Thursday, December 24, 2015

My Review of Gremlins (1984)

Written by Chris Columbus
Directed by Joe Dante

Kate: "What are they, Billy?"
Billy: "They're gremlins, Kate, just like Mr. Futterman said."

And here is one of the best Christmas movies that I should've reviewed for this blog ages ago. It's only in the last few years that I've rewatched this movie as I got it and it's delightful sequel on DVD back then.

Coming out in the mid-1980s, on paper this wouldn't seem like the most festive of ideas for a Christmas movie but on screen, you can really see it. A young banker named Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) gets a new pet for Christmas, a mogwai named Gizmo and all he had to do was not feed it after midnight or get the poor thing wet.

Of course those are the very things that happen and soon Gizmo is sprouting out some siblings and unlike Gizmo, they're more on Santa's naughty list than nice as they terrorise the neighbourhood in epic style as they transform into something more ghastly and terrifying.

I really love this movie. Gizmo is a pretty cute little creature with a sense of naivety and Zach Galligan makes for an engaging and endearing protagonist as Billy Peltzer as does Phoebe Cates as love interest, Kate. The Gremlins themselves are delightfully mischievous and dangerous as villains (that moment where a stairlift becomes a death sentence is horrifying and hilarious in one go).

I do however like the slightly bittersweet twist of the movie's ending where Gizmo's original comes back to claim. It's a surprising little moment but it does work and with the knowledge of a sequel, we know that Billy and his new friend are reunited eventually.

- In Cantonese Chinese, mogwai means devil, demon or gremlin. The Mandarin pronunciation is mogui.  That I did not know. Appropriate for Gizmo's siblings though.
- Because there was no CGI when this movie was being made, all the Gremlins were animatronics.
- Tim Burton was originally considered to direct the movie.
- Both Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez were considered for the role of Billy prior to Zach Galligan getting the part.

Just an all time classic Christmas movie. Gremlins is the perfect blend of naughty and nice and definitely something to give you some Christmas cheer for the festive period. Just remember not to feed any Mogwais you may receive as a present after midnight though.

Rating: 9 out of 10

No comments: