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Honestly, seeing Gremlins in the theater was the best way to see it ever. Glad to have bought tickets for it.
An all time favorite
A horror-comedy about cute little Christmas toy/pets who turn into murderous monsters wreaking havoc on a Norman Rockwellian town. There's a moral there someplace.
Gremlins was hailed as another E.T. It's not. It's in a different tradition. At the level of Serious Film Criticism, it's a meditation on the myths in our movies: Christmas, families, monsters, retail stores, movies, boogeymen. At the level of Pop Movie-going, it's a sophisticated, witty B movie, in which the monsters are devouring not only the defenseless town, but decades of defenseless clichés. But don't go if you still believe in Santa Claus.
It's as if Dante sought so hard to parrot his producer that he wound up parodying, and all involved should have known better. There's a current of menace to Dante's work that sets him apart from Spielberg, and a measure of innocence in Spielberg's quite apart from anything Dante has done. [8 June 1984, p.1]