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Nicholas James Reilly,
Gremlin starts as we meet the Thatcher family, Adam, Julie, Anna, Charlie and grandmother Mary who receive the mysterious box from their Uncle Jim as the family is grieving the loss of their child. When a small creature emerges from the box it starts taking lives, one at a time as Adam must follow the warning of giving it to someone he loves to break the curse put upon his family, but the secrets will come out about what happened to their other child and the personal lives of the family. Can they escape from this curse before it is too late.
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Gremlin, a story about a rather dangerous box, was surprisingly entertaining. I wasn't quite sure what I was expecting, although since it was listed with a comparable movie of "Gremlins", I was at least expecting a few more giggles. There were a few giggles to be had, but Gremlin doesn't try to be anything other than a horror- movie you rubberneck at. And that is to its credit. The exact premise is one that I don't actually think I've come across before. It's amazing how sometimes just a small tweak can add a new dimension to something.
Adam Hampton proved strong in the male lead role, and I found myself rooting for him even when though he wasn't really a particularly likable character. His wife, Julie Thatcher, was played by Kristy K. Boone. Boone's performance had moments when it was fairly strong, but wavered frequently. I think if Katie Burgess, who played the daughter, did a good job, but wasn't able to bring out her full potential. The rest of the supporting cast, apart from the brother and the main detective, were unmemorable. Catcher Stair, who played the young boy, Charlie Thatcher, gave the weakest performance of the lot. It felt like the child had no real desire to be in the movie, and his character was almost a cardboard cutout as a result.
Gremlin had a surprisingly high production quality with some solid cinematography for their budget. Unfortunately, it was hampered by some regrettably bad special effects at some points. Thankfully, the special effects were relatively few, and most of the on-screen magic was a CGI 'Gremlin' that wasn't horrible. I've seen, much, much worse. It looked interesting, and watching it go after the various actors was a good bit more entertaining that you would think.
The main problem I had with it was that some of the decisions that family members make are just flat-out stupid. And not only stupid, but stupid stuck on a loop. I found myself yelling at the screen at least twice when watching it. (Upside, I was involved enough in what I was watching that I actually did yell at the screen?)
Overall, Gremlin was a pleasant surprise to watch. I've got the attention span of a flea, and I found myself wanting to see how things ended. It wasn't a great movie, by any stretch of the imagination, but it wasn't bad. I don't regret watching it, and might even tune in for a re-watch at some point!
Disclaimer: I received a screener of this film from October Coast Publicity for review consideration. This did not influence my review in any way.
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