I like my horror in all shapes and sizes, but if I had to choose a single sub-genre to watch, it would have to be the creature feature. There is something about the autonomy of a killing machine that just touches my heart. Though sharks and crocodiles are where it’s at, it is nice to divert from the norm every once in a while, which is exactly what Gremlin does. But just because a movie is different, does that make it good?
The gremlin in question is an insect-like creature that lives in a box and comes out to do damage when it’s not happy. The gremlin’s home is a puzzle box-looking thing with a countdown timer on the top. The story goes that the box must be passed on from loved one to loved one before the timer runs out or something really bad will happen. There is no tricking the Gremlin, either. If the box is gifted to someone that the owner does not truly love, the Gremlin will take its revenge and the timer will continue to tick down. Though the idea is pretty basic, writers offer plenty of reasons for the Gremlin to rear its ugly head.
There are a lot of fresh faces in this film and it shows. It is not the worse acting I have ever seen, but overall there is a lot to be desired. The same sentiment goes for the CGI used for the gremlin. The quality is what you expect from a B movie, but it is still slightly disappointing. That being said, the look of the tiny monster was unique, which scores points in a genre with so much parody. Though most of the carnage is done through CGI, there are few practical effects that come across well. I think that they would have been better off if they relied more on their practical effects than their animated options.
It’s hard to judge a movie like this too harshly because you pretty much know what you are getting before you ever start it. Suspend all belief in the rational and get over the fact that you are not watching a blockbuster film and you will enjoy what Gremlin has to offer. It is often corny, downright unbelievable, and the ending is predictable and perplexing at the same time. All of these things sound negative, but they are all part of the fun of a cheesy horror movie.
As far as creature features go, I would rather watch Gremlin than a lot of the garbage that Syfy puts out. If you are a fan of creature features, especially the bad ones, you will have some fun with this film. It is a refreshing step out of the box – no pun intended – and offers up a better plot than one may expect. So, does being different make a movie good? In this case, I think it does.
Gremlin comes to VOD on July 11, 2017.