Directed by Ryan Bellgardt
Written by Ryan Bellgardt, Josh McKamie, Andy Swanson
Starring Adam Hampton, Kristy K. Boone, Geoff Barron
90 mins - Horror | Creature - Release date: 3 October 2017 (DVD)
Ryan Bellgardt’s creature feature, Gremlin, was released on DVD this past October 3rd, and as I said previously, this definitely has no relation to the ‘80s franchise we all know and love. No, this is low-budget in high-definition with “oh, God, this is bad” CG creature effects.
It’s not all bad though. The acting isn’t half bad (I’ve definitely seen worse), the direction seems to be hitting the beats, and the story is pretty good conceptually. Speaking of the story, it goes something like this:
Adam receives a mysterious box from a relative containing a creature that will kill everyone he cares about. The only way to be rid of the curse is to give the box to someone he loves. As the ominous timer on the box counts down to its end, he can only imagine the horrors that await. Does he give the box away to save his family, or unleash a monster upon humanity? He can’t destroy it. He can’t escape it. He can only give it to someone he loves…
As said, the acting isn’t bad, but Adam Hampton as Adam Thatcher isn’t believable as someone who could wrangle a mistress and the mess that ensues… he just doesn’t seem the type. Also, some of the dialog seems to linger a little too long when, perhaps, a scene cut could have been effective.
As far as the CG goes, I’m not a fan of its use in general, and I’m not a fan here. Sure, it’s passable, in the SyFy movie way, but it’s nowhere near as effective as practical magic can be. The Gremlin creature looks kind of cool, but there are moments when its movements look too awkward. Nonetheless, credit has to be given to the actors for their efforts and skill at acting against nothing.
One thing that stood out as particularly interesting was the fact that someone finally thought to includemovie characters who think about what things will look like to the police, when they are perfectly innocent of the “crimes.” That seems to be among the driving forces behind the plot, as well as some self-righteous morality. To that end, are there plot holes in Gremlin? Sure, like, what’s stopping the Thatchers from gifting the box back and forth among themselves until they figure out what to do? Or why nothing was ever made of teenage daughter, Anna Thatcher’s (Katie Burgess) pregnancy?
Gremlin isn’t a complete failure, as you can watch it and be entertained (subject to personal tastes), but you won’t miss much if you skip it. With a bigger budget and better photography equipment this movie could have been so much more.
Rock Hard \m/