Critters combines a few things into one neat package. Sci Fi, lower level horror and 80’s family / teenage films. It’s a cool combo, as you can watch this one with your family (assuming the younger ones were able to watch gremlins without cringing) but interesting enough for adults and with enough action for action / horror fans. It’s a great example of the more commercial aspects of mid 80’s American Horror movies.
The film opens in space with a prisoner ship carrying 8 of the “Crites” comes agreif and the Crites take over the vessel and flee the galaxy. As luck would have it they find their way to Earth. Their wardens, of an unspecified alien Race, of course persue them to earth in a bid to recapture them.
The crites are cute-ish kind of baby size creatures which bring to mind porcupines or scarier hedgehogs. Very hungry critters can devour large sections of meat, very quickly. Their ship crashes on an American farm. An all American farm with a typical movie family, the Brown’s consisting of two kids and a husband and wife, and of course a visiting boyfriend that Daddy does not really approve of. They proceed to terrorize the family, who become aware of them in their barn. The battle is on as the family prepare to defend their farm and their lives.
The Critters consume and grow rather quickly, the larger they become the larger the threat they present. The persuers are not far behind behind them and take on the identities of Earth folk to ‘fit in’. Only they don’t. One of them assumes the identity of a well known rock star, “Johnny Steele” and the other a local cop. The mayhem starts instantly as they tear a up a local chapel. Do they capture the Critters? Well, I guess you have to watch the film to find out!
Over all the the movie is a lot of fun, and entertaining the whole way through. There’s nothing too deep in this movie, just pure easy going horror fun and a great 1980’s rock soundtrack. The horror effects are cool enough for the scope of the project and nothing really feels to hammy with the whole thing. Also of note, the mother in the family is played by Dee Wallace (of Howling fame). I had a great time watching it and I think most of you out there would too.
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