Although promoted as New Line's answer to Gremlins (1984), the screenplay had been written and bought before Gremlins was announced. Herek had based the screenplay on a nightmare he experienced as a child long before Gremlins was even conceived.
When the Critters are destroying the bedroom, one comes across an E.T. Extraterrestrial (1982) vinyl plush toy and devours it. This adds to the satire of the film, referencing and homaging Hollywood's monster boom with films like "Gremlins" (1984), "Ghostbusters" (1984), and "Ghoulies" (1985).
The logo on the back of the bowling uniforms is a parody of the iconic Ghostbusters (1984) emblem. The colors of the uniform match the colors of Egon Spengler's uniform in The Real Ghostbusters animated series.
This is the second movie (the other being E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial ) with Dee Wallace in which her on-screen son heats up an oral thermometer in order to appear sick to avoid going to school. In E.T. she is fooled, but doesn't buy it at all second time around in Critters .
The later science fiction film Alienator (1990) has a similar plot to Critters (1986): In that film, an android assassin called The Alienator goes to Earth to hunt down an alien criminal who has escaped from a prison planet.