Film, 1984

For some reason that I can’t quite wrap my head around, I can’t totally get behind Gremlins. Despite the fun concept, cool director, perfect era of production for the material, great monsters and surprisingly dark nature, it didn’t ever hit the heights that I wanted it to. There are many factors that could be held accountable for this. It could be that the film’s pacing seemed off and it kind of dragged, it could be the low level of charisma possessed by the leads, maybe it all seemed too good to be true… but a big part of it is also probably due to the fact that it’s been so influential. Even though I had never seen it, I felt like I had. Little cackling monsters stealing vehicles and crashing them into things,killing people in a variety of humorous ways… I didn’t feel like I was seeing anything new. I hate holding stuff like this against a movie- if I had seen it at the time of release I bet it would have been a whole different story. There is a lot of stuff that still manages to shine through; the puppets are really cool and fun to watch, a middle-aged woman gorily dispatches almost all of them right off the bat, and there’s a lot of really cleaver jokes (the juxtaposition of the dark material over the Christmas holiday especially)- these things get it an extra half star. But for me, it just didn’t take off like I wanted it to once the little guys broke loose. 3.5

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