Gremlins

Gremlins

By Joe Dante - 1h45 - 1984 (United States)
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Gremlins
Audience 11+

Synopsis

Rand Peltzer is a terrible inventor who struggles to provide for his family. To celebrate Christmas properly, he wants to find the perfect present for his son Billy. During a business trip to the middle of Chinatown he discovers a little ball of fur singing an enchanting tune in the corner of a strange shop. It is a Mogwai. After much haggling, he takes the adorable creature home and gives it the name Gizmo. But before handing it over, the former owner warned Mr Peltzer of three rules that had to be obeyed: never expose the Mogwai to light, keep it away from water and, most of all, never feed it after midnight for any reason. Young Billy immediately falls for his new friend but soon realises the responsibility that he has just been given...

Benshi's review
Benshi's review

"I'm an inventor and I have a story to tell. Yeah, I know. Who hasn't got a story? Well nobody's got a story like this one. Nobody. " That is how Rand Peltzer introduces the Gremlins adventure. We witness the discovery of the Mogwai, a little creature, in a sort of Ali Baba's cave replete with an esoteric atmosphere. The store is run by a mysterious man who barely speaks, and his grandson. The grandson sells the creature on the sly, against the advice of his grandfather, because he has no idea of the danger that will be unleashed if any of the three rules are broken. Joe Dante keeps up the suspense until the meeting between Gizmo and young Billy, teasing viewers by initially only showing the outline of the creature's ears and its entrancing song. But then comes the thing we had been anticipating ever since we were told about the three rules: after being accidentally splashed, Gizmo reproduces and gives birth to many new Mogwais. Although they look as delightful as their creator, the new breed is determined to set a trap for Billy so that he feeds them after midnight ... and then they turn from cute and cuddly living toys into nasty little monsters called "Gremlins". Transformation is a theme that is particularly closely tied to the fantasy genre, and Joe Dante embraces it avidly by casting creatures that adapt rapidly to their environment by observing humans. Gremlins also reflects the America of its time so that it can offer a sharp criticism of it. Teenagers have to work to help their families and shops are threatened with closures while the rich do everything they can to swell their fortunes. But do not make the mistake of thinking that Gremlins is just supposed to make our spines tingle, because it is also a terrific comedy! Billy's father's crazy and wobbly inventions are a particularly rich source of jokes. Moreover, we feel an almost guilty thrill as we watch Gremlins wreak havoc and turn the calm little town upside down. Made in 1984 before the arrival of digital and all that came with that, this film is a real gem in terms of special effects. Mogwais and Gremlins are mechanically animated puppets, known more precisely as animatronics. Gremlins is a captivating pearl in a lovely, nostalgia-covered case, and should be watched by the whole family with the light on!

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Top reasons to watch this film !

  • 1 To discover a cult film from the 1980s that has lost none of its panache!
  • 2 The totally off-beat screenplay that is riddled with surprises and makes us shiver
  • 3 The delectable cinema sequence in which Gremlins watch "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" shot on 35mm!

Who is it aimed at ?

We recommend the film from the age of 11 upwards, for anyone who loves fantasy films and does not scare easily! The Gremlin puppets will undoubtedly seem pleasingly traditional to parents who are nostalgic for the 1980s, while they may seem rather too real for very young children. Likewise, some children will love seeing one of the creatures put through a mixer or melt in the sun, but it is best to keep younger brothers or sisters away from such scenes so as not to provoke nightmares!

Themes and topics

Chills Christmas Inventions Monsters and witches
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