Gremlins: Movie Review

A Mischievous— But Cuddly Christmas Story

By Melina Guth

News Editor

Image Source: rottentomatoes.com

Gremlins, a film directed by Joe Dante and written by Chris Columbus is a story about the mysterious mogwai and the destruction of a small town on Christmas Eve. During its release in 1984, the film made around $212.9 million at the box office. Nowadays, you’ll be able to watch Gremlins via rental or with a subscription to Prime Video, Sling TV, fuboTV, etc. You can also find Gremlins available online at Youtube or Google Play for a small fee.

We start off in Chinatown, where Randall Peltzer is looking for a very special Christmas gift to give to his son, Billy. I enjoyed the culture of this segment, where the viewer can enjoy not only the beautiful area of the city at night, but also the nostalgic look of everything in the 80s.

Stumbling upon a mogwai in Mr. Wing’s shop, Randall Peltzer decides he has got to have this furry little guy he ultimately ends up calling Gizmo. Little does he know about the dangers that lie in wait with the haggling of this strange creature.

After Mr. Wing’s grandson sells the mogwai to Peltzer sneakily, Gizmo goes home to meet the clumsy, lovestruck, Billy Peltzer. After an incident involving water, the mogwai multiplies creating several other not-so-friendly mogwais.

After the mogwais get out of hand and out into the town to begin wreaking havoc, Billy and his love interest, Kate, are tasked with wrangling these miscreants.

Throughout this film, I enjoyed the wintery setting and the traditional Christmas vibe as well as decor. There were multiple instances throughout the movie where I found myself enjoying the homey shots of the town and the snowy neighborhoods. 

When it came to the puppeteering and stop-motion that really brought the hideous creatures that the viewers would soon run into to life, I think that the fact that this movie was filmed over 20+ years ago becomes more evident. The puppeteering and stop-motion were choppy and the realism, questionable, but this was appropriate for the movie’s time.

The fighting scenes that the actor Zach Galligan, who plays Billy, had to take on were very unauthentic for me and lackluster in the sense that he would just give up after not even 15 seconds into the scene. An example of this would be the scene where Billy has to fight off Stripe, one of the leading gremlins, in a small shop.

I hope that the viewers are able to find Gizmo, the friendliest mogwai of them all, just as adorable as my family and I did. Seriously—how can something so cute cause so much chaos?

This PG, horror-comedy film scared even me with its flashy scenes such as those taking place in the movie theater and in the restaurant where Kate worked, on top of the eerie sound effects as the gremlins took control (all with the help of a little water).

I was surprised to see that this film came to life with the help of Spielberg, a director I actually know of even though I do not watch many of his movies. I’ve enjoyed a few of Spielberg’s other movies such as Jaws, Jurassic Park, and E.T. If you enjoy Spielberg movies in general, you’ll enjoy Gremlins.

All in all, this movie really is a timeless classic, commemorating the hard work of the actors and producers in order to help create this hectic Christmas tale.

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