Plotline: A father buys his son a "mogwai" in Chinatown while traveling, hoping to make up for his lack of time spent at home. The only three caretaking rules that come with the mogwai are to not get it wet, to not put it in bright lights, and to not feed it after midnight. Of course all three rules are broken almost immediately.
Scariness factor: I am still in awe of the fact that this movie is geared towards children. The evil gremlins face some horrific and scary deaths (by blender, by microwave, etc.) and the movie has a certain gruesomeness about it (which I loved as a kid) that isn't tolerated in children's movies today. As an adult, the movie may not be QUITE so scary, but it still rings with a bit of the fright from your childhood. But for KID'S, this movie will scare your socks off.
Complaints: My only complaint is a lack of logic throughout parts of the movie, but even that is not really TOO terrible. Gremlins should not be fed after midnight (but isn't it ALWAYS after midnight, really?). Phoebe Cates continues to SERVE the gremlins booze, leaving the viewer wondering why she never just escaped or tried to hide. The list goes on.
High Points: Well, damn. I loved this movie as a kid because it treats children like adults. Many of my favorite kids movies were this way: The Goonies, E.T., etc. People swear in them. Lives are threatened. Scary events take place. I dug that as a kid. I liked being scared out of my mind. And Gremlins is good at that. Even watching it as an adult again, I can connect back to the horror-filled mind of my childhood. Gremlins is still a scary, fun romp. Other high points: Gizmo (he's still so cute), the little nods to other Spielberg (and non-Spielberg) movies.
Overall: Hell, Gremlins is fun. More fun, perhaps, if you loved it as a child and can be reuinited with those feelings. But it's a fun and scary romp even for adults who've never seen it before. It's scary, but with a sense of humor. *AND* it's the perfect holiday movie for the horror lover.
Labels: A movies