While I’m normally against movies that can’t decide what genre they want to be, I can’t think of a better movie that aces so many different genres with great care and detail than “Gremlins.” It excels at creating suspenseful horror and mystery, builds a great sense of mythology and fantasy, has a sense of humor that seems to come naturally with so many killer jokes, and all while having a distinctly family-friendly atmosphere through its small town Christmas-time setting. And yet, all of these blend together into a film that I can only describe as Jim Henson’s Christmas nightmare.
What sells “Gremlins” for me is the detail and awe of the special effects on the little hellspawns that destroy everything while having the time of their lives. It felt like every single one of them had their own personalities, while never feeling like a bunch of puppets were attacking the town. Despite how easily this film could have fallen apart through its many genres and complex puppet work, “Gremlins” nailed every note and puppets have never looked so scary.
Final Grade: A