Art by Alinah_09
Hello, everyone. And Merry Christmas Eve. Today, we’re in for a real classic. Back in 1984, there weren’t a lot of Christmas horror movies. Usually, you’d just get a typical slasher movie. But, 1984 gave us two Christmas horror movies that changed the face of Christmas forever… in the movie industry. One of those movies was Silent Night, Deadly Night, a very goofy movie that I already reviewed and have a sort of fondness for how hilariously bad it is. And second, a much more well produced movie, and that is the classic Gremlins. I said it was a real classic, and now I am going to prove it.
Now, I doubt that I have to talk about the plot of this movie, since it is a very recognizable movie… But, I’m gonna do it anyway. So, Gremlins takes place in another small town where nothing happens, typical horror setting, where a man by the name of Randall Peltzer, who wants to get a Christmas gift for his son, Billy. While in Chinatown, he finds a small furry creature called a mogwai, which is later named Gizmo. He secretly buys it, but is told three rules. Do not get it wet, as water will cause it to create more. Do not expose it to sunlight, as sunlight kills these things. And do not feed it at midnight, as that will cause something even worse. Naturally, Billy breaks all of these rules. He gets water on Gizmo, creating more mogwai, one in particular being an aggressive one named Stripe. After Stripe tricks Billy into feeding him and the other mogwai grown from Gizmo, they turn into the Gremlins, green reptile creatures that begin to wreak havoc and murder the citizens of the town. It’s a simple plot, really. Monsters take over the town, and the kid responsible has to stop it. Only this one did it in such an impressive way, creating those little Gremlin bastards, and making a rather charming horror movie. Not to mention, Gremlins is one of those words that’s really fun to say. Gremlins, Gremlins, Gremlins.
So, let’s talk about what I like about the movies. The special effects. I remember watching this movie with my family on Christmas (Probably not the best movie to show little kids, but whatever), and my female cousin just wouldn’t stop talking about how cute Gizmo was. Me, being like twelve at the time, just wanted to get to the parts where people get killed. You know, everything a twelve year old wants to see. But nowadays, I’m impressed with the animatronics and puppets for this movie. They really did a good job with the movement. And it didn’t look lifeless or terrifying at all. So, yeah, I can see what my cousin meant. Gizmo sure as hell looked very adorable. Which is a good thing for the movies part, because they manages to make a piece of machinery and fur adorable. The real Gremlins, however, now they were creepy to look at. They weren’t too scary. I mean, this is a horror comedy, so they aren’t exactly making H.R. Geiger nightmares. They just looked like ugly little bastards. Something you’d expect from creatures who just act all mischievous. The gore effects were nice too. One of the best scenes to prove it in was the kitchen scene. Gremlins being grinded up, stabbed, and blown up in a microwave, and watching as their flesh slowly melts off when they are exposed to the sun… This movie was PG, right? Well, it was the 80s. This was acceptable in PG films.
Now, even though the movie takes place around Christmas, it really doesn't have a lot to do with Christmas. It’s mostly about the Gremlins and their actions. So, it’s like the Die Hard of Christmas horror movies. But still, it has some very neat ways with how the Gremlins use Christmas in the movie to their advantage. They trap a woman under a Christmas tree and crawl through the branches to attack her, and who can forget the classic scene where they are singing Christmas carols… right before they throw an old woman in a chair out through a window. The movie never does take itself seriously, which I do like. I mean, a movie about a furry creature bought from a Chinese store that can turn into crazy little green monsters? What is this, a horror movie or a poor man’s Pokemon. That’s what I love about Gremlins. It never takes itself seriously, and it is always managing to have both horror and humor mixed in. They always allow both to come in whenever the other isn’t there. At one point, you’ll have Gremlins doing something silly, and at other points, you’ll see them carefully planning to kill someone. The movie always makes time for both horror and comedy, and they never get mixed together. That, in my opinion, is a huge plus for Gremlins.
The Gremlins was a pretty good movie when it was released, and it still is today. It was great enough to get a sequel, which was… okay. It certainly wasn’t as good as the original, but that’s a review for another time (Maybe). Gremlins was a movie that managed to hit big, and gain lots of fans and followings for such a thing. Enough of a following to where rumors of a Gremlins 3 popped up online. There’s even an IMDb page that reads Gremlins 3. It’s a barren page, but still, people really want to see a Gremlins 3. Let’s hope that it can be one of those rare cases where the third movie can be as good as the others. Take care.