06th Jul2017

‘Gremlin’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Adam Hampton, Kristy K. Boone, Geoff Barron, Christian Bellgardt, Katie Burgess, Connie Franklin | Written and Directed by Ryan Bellgardt

GREMLIN-KEY-ART-Final

Adam receives a mysterious box from his mother, passed to her from his estranged Uncle, containing a creature that will kill everyone he cares about. The only way to be rid of the curse is to give the box to someone he loves. As the ominous timer on the box counts down to its end, he can only imagine the horrors that await. Does he give the box away to save his family, or unleash a monster upon humanity? He can’t destroy it. He can’t escape it. He can only give it to someone he loves…

Part Gremlins, part Hellraiser and part the classic Richard Matheson story Button, Button/The Box, Gremlin is an oddly sombre creature-feature that is not a fun as a movie about a mischievous, tiny, killing machine should be. In fact its not until the climax, where our titular tiny terror suddenly grows to ginormous proportions and starts rampaging Godzilla-style. Well I say rampaging, when in reality it’s a standoff outside Adam’s house on the front lawn as the cops try and kill the gremlin with revolvers. Revolvers. Yes, grown men try and kill a huge monster with revolvers… Might as well have used Nerf guns, would had just as much impact!

Whilst the film may be a little more sedate than expected, it does have one hell of a nasty streak. No-one, literally no-one: not man, woman, child, boyfriend, girlfriend, lover or old people are safe from the wrath of the Gremlin – which is surprising, especially as it would seem that buried underneath this monster movie shell is a story about a family man struggling with being just that… a family man. Adam has been having an affair, he’s emotionally distant from his wife and to a lesser extent, his kids. It takes the box and its killer contents to make Adam appreciate what he has – even if, ultimately, it’s too little too late.

And by too late I mean that the titular Gremlin slaughters EVERYONE. It’s not a spoiler, believe me. You know things aren’t going to go Adam’s way from the geto-go. After all this is a man whose cheated on his wife, he’s not a good guy and this truly is the universes idea of payback. It’s just how and when people die that I’m keeping quiet about – to spoil the grisly demise of the cast (and I mean grisly) would detract from Gremlin‘s major (and only) selling point.

For that’s the problem, beyond the violence perpetrated by the tiny monster with a bad attitude, Gremlin lacks any real unique selling points – the acting is OK, the effects are… well let’s just say the gremlin itself is rendered all in CGI, the direction is very safe and the story isn’t anything new. Overall it’s all very… average.

Gremlin is released on VOD on July 11th, courtesy of Uncork’d Entertainment.

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