With the recent reboot of the Critters franchise, I figured I should check out Critters (1986) again, to refresh my memory of what it’s all about. The story is about aliens that escape from an asteroid prison to Earth where they wreak havoc on rural town. It’s like a mix of Gremlins (1984) and The Curse (1987), which came out a year later, but it’s basically the same story; was this a bizarre adaptation of The Colour Out of Space by H.P. Lovecraft, too?
The special effects (not the Critters themselves) are reverse video with stop-motion animation mixed in (that’s what I see anyway, I’m sure there’s a technical term that someone can school me on). I remember this effect was used in the Eurythmics Missionary Man (1987) video and several of Peter Gabriel’s videos from So (1986). I still think it’s a cool effect. The puppets remind me of Fizzgig from Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal (1982) and the evil of Stripe from Gremlins.
Revisiting movies from when I was a teenager is always fun, especially when I pick out actors that I know from more recent TV shows and Movies. Lin Shaye (Insidious franchise) is Sally, the police dispatcher, and Scott Grimes (ER) is Brad Brown.
While Critters isn’t very original, that is forgiven with the quick pace and good performances from the entire cast. I’m still unsure why they are rebooting this or why there are three other movies before that, oh and the Shudder series. At least it instills in me what I had initially thought that I’m not going to hurry to see the sequels, including the reboot, but, maybe the series. We’ll see.
I give Critters, 3 out of 5 Stars.