Main cast: Tashiana Washington (Drea), Ava Preston (Trissy Lacy), Jack Fulton (Jake Lacy), Jaeden Noel (Phillip), Dee Wallace (Aunt Dee), Stephen Jennings (Sheriff Lewis Haines), Alex Jeaven (Mandy), Pierre Malherbe (Doug), Tristan de Beer (Gregory Sax), Ho Chow (Chef Loong), Vash Singh (Kevin Loong), Tanya van Graan (Professor Lacy), Paul Snodgrass (Johnson), Ellectra Hartman (Ranger Carol), and Joe Vaz (Ranger Jonathan)
Director: Bobby Miller
Okay, I love the original Critters that came out in 1986, and I can live with the sequels – but not the modern sequels or reboots or what have you, let me make this clear, because if Critters Attack! were anything to go by, please just let things stay dead and buried in the past.
This one is like the original movie… if we strip away the gore, the dark humor, and the method behind the madness of the whole cute cannibal furballs from space thing. Yes, we’re in another sleepy rustic backwater small town, the critters – the Krites, if we want to get technical – have landed and started eating everybody and everything, and some intrepid kids will try to save the day. The kids are Drea who is peeved that her latest college application is rejected and it seems like she will never get out of town, her astronomy-enthusiast brother Phillip, and the kids she is babysitting Trissy and Jake. They find a white, female version of the Krites and, not knowing what it is or what to do with it, decide to take it along with them. They soon get swept up in the chaos, as the Krites aren’t not growing in numbers, they also seem to be eager to get to the white female version of them. Who knows why, as the Krites can all reproduce regardless of their sex, but this movie doesn’t try to answer many of the questions it raises, so whatever really.
Oh, and the lady from the first movie, now called Aunt Dee for lawsuit-avoidance purpose, is back, gone all Sarah Connor and armed with bounty hunter weaponry to take down the Krites. This could have been a kick-ass selling point of this movie, but no. Dee Wallace is in this movie for a small fraction of the screen time, and she’s very obviously all seventy year old, so watching Aunt Dee is like watching a grandma really trying too hard to be feisty and sassy. Worse, Aunt Dee doesn’t come off as very competent here, so I don’t know why they bother jumping through the hoops to introduce this character. At least have her blowing away things in the grand finale, for heaven’s sake! Hmm, maybe the insurance people forbade them from putting Ms Wallace’s hips at risk.
I appreciate the use of practical effects here, and the rubber toy-like look of the Krites does bring back some nostalgic appeal, but I suspect viewers watching this movie without liking the original movie may find the whole thing cheap-looking. However, perhaps because of budget reasons, the gore is minimal. Each time someone is about the get eaten, they get dragged off-screen, and later the camera pans to fake body parts being chewed upon by fake-looking furballs with big teeth.
As for the leads, they are pretty dire. The kids all act emotionless or bored even when they are supposed to be terrified for their lives. Ava Preston is especially terrible – her character’s brother had just been bitten by a terrifying alien, and she speaks like she’s flailing badly at an audition for a high school play. The dire script doesn’t improve matters, as it is full of stupidly constructed scenes. For example, the kids confront Drea’s uncle, the sheriff, who insists that there is no such thing as aliens. These kids have with them an alien, but instead of showing him that thing, they just stomp off in frustration. The worst is how the Krites, after having eaten grown-ass people, some of them armed, get curb-stomped and killed by teenagers armed only with brooms and sticks. Were the people writing the script drunk or high throughout the writing process?
Make no mistake, Critters Attack! is a full-frontal insult to everyone who has the misfortune to watch this thing. Seriously, skip this turd and go watch the 1986 original.