Gremlin Synopsis: A man receives a mysterious box containing a terrible secret, a creature that will kill everyone else in his family unless he passes it on to someone he loves to continue its never-ending circulation.
Tagline: Big things come in small packages.
Release Date: 2017-1-11 | Runtime: 1 hr 30 min | Coolthulhus Earned: 3
Disclaimer: I received a screener copy of this film from October Coast publicity for review consideration.
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 it’s 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 I knew I should realistically detest him. 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 little boy 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 monster that wasn’t horrible. It looked a bit like a mutated cricket. Watching it go after the various family members 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 Gremlin. (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!