So listen here, I’m probably a lot like you – The words ‘reboot’ and ‘remake’ more often than not shake me to my very core. I’m sure we can agree we’ve all been scalded on more occasions than one, and to us devoted genre fans, that kind of trauma sticks with us indefinitely. I’m not going to name and shame, but man… When will they finally learn to leave our beloved franchises alone?! After experiencing CRITTERS: A NEW BINGE, hopefully never!
I’ve been obsessed with the whole ‘creepy-cute-mini-creature’ flash in the pan since I was introduced to Gremlins at a young age. Critters, Ghoulies… Hell, I even bought Hobgoblins on BluRay when Vinegar Syndrome released it. Partly due to the undoubtedly fun nature of these films, I’ll admit I’m mostly in it for all the cute. I’m a sap, I melt, and truthfully nothing compares to the adorableness of The Crites – The little, bizarre, hedgehog-looking aliens rollin’ around wreaking havoc in the Critters universe.
There wasn’t a lot readily available to me prior to diving headfirst into this series, so I feared what I’m sure most of you do as well – An unnecessary, cringe-inducing, botched CGI job. I’m relieved to tell you that the critters have returned in physical form, and everything has regained proper order in the universe. Dramatic language aside, the puppets truly look fabulous. Not only visually pleasing, but their dialogue is also delectable, hunger insatiable, and they remain as ruthless as ever.
I want to dissect all the clever moments of wit and self-awareness put on display throughout, however, I cannot bring myself to reveal any spoilers. I will tell you that this particular tale brings The Crites to Earth in search of a missing Crite. I’m assuming this is their first return in over three decades, as one tech-savvy critter exclaims ‘Earth has changed since the ’80s’ in response to a modern pornographic pop-up. I’m an absolute sucker for this sleazy late-night humour and happily consumed heaps of it during my viewing experience.
Adding to the already immeasurable level of fun, the pop culture references scattered throughout are delivered impeccably. I got nods to Terminator 2: Judgement Day, The Matrix, Star Wars, the list goes on! Furthering my bliss, the casting could not have been better. Gilbert Gottfried cameos as a weirdo Uncle with an apparently very healthy sex life, which likely was the cherry on top for me in this cinematic journey full of pleasant surprises.
Living up to its moniker, I could not keep myself from binging this incredibly digestible mini-series. The bite-sized episodes played out like the comic books of my youth. Famished upon each conclusion, I could not help but eagerly turn the page to discover what lay ahead in the upcoming issue.
This may all sound a bit much, but it works so damn well. Many fail in their quest to concoct the perfect horror/comedy blend, but this went down like a cold beer on a hot day. Maybe beer isn’t your drink, I can understand that too. But for those of you down to let loose and have fun, hop on board! This exists solely to entertain and was made for people like you.
CRITTERS: A NEW BINGE arrives on Shudder’s U.S. service March 21