This article contains SPOILERS for Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Despite the proton packs, floating ectoplasmic blobs, and a familiar song about weirdly horny ghosts, the recent Ghostbusters: Afterlife has a much different tone than previous Ghostbusters movies. When the trailer came out, fans pointed out that Afterlife seemed to have more of an Amblin vibe, recalling the ‘80s output of Steven Spielberg more than anything else. And somehow, the movie feels even more like Xerox of Spielberg’s filmography than we initially thought. 

For instance, the basic set-up involves a single mom whose kids stumble onto a supernatural mystery, not unlike the beginning of E.T.: The Extraterrestrial. We’re not even going to mention that they move into a haunted house, Poltergeist-style. 

Universal

Sony

And the spooky mountain that looms above the town of Summerville is similar to Devil’s Tower, made famous at the end of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Columbia Pictures

Sony

And the (sigh) tiny Stay Puft Marshmallow men that inexplicably show up in the third act are basically just smaller, more gelatinous versions of the titular creatures from the Spielberg-produced Gremlins – but with, sadly, fewer resulting decapitations. 

Warner Bros.

Sony

When the evil demon/’80s jazzercise instructor Gozer and her minions are finally thwarted, their faces get melted off as if they were Nazis unboxing Biblical relics. 

Lucasfilm

Sony

Lucasfilm

Sony

Lucasfilm

Sony

And in the end, the kids have to say goodbye to the ghost of Egon Spengler, their grandfather, before he goes off to … space? It’s not exactly clear. Like why does he get some touching spiritual send-off while other ghosts get blasted with radiation and illegally imprisoned by a bunch of disgraced academics? Anyways, it’s basically just the end of E.T. 

Universal

Sony

Thankfully there was no scene in which Peter Venkman hides inside of a refrigerator.

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Top Image: Sony

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