Nostalgia Goggles Watches “The Gremlins” for the First Time
By Tahlia Merrill Kirk
Wait, ANOTHER Christmas Movie?!?!
You may remember my dismay when I watched Home Alone for the first time and realized that it was a Christmas movie…and I was reviewing it in June. So for my second movie, I picked Steven Spielberg’s 1984 classic, Gremlins. This is what I knew about it before watching:
- Gremlins look cute, but are actually little monsters (similar to a furby)
- You’re not supposed to get them wet because something bad happens (I was fuzzy on the details).
- This is an 80’s movie, so everything will be animatronic (preferable to CGI, in my opinion).
Nobody warned me this was ANOTHER frickin’ Christmas movie!
Another interesting connection between Home Alone and Gremlins is that Chris Columbus directed Home Alone and wrote Gremlins, so that’s cool.
For the first half of the movie, everything proceeds exactly as expected: Little Gremlin gets adopted by small town family and they proceed to break all the gremlin rules. As a result, one Gremlin becomes five and they start to cause trouble.
It was a bit unexpected that the cute Gremlins eventually morph into monster Gremlins, but nothing earth shattering. They trash your home, eat everything in sight, make even bigger messes–it’s hilarious! Yawwwwwn… brb, gonna get a snack while they’re overrunning the town repeating the eating and trashing routine.
Wait, is that science teacher DEAD???? I thought this was a kids movie! Dang, now a Gremlin just mowed down a friendly old guy with a truck and launched an old lady out a window…yep, both definitely dead. This movie is turning into a mini Jurassic Park.
There are two things that really bug me about this movie, though:
- One of The Rules is “don’t get them wet”, right? So how can they run around in the snow all night without it causing spontaneous spawning?
- Gizmo never even attempts to stop his evil children from causing mayhem. He’s a good little mogwai and refuses food after midnight, but happily, sits by while Billy feeds the others. He could have tried to talk them out of chewing the clock wire or at least screeched a warning to Billy. Even after they’ve thrown darts at him, he just whimpers and lets himself be victimized instead of trying to give Billy help.
Of course, at the very end, Gizmo is the one to turn on the lights, killing the final gremlin, but it seems kinda unfair that he gets to be the hero since he was completely useless the rest of the movie.
I guess Gremlins was supposed to be a dark comedy, but it’s neither funny nor thought-provoking, so why bother? I’ve never loved E.T. or Jurassic Park, but both are better movies.
This movie was blah, but do you know what’s NOT blah? Cake! While researching for this review, I came upon this awesome food blogger, Christine McConnell who makes creepy and geeky cakes including these gremlin cakes.
What should I watch next??? If any of these are Christmas movies, please–for-the-love-of-pete, WARN ME!
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