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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.
The children's show that Charlie is watching from his cardboard fort is the pilot episode of a show called "Big Magic Book". The show features live action mixed with puppets and animation and was director Ryan Bellgardt's first time producing and directing. It was completed 10 years prior to the filming of Gremlin. See more »
A good concept, not an original one but with a real potential to be both fun and scary, and a creepy-looking DVD cover were what drew me into seeing 'Gremlin' in the first place. Also do have a high appreciation for horror/sci-fi, and thee are a fair share of good to great, even classic, examples.
'Gremlin' is not to be confused with the 1984 film (a great one) of the same name, either as a film or in assuming it is connected to that film. They have nothing in common other than the title. Seeing 'Gremlin', it has its good points, that stop it from being a complete shambles, but a lot of bad ones that stop it from living up to its concept. There are certainly far worse films in the genre and overall and it didn't leave me angry or cringing, just that it is very underwhelming that doesn't do a good job with its objectives of being fun or scary.
There are good points. The creature effects are surprisingly competent and the monster does evoke some genuine creepiness. 'Gremlin' has moments of excitement, creepiness and suspense, like with the Anna and the monster confrontation.
It's effectively lit and shot too sometimes. The soundtrack has eeriness when it isn't being intrusive or obvious.
Sadly, too many things bring it down. The acting ranges from barely adequate to embarrassing, worst of all being Kristy K. Boone whose performance was all over the place. The characters are uninteresting and annoying, with naively silly and sometimes illogical decision making and behaviours, a primary example being with the police.
Excitement, thrills, creepiness and suspense are too far and between. The scares are generally not enough and suffer from predictability and lack of tension. The lack of atmosphere makes the pacing suffer, giving 'Gremlin' a dull feel frequently. The story is far too minimal, another thing that affects the pacing with the padding and over-stretching, bland and often ridiculous.
Rest of the visual effects are pretty bad and the editing is sloppy, also too many instances of the camera work being unfocused and the sound/soundtrack killing the atmosphere with over-obviousness. The direction is not a hack job as such, but there is very little distinguished about it.
Overall, 'Gremlin' wasn't irredeemable but it underwhelms. 3/10 Bethany Cox
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