I'd seen Gremlins in the passing, on TV, many times over the years, but never in its entirety. Having the kind of classic following, or more like nostalgic liking, that it does, the concept behind the film, that of the little cute furry pet, Gizmo, being the indirect cause of mayhem in a small town wasn't alien to me, and nor were those three important rules that are broken eventually leading to all the madness.
As I have decided on conducting a little film club during my daughter's summer holiday, which will consist of us watching 15 movies over two months, Gremlins just happened to be the first film from our list. With no water in sight, lights turned down to the minimum, and midnight a good four hours away, both of us sat down to watch the film, which mind you was the first ever "horror" film that my daughter was watching.
You can watch my daughter's short and sweet review at the bottom, but for me, I had a hard time paying attention to the movie because I was so engrossed in watching my daughter go through all the different emotions as the film progressed. From the initial giggles of the malfunctioning Bathroom Buddy, to Gizmo being a cute pet that she wanted, to shrieks once the Gremlins came on the screen, to covering her eyes during the tension filled scenes, and finally jumps of joy whenever one of the Gremlins would get killed (the happiness on her face was probably a bit disturbing considering those naughty Gremlins were getting killed), the film truly was a roller coaster ride for her.
It is probably in my daughter's reaction that the true magic of Gremlins exists. Three decades old, and it still has manages to fascinate children and no doubt entertain them. Even though at times my daughter was so "scared" that she had to close her eyes, yet when I asked her if I should switch the film off (I wouldn't have done that even if she said yes), she said no, and continued to watch it. As an adult, although horror films have advanced to an entirely different level, the charm that Gremlins has is something that isn't easily replicated. There is an innocence amongst all the naughtiness and family values are given the uttermost importance with a clear differentiation between the good and the bad, and that still works now, for the film was equally entertaining for me, even though the scares can be a bit drab for the adults.
In terms of the acting, everyone does a stellar job, but the stars of the film are the Gremlins who are an excellent example of top-notch animatronics and puppetry. Once again, at a time when CGI rules in films, there is something enchanting about watching a film where so much work has gone into creating these vibrantly different creatures, who even though they do not look real, were still able to scare a six year old girl.
Although my daughter has given Gremlins a modest 3/5 rating, I can't help but wonder how great would it have been if I had watched it as a child, and because I wasn't at all influenced by the nostalgia factor, and stilled loved the film to no end, it get a solid 4.5/5 from me.