face — one is chopped up in a blender, one skewers two others and puts them over a flame in a grill and one lays down on a graham cracker as a chocolate bar is melted over it. A glowing entity disintegrates and many demons are sucked into a ghost trap.
 Several young people lower themselves into a mineshaft and one calls it a death pit; we see several tombs that are empty alongside a tall statue of a god and a dead body in a glass coffin. The ground rumbles and we see giant wall carvings begin to crumble as the eyes of a demon glow red. A house rumbles wildly and a woman and her two children hide under a table; there are several more tremors in a town throughout the movie and we see items being jostled and knocked around. A chessboard tips off a table by itself and startles a preteen girl. A preteen girl moves a chess piece on a board and finds that another piece has been moved while she was away; she moves another piece and an opposing piece moves by itself, then another levitates off the board and hits a piece of hers off the board. A preteen girl goes into a barn, slides down a pole into an underground lab-type area where she sees things in collection canisters, machines partially built, and computers blinking, and a light fixture moves by itself and seems to point toward things that need her attention.
 A teen boy repairs a dilapidated car and speeds through a cornfield and jumps onto a main road (we hear that the boy failed his driver’s test three times). A string of numbers is seen engraved in a wall and a preteen girl lists the catastrophic events associated with those dates (the eruption of Krakatoa, the 1908 explosion in Siberia, etc.). Dark clouds swirl over a mountain as streams of energy and flames shoot out of it. A preteen boy releases a ghost locked in a police evidence closet, and the ghost chomps on metal bars and swoops out of the building.
 A handheld detecting device opens and blinks and a preteen girl holds it while being guided through a house by hall lights coming on one by one; she is knocked into a chair and from that vantage point she sees what looks like a puzzle in the floorboards; she manipulates the pieces until a hatch opens and she pulls out a containment device. A teen girl and a man are shown transformed to demon creatures with a hard and charred shell on the outside; when the shell is broken, we see the human being inside, unharmed
 Carvings on the wall of a mine show what looks like giant dogs with sharp teeth and claws. A preteen boy films a preteen girl as she walks onto a property and he says, “Just in case your body is pulled apart into tiny pieces by an unseen dark force.” A preteen boy blows what we are told is an Aztec death whistle and it sounds like shrieking. A preteen boy looks at a book that includes drawings of demons and he refers to a shadowy realm, a demon called Gozer, and a monster that is shown to be a monster that assumes the form of beasts. A glowing entity asks a preteen girl if she has come to offer herself in sacrifice. A preteen girl picks the lock of a house when her mother asks her to. A preteen girl rewires electricity in an apartment. A teen boy is upset when his mother tells him that they are not going back home because they were evicted. A teacher plays a movie for a class of teenagers and says that it is about a rabid St. Bernard mauling children; we later see a dog attacking a woman (with blood shown) and we hear the woman screaming and in another scene we see a scene from “Chucky” playing on the TV screen for the class. After a machine blows up several items at a distance a preteen boy says, “That is the best thing I have ever seen.”
 A teen boy tells his mother that she has no life, “You’re a mom, you live for us.” A preteen girl complains about going to school saying, “It’s a state-sponsored work camp.” A preteen boy talks about a mine being closed because of hazardous chemical leaks and that miners would leap into an open pit to their deaths. A preteen boy talks about a preteen girl as being an outcast, who is rejected by her peers. A preteen boy says that a store in a town is run by the Illuminati. A preteen girl says, “Science is reckless.” A teen girl refers to a town as a dump and says that she is 4th generation dump. A woman talks about science dismissively and says that it is something that repels loved ones. A woman tells her preteen daughter, “Don’t be yourself” as she enters her school building for the day. A woman tells a man, “My life is a dumpster fire.” Teenagers joke about sacrificing virgins. A man says, “Let’s toast this muffin,” talking about shooting a glowing entity with energy streams. A glowing entity asks several people, “Are you a god?” After a preteen boy says that a man is trying to have sex with a preteen girl’s mother, the girl says, “Inside I’m vomiting.”
 A woman cuts her teen son’s hair while he is eating and cuts his neck (he complains that he is bleeding). A woman says that she has an allergy to science. Several marshmallow creatures start exploding inside a vehicle and a preteen is later shown with the marshmallow goo covering him.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife LANGUAGE 3

 – 4 sexual references, 4 scatological terms, 1 anatomical term, 11 mild obscenities, name-calling (murder house, outcast, reject, dirt farmer, genius, lame, bizarre, idiot, obtuse, flat top, meat puppets, nuts, bummer, tacky, lunatic grandfather, weird, creepy, dump, smell of evil, dude, gross, dirt bag, awkward, stupid, nerdy kid), exclamations (oh my gosh, oh man, c’mon, I’m ashamed, no way, dang, bravo, bummer, fracking, jeez, ow, screwed, what, are you kidding me, ding dang, score, oh no), 4 religious exclamations (e.g. oh my God, Holy [scatological term deleted]). | profanity glossary |

Ghostbusters: Afterlife SUBSTANCE USE

 – A glass and a partial bottle of wine are shown on a table near a sleeping woman (it is implied that she has passed out), and a man and a woman drink cocktails in a bar/restaurant.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Abandonment, being evicted, estranged fathers, death of a parent, obsession, fracking, family, wanting to be loved by a parent, sacrifice, prophecy, Ronald Reagan, conspiracy theories, making friends, fitting in, being smart, science, ghosts, the supernatural.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife MESSAGE

 – Science explains many things.


Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

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