Robert Berlin’s review published on Letterboxd:
I felt like it was time to revisit this, and I was right because I had a lot of fun with Gremlins even on a rewatch! The precious little Mogwai known as Gizmo stands as a strong argument for treating your pets with the proper care and responsibility. And that important morality lesson is backed up by some radical creature effects and cathartic mayhem!
So it is when a well meaning but scatterbrained father goes to a ominous basement store to buy a christmas gift for his son that a little American town soon finds itself cursed with a whole army of mean little creatures, gremlins to be exact. It is now up to some strong minded suburbians to end these nasty little buggers.
Of course the unquestionable main attraction of this film are the titular gremlins but some of the other stuff beside the gremlin mayhem is quite decent as well. The townsfolk that the gremlins end up assaulting are often nothing to remember but Polly Holiday does end up stealing the show more than once with her grumpy old lady/potential dog-murderer known as Ms. Deagle. In true cinematic fashion, the gremlins soon give her what everybody wanted to give her. I had also completely forgotten that Corey Feldman show up here to do his usual role as a weird but charismatic kid!
But as I said, the little critters are the stars here. You have three rules to follow when you get a cute little Mogwai. Don't expose it to bright light, don't get it wet and for gods sake, don't feed it after midnight (at what point does time change from being after midnight to before midnight though?). Failing to follow these rules will soon cause a gremlin to show up and things will then get chaotic and very amusing. I do love that when the gremlins are presented with our human society they just go straight to getting drunk and watching Disney movies. When the earlier parts of the film show people being pushed around by nasty landlords and other societal ills it is made quite clear that the nasty little gremlins represent a forbidden power fantasy. Fuck the rules! Let's get drunk and sing horid christmas carols to nasty old ladies! I also loved the gremlins just blatantly ignoring any healthy foods (that apple looked so tasty though), must have caused some parents to pull their hair if their children learned from the gremlins! Oddly enough though, the main baddie of the gremlin posse (Stripe) ends up being quite dull when compared to his companions. The other gremlins are allowed to get silly and over-the-top but Stripe is mostly just quite bland in his evil mayhem. You'd expect the leader of a group of nasty monsters to be the most memorable of them all but that is seemingly not the case here.
Despite delivering such nasty critters fucking shit up the film seems to lose a bit of focus at some points. The final showdown in particular I found to be surprisingly dragged out, probably because the gremlins truly shine as antagonists when they can revel in group-based activities rather than tense 1-on-1 showdowns. But of course, even then the film manages to be quite fun while presenting some absolutely amazing effects (that melting skeleton was a fine thing indeed!)
So, this was certainly not without flaws but flaws are really such a minor thing when you are allowed to witness some lovable monsters destroying everything around them while getting really drunk. Gremlins still stands as a solid horror-comedy and also a must-watch for the Christmas season!