3.5 stars. Hee hee hee ho ho ho~ oh little Gizmo I love you so! Forget about watching it as an allegory and just enjoy the impeccably structured chaos unfold! Utterly daft, but gleefully nasty at times - the story of the father starving to death jammed in the chimney is the best Christmas story of all! Dang! A bit of a childhood favourite, this.
2-3. My feelings on this are really mixed. The gremlins soak up almost all of the writing and directorial attention to the point that the main characters feel like (perhaps overly) simple foils to the violence playing out onscreen. The movie is also unable to smoothly counterbalance the 'evil foreigner' implications, especially given the 'patriotic' association attached to Gizmo's benevolence.
The rare childhood favorite that becomes even more enjoyable as an adult now that I'm able to truly appreciate the film's subversive quality. Here, the usual Amblin sense of wonder is tempered by Joe Dante and Chris Columbus' anarchic streak: we watch as a picturesque suburban town right out of "It's a Wonderful Life" descends into sheer chaos once the lovable but lethal gremlins are unleashed. A live-action cartoon.
Utterly daft Christmas fun with a bunch of nasty little gremlins wrecking the joint. Essentially the film is a bizarre mashing of It's a Wonderful Life & Invasion of the Body Snatchers-what's not to like? The film's real joy lies in its tone deaf approach where nostalgia for 50s America, lazy racial stereotyping, deceptively gruesome violence & a funny/tragic story about Santa dying in the chimney all come together.
A wonderful slice of morbid genre anarchy from Joe Dante, who lovingly borrows all the mid-century smalltown American kitsch he can get his hands on just so he can have fun blowing it up. A synthesis of Corman, Spielberg, Looney Tunes, and 50s sci-fi that adds up to an affectionately campy horror movie for innocent kids, best appreciated after they become warped adults.
(3.5) with charlie brown and die hard this was for years my go-to christmas movie. and sure, it has some problems but it's still very entertaining with a wonderful dark streak. in general, i miss the dark, weirdly bent comedies that seemed to be more common in eighties and parts of the nineties.
Loved this as a kid and having not seen it in 15 years or so I can say that it still holds up. The blend of goofy comedy and gruesome violence is well handled and there are few movies that can balance family-friendly and downright-nasty. The acting is quite good and the effects are stellar and still works better than CGI probably would have.