How the new movie sets up a sequel
Launch your Proton packs because the Ghostbusters are back! Ghostbusters: the afterlife, the new movie from director Jason Reitman (yes, the son of the original ghost hunters director Ivan Reitman), has finally arrived in theaters. Two hours of heart-pounding and heartfelt fun, the reboot reignites the franchise and pleases its longtime fans by paying homage to the series they’ve loved since the first movie delighted audiences in 1984.
Of course it means Ghostbusters: the afterlife is filled to the brim with pure nostalgia, from its first moments to its credits scenes. The latter is where the film fully leans into fan service, directly referencing the original films while also hinting at what the future of the franchise might look like.
Life after death has two credits, one that appears in the middle of the credits and another at the very end. Here’s what happens in both scenes, who appears in them, and what they mean for a potential sequel.
Major spoilers ahead for Ghostbusters: the afterlife.
Ghostbusters: the afterlife mid-credits scene explained
The middle credits scene for Life after death starts unexpectedly. As the movie wraps up and we still wipe away our tears from the lovely dedication to the late Harold Ramis (who played Egon Spengler), the main credits sequence begins to flash before our eyes. As the names of the actors appear on the screen, we see Sigourney Weaver’s name appear, which is confusing as she did not appear in the movie… yet.
The credits then go straight to the first bonus scene, with Weaver as her. ghost hunters character Dana Barrett and Bill Murray as Peter Venkman. The moment finds the pair together, although it is not clear if they are together or just good friends. (They were romantically linked in the original films.) The two play with Venkman’s ESP machine as Dana holds up a card and tests Venkman’s ability to guess the shape of the other side.
As seen in the clip above, Venkman is a parapsychologist who would perform this ESP test on his students. In the new ghost hunters scene, the tables are reversed and Dana soon realizes that Venkman has marked the cards (thus knowing how to answer them) and begins to shock him for his deception. The fun moment ends with Venkman admitting that he only shocked male students, not women – as if it would gain him additional sympathy.
Ghostbusters: the afterlife end credits scene explained
While the first credits scene worked as a comedic footnote, the second credits scene hints at what could be the next step for the franchise.
The last moment of the film (before the credits) shows the ghost hunters car, the Ecto-1, brought back to New York. We don’t know why until the post-credits scene where we see Janine, the original ghost hunters receptionist (who also appeared around the beginning of Life after death), in town visiting Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) at his office. From his ghost-hunting days, Winston has grown into a successful businessman, but as his previous cameo suggested, he still has a fondness for his old profession.
Janine and Winston’s conversation centers around legacy, as Winston explains that he started his business for his children so they can have a good life. We then see Winston at the fire station where the original team worked, and the Ecto-1 returning to where it all began. Winston touches the car, as if to greet an old friend.
The final scene appears to imply that Winston may hold the keys to Ghost hunters’ future. Considering he has the money and now knows Phoebe (Mckenna Grace), Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Podcast (Logan Kim), who may want to continue the Ghostbusters’ torch, it makes sense that Winston would want to relaunch the company for a new generation.
It’s a fitting ending for a film that explores the meaning of legacy in a number of different ways. Ghostbusters: the afterlife is full of excitement and a heart that lives in the moment, but it is also about the future.
Ghostbusters: the afterlife is now playing in theaters.