24 Days of Quarantine Fun – Day 19: Gremlins

Here, we have another classic Christmas-adjacent film. The really great part is that given the horror theme and Christmas setting, it’s completely appropriate to watch during either the Halloween or Holiday seasons.

Also, it’s friggin’ Gremlins, so it’s appropriate to watch during any season.

If you haven’t seen it, this is the classic feel-good holiday tale of a boy that receives a pet for Christmas. Only, this pet is a strange creature called a mogwai, which will inexplicably spawn more mogwai if it comes in contact with water. And also they will transform into monsters if fed after midnight. Of course, both of those things happen and the monsters go on a spree of mayhem and murder around the town.

Listen, I know that the mogwai rules don’t make any goddamn sense. How does a creature keep clean without getting wet? If it drinks something, are its insides exempt from the wet rule? And how does it know if it’s being fed after midnight? What about time zones? What about daylight savings time? At what time in the morning does the transformation rule no longer apply?

Please, don’t think about it so hard. Gremlins is such a fun, silly movie, that you’re really missing the point if you try to apply logic to it. That said, it also has a surprisingly dark side, what with all the murdering and such. Most of the time the tone is fairly well-balanced, with the gremlins being a mix of evil and goofy, which takes the edge of and makes it sliiiiiiightly more family-friendly. There’s one particular scene, though, where a character’s backstory is revealed, and it’s just straight-up horrifying.

Here’s a fun little trivia tidbit that I’ve pulled from the Wikipedia page: originally, the plan was to dress up moneys to play the gremlins. The plan fell through because the test monkey freaked out when the cast strapped the gremlin head to it. Fun! I think it worked out for the best, but I may be biased because I’m a big fan of puppets.

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