Friday, March 2, 2007

Review: Gremlins (1984)

I was a little surprised to realize while rummaging through the $10 bins at a local CD store that I had never seen the film Gremlins. Yet I have had a lifelong obsession with Gizmo. So, I figured when I couldn't sleep today, I'd pop this into my laptop and have some fun. I mean, with a character that cute, it can't be that scary, right?

Wrong. This is one of the most warped, disturbing, twisted, subversive horror films I have ever seen. I don't know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't this. And that's a good thing.

I turned the film off maybe five minutes ago now and I am still filled with a strong feeling of complete and utter dread. Those gremlins were horrifying, especially that nasty Stripe. But they were also hilarious. But scary. But funny. But cute. But ugly.

The acting isn't spectacular, but it is very realistic. I will say the only way I can describe lead actor Zach Galligan in this film is milk. He was so wholesome and filled with teeth, you couldn't help but just want to invite him in for some hot cocoa and fresh baked cookies.

One thing that actually shocks me about this film: How did it not get nominated for Best Effects, Visual Effects at the Oscars? Never in my life have I been more impressed with the effects in a film as with Gremlins. Never. Am I really supposed to believe that the Academy thought Ghost Busters and an Indiana Jones film had better effects? And what of the gloriously twisted, funny, and terrifying screenplay? I mean, Beverly Hills Cop and Splash were nominated that year, so it certainly wasn't for a lack of serious content.

But I'm just splitting hairs. This film is ridiculous and incredible in every way possible, chilling and hilarious like so many films fail at with even more effort put into achieving that effect, and that voice over ending is quite possibly the most disturbing thing I have ever heard in a film. Chris Columbus is one sick fuck.

Take a look for yourself:

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