How A Tiny Detail In 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' Ruins The Original
This article contains SPOILERS for Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is truly a love letter to the original movie – and also, regrettably, to the low, low prices at your local Walmart. Specifically, much of the movie is a tribute to the late Harold Ramis, who famously played Egon Spengler in the first Ghostbusters. Afterlife focuses on how Egon’s family gradually comes to terms with his death, even getting to meet his ghost in a climactic scene that probably would have been a lot more touching if it hadn’t been spoiled by the movie’s line of janky action figures.
Egon’s daughter Callie learns by the end of Afterlife that her estranged father didn’t leave his family out of selfishness; he did it to keep the forces of evil at bay, which necessitated living like a hermit next to a haunted mine. She finally forgives him, realizing that her father did love her after all. But … when did Egon have a daughter exactly?
Callie is played by the great Carrie Coon, who, in real life, is in her early 40s – presumably, Egon would have had to have started a family after the events of Ghostbusters II, which was made in 1989. The dates don’t quite add up unless Afterlife takes place in the future, and never bothered to mention it. But as Ghostbusters fans on Reddit noticed, when Callie finds Egon’s bulletin board full of baby photos and family mementos, his handwritten notes mention that Callie would need braces in 1987. Which seems to indicate that she was born sometime prior to 1983.
Wait, what? That means that Egon bailed on his infant daughter before the events of Ghostbusters, which takes place in 1984. First of all, this kind of negates the climax of Afterlife itself; Egon didn’t leave his family to selflessly fight interdimensional demons. He left to move into a dilapidated firehouse with a couple of his work buddies after they flushed their academic careers down the toilet.
And more so, it sure taints how we feel about young Egon Spengler, who, throughout both Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, apparently had a family who were just never seen or even mentioned? He kept his collection of spores, molds, and fungus but abandoned an infant? Like, we all enjoyed seeing the guy toying with proton packs and blowing up marshmallow men, but not at the expense of emotionally traumatizing a small child.
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Top Image: Columbia Pictures