Main cast: Adam Hampton (Adam Thatcher), Kristy K Boone (Julie Thatcher), Christian Bellgardt (Henry Thatcher), Katie Burgess (Anna Thatcher), Catcher Stair (Charlie Thatcher), Caleb Milby (Tyler Cook), Connie Franklin (Natalie Rose), and Mike Waugh (Jim Roberts)
Director: Ryan Bellgardt
This Gremlin has nothing to do with the other Gremlins franchise, just to let you know. This one has its own mythology and acts as a standalone movie, although there is of course room for sequel if hell freezes over and there are enough people who like this low budget flick to want more. Then again, the folks behind this movie may just somehow find enough money to make a sequel, even if nobody asks for it, just because, so who knows.
Basically, we have this antique box that contains the monster that gives this movie its title. The gremlin is an eye-rolling cheap-looking CGI thing that combines elements of the xenomorph mug and some gumby-like appendages. It’s tiny. but can somehow take down everyone because those people are so, so stupid. But let’s get to that later – back to the box, there is a magical timer designed like a clock only with the numbers being shiny runes. If the timer reaches a rune, the box opens and the gremlin jumps out to kill a loved one of the owner of the box, and a rune dims. What happens when all the runes dim? Nobody claims to know, because they think the audience is stupid and “The monster is free to kill more people!” is just too hard an answer to cross the mind. Oh, and the only way the owner of the box can stop the mayhem is to pass the box to someone he or she genuinely loves.
Anyway, Jim Roberts has the box, and to save himself after the gremlin kills his wife, he decides to pass the box on to his grandmother. Nice one. Unfortunately, Grandma takes in Adam and Julie Thatcher as well as their children, and she unknowingly hands over the box to Adam, making him the new owner. Before long, the monster begins killing the Thatchers one by one. Oh no, can these people do anything about the monster?
Well, considering the fact that these people are all so stupid that I begin to wonder whether they all have some kind of genetic predisposition to being brain damaged, I am rooting for the monster here. Let me touch on just a few of the moments of grotesque stupidity in this movie:
- This is a low budget movie and these guys probably blew a big chunk of their budget renting the ridiculous castle-like house that Grandma somehow manages to live in and care for all alone, so I understand why they want to restrict filming to that house most of the time. But when these people know that there is a monster in the house, it makes them seem so, so, so, so, so stupid to just keep staying in that house even as the body count increases.
- Oh no, the monster killed your grandmother and boyfriend, and is still in the house! So you will go to sleep with the door not even just unlocked – left open, in fact. When the monster shows up and stabs its gumby arm into your stomach, leaving you grievously wounded, you crawl out of the room, see your parents run towards you, and then crawl back into your room and lock the door, leaving your parents with no way to help you when the monster inevitably sneaks back into your room.
- You manage to shoot and hit the monster, and it runs out of the house! It is perfectly sensible for you to then drop your weapon and give chase in a car when the monster is leaping over fences and running through people’s homes.
- When you finally decide to move people out of the house, it’s to a motel. Not the police station, not to the next state or even to Canada – a motel a few blocks down from your house.
- The wife knows her priorities. People are dying and monsters are killing her children? Her husband is cheating on her – he will sleep on the couch then, even if, you know, a monster is lurking around the house. And if that useless husband doesn’t want to do things as she asks, she will do things herself… only to chicken out every time and insist that the husband do it for her.
- There is a monster in house killing everyone! Who cares. Everyone goes back to sleep in his or her respective room.
- The monster kills your wife and the only surviving family member is your son! What do you do now? Bring him back to the house. Ask him to hide in a box – yes, a cardboard box – even after you see how the monster smash car windows to smithereens and such – while you try to kill the monster in that same way that has failed so many times.
- That boy, by the way, is so obnoxious in his tendency to wander off alone and disobey his parents that I want him to die, so that he won’t grow up and be a plague on everyone else. Not to mention. he speaks in a dreadful monotone that gets on my nerves.
The entire movie is just dumb piled on dumb, and the main characters are so unlikable in their stupidity and messed-up priorities that there is nothing here worth watching. And if you do want to watch this thing, make sure it doesn’t send your blood pressure too much through the roof. It’s not worth having a stroke over a movie that is as putrid as this one.