A merry belated Christmas to all. Dark Discussions once again digs into the archives of great horror Christmas films and brings you their discussion of Gremlins, the 1984 huge studio release that was produced by Stephen Spielberg, directed by Joe Dante, and written by Christopher Columbus, all genre favorites. Oddly, the film will be remembered in film history not for how fantastic of a treat the film was, but for being one of two film in 1984 (the other being Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) to shuttle in the PG-13 rating due to its gruesomeness and horrifying scenes.
Part horror, part dark comedy, the film crawls along the tightrope of this very difficult act without falling off and landing as a parody of itself. Instead we get a film that both entertains us with hilarious belly laughs while having us cover our eyes and ears to shield us from the intense and scary set pieces. Based in small town USA, a father returns home with a Christmas present called a mogwai, a cute little creature that any child would love. But soon everything goes wrong when the three rules of care are broken: never show it sunlight, never feed it water, and especially never feed it after midnight.
Author Kristi Petersen Schoonover joins the crew and brings her memories of seeing the film in theaters. In 2014, the film will suddenly be 30 years old and yet unlike so many pictures from the 1980’s, it has aged wonderfully and is a wonderful time capsule of its era such as its contemporaries like Ghost Busters, Back to the Future, and E.T. And for fans of the 1980’s, the film’s female lead, Phoebe Cates, was one of that generations biggest stars.