25 Days of Christmas - The Naughty List: Gremlins
Children of the 80's: this one's for you. Raise your hand if you didn't want a Mogwai. Now walk away quickly because this isn't for you.
Christmas holds many meanings for different people. One of the big ones for me, now that I have kids, is reminding me of the childlike wonder this holiday brings. And Gremlins holds a similar nostalgia. The film may not revel in the spirit of Christmas, but the holiday is certainly all around when Billy (Zach Galligan) receives the adorable Gizmo, a Mogwai, for Christmas from his eccentric inventor father (Hoyt Axton). And as pop culture would tell us there are three simple rules to owning a Mogwai: do not expose it to bright light, do not get it wet and never feed it after midnight. Of course Billy manages to break the latter two, thanks to his clumsy neighbor Corey Feldman, and soon a whole slew of vicious green monsters destroy the sleepy town of Kingston Falls during the happiest time of year.
Gremlins is just pure fun. As a clean horror comedy, it can easily appeal to viewers of all ages, though seeing it for the first time as an adult could be risky nearly 30 years after its release. I remember being genuinely freaked out by the film as a kid, but now as an adult I can laugh at my prior fear and enjoy it for entertainment value.
Of course it doesn't take much to uncover the film's many writing issue, as writer Chris Columbus knows how to appeal to kids, but not logical beings. If you can't feed a Mogwai after midnight, how do you take into account different time zones, especially when traveling? And at what time does that stop being an issue? Sunrise? And how does one work around Daylight Savings?
But it didn't really matter when I saw it as a kid and it doesn't matter now, because Gremlins defies logic for true family fun. And I dare you to find a cuter cinematic creature than Gizmo.