December 12: Gremlins (1984)

Gremlins. Directed by Joe Dante. Warner Bros., 1984.

Pre-Screening Sips

  • I have really nice memories of watching this zaniness with my dad – I wanted a Gizmo in real life so badly…and I still do
  • As one of my favorite movies growing up, I have seen this many times, but I don’t think I’ve seen it in a couple of years

Post-Screening Snippets

  • Yes, the whole “exotic thing from China” narrative is problematic, let’s get that out of the way now
  • My heart swoons when Gizmo sings his little song omgomg such cute
  • Hm, the Mogwai rules seem to be similar to some of the rules for caring for my friends
  • Judge Reinhold’s character just kind of disappears at some point early on
  • Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates are such cuties together – take note of charm and chemistry, all Hallmark Christmas movies
  • The puppetry in Gremlins is so fabulous. I’m ready for a Gizmo + Grogu adventure
  • The other mogwais bullying Gizmo upsets my little heart
  • “While people are opening presents, others are opening their wrists” – is Kate writing the lyrics to the Evanescence Christmas album?
  • Wow, I forgot just how Christmasy this is! Yay, Christmas spirit!
  • The mom isn’t playing any games in her kitchen! She sees something weird and goes straight for a brutal fatality (Industry trivia: the violent kitchen scene is one of the reasons we have the PG-13 MPAA rating)
  • The gremlin attacking the mom from inside the Christmas tree is one of my favorite Christmas movie moments
  • I know they straight up kill people, but the gremlins really know how to throw a party! They run amok, throw on leg warmers, play with puppets, perform in drag and do gangster movie homages – you can’t not root for them!
  • Gizmo riding through in the Barbiemobile to save the day is the hero we all deserve
  • I would say the conclusion where the shop owner comes back because the suburban family can’t handle nice things is a fitting way to end the problematic set-up

The Final Hot Chocolate

            Who could not love Gremlins? It’s got something for everyone! Christmas cheer? Check. Christmas malaise? Check. Lovable animal sidekick? Check. Evil animal monsters? Check. Ho-ho-ho belly laughs? Check. Genuine jumps? Check. If you’ve checked that list twice, you’ll see Gremlins is the perfect balance of nice and naughty.

GRADE: A

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