"Gremlins" DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review

10/30/2010 Posted by Admin


DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review

Directed by Joe Dante, written by Christ Columbus, rated PG.

By our guest blogger, Jeremy Wilkinson

Joe Dante’s comedy/horror classic "Gremlins" is just out on Blu-ray. The movie takes place around the holidays, so if you want to watch a holiday film that doesn’t involve elvew--and if you don’t mind a bit of violence with your eggnog--the film is worth revisiting.

Randall Peltzer (Hoyt Axton) is an inventor whose creations don’t seem to work the way he wants them to. For Christmas, he wants to get his son something special, and so he comes upon a shop run by a man named Mr. Wing. Mr. Wing has a cute little creature called Gizmo and through some subterfuge on the part of Wing’s grandson, Randall purchases Gizmo. Due to the fact Gizmo breathes and therefore can’t very well be wrapped up until Christmas, Randall gives the creature to his son Billy (Zach Galligan) as an early gift. The father relays three very important rules-- keep bright lights away from Gizmo (that includes sunlight), do not get Gizmo wet, and do not feed the creature after midnight. What are the odds that this happens? Plenty--and Gizmo turns out to be more trouble than first expected when a neighbor does get him wet because Gizmo multiplies into lots of other creatures when exposed to water.

The film mixes horror and comedy, focusing more on the latter. It does not disappoint in the laughter department, bringing both slapstick and dark humor to the table. Generally speaking, comedies are not known for their deep characterization and "Gremlins" is not exception. The actors and actresses in this movie do their jobs well, however.

The film uses extensive puppetry, alongside other animation techniques, to portray the creatures. For the modern audience, it's especially nice to look back on an older film and see it employing these techniques instead of CGI. Compared to what can be done today, they might not seem as impressive as when the film was first released, but the effects still work well. The gremlins in the film are alternatively cute and creepy, furry and toothy, as needed for the story.

The one thing about the movie that's questionable is the rating. Considering this was one of the movies that caused a revision to the movie rating system, one would think it would have been re-rated as PG-13 later. But, it’s still rated PG. The film is a little on the violent side for its rating and it could very well be too scary for most children who normally watch PG films.

All things considered, the movie is a great comedy that’s only scary for young children. Whether you take it as a kind of satire or just a darker comedy, "Gremlins" will entertain and make you laugh.

Grade: B+

View the trailer for "Gremlins" below. Thoughts?

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