Monday, July 15, 2013

Movie Review: Gremlins

Title: Gremlins
Author: N/A
Genre: Horror, comedy, fantasy,
My Rating: ***
Official Rating PG-13
Age Group: 14+
They don't like bright lights. Don't get them wet. And do not feed them after midnight.
Of course, being a horror film, each of these rules is broken, and in the order they are given.
Billy's father brings home a strange pet for his son's Christmas present, along with those rules. Accidents happen, the rules are broken, and suddenly the entire town is in danger of being destroyed. Can Billy stop the little creatures before it's too late?

Word of Warning:
The PG-13 rating on this film is almost comical, considering what it takes to get such a rating today. Even so, there are some things one should be aware of when watching this movie. People are injured (blood, scrapes, and bandages with blood seeping through them). A woman flies out of a window and dies. A man is killed by injection in a science lab. A man and his wife are assumed killed by a bulldozer (off screen, and in the second movie it turns out they survived). Cars crash, a building blows up, and little monsters mutate and multiply. One little monster is killed by a blender (green goo splatters the kitchen), another is stabbed to death (left on the counter wiggling a bit before dying), and a third explodes in a microwave. A little monster falls into the water, which results in his flesh decaying (we see various quick shots of this) and him eventually becoming a pile of bones that melts away into bubbles. A monster is shot, a girl is shot at, a boy is shot at, and various objects are thrown at people. A boy barely misses getting killed by a sawblade, a chainsaw, a dart (which gets him in the arm), and various other things which are thrown at him.

The minor problems are lying to hide how bad an inventor's inventions really are, drunkenness (mostly by little monsters, but one human man gets drunk as well), swindling people into buying worthless inventions, and a crazy bar scene (involving the monsters).
The words a**hole, d***, and hell are used, as well as someone using Jesus's name in vain. Most (if not all) are in the same scene.
There is one chaste kiss.

A girl hates Christmas, and it is not until much later in the movie that we find out her father tried to climb down the chimney on Christmas Eve when she was nine, slipped, broke his neck, and died. She and her mother found out a few days later when they smelled something strange and called the fire department. The scene this is revealed in is rather dark and creepy, but almost so over done that it's comical. The challenge is, should that really be comical?

Much of what I listed above would normally be enough to make me not watch a movie, but because of the comedy aspect of the film, these parts are not nearly as gruesome as they would usually be.

My Thoughts
Honestly, this was refreshing. And let me be the first to say, I do not usually enjoy horror movies. This is probably the first one I've watched, and I really don't plan to watch any more. But because this one was made at a time when wired puppets were used for little monsters, the problems the film presented were also not all that bad. And the puppets? Very well done. Did not bother me at all.

I might not watch this again in the near future, simply because it's not a genre I tend to enjoy. Still, the movie felt simple (funny, it wasn't for the time!) and in that respect it was wonderful. A boy risks his life to fix a problem he caused (although not single-handedly). He cares for his parents, his family is close, his romance is completely acceptable (and very sweet), and he has a great adventure. It doesn't need anything else.

Because isn't that what makes a good movie?

1 comment:

grandma jane said...

Yep, sometimes.
I remember that this movie inspired/sold loads of the furry pets and later the Furby. The original gremlin was rather cute after all.
Guess it is quite interesting to see something for the first time that was made for an entirely different generation. Love your reviews --makes me look at media though an entirely different lens.