It’s December and, as they say, Christmas / Chanukah / Yule / Kwanzaa / Non-denominational-holiday-season-with-themed-candy is just around the corner. While many households take the time to screen classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and the Rugrats Chanukah Special, others watch films like Krampus, Gingerdead Man, and my personal favorite: GREMLINS.
The 1984 horror-comedy classic was written by Chris Columbus, produced by Steven Spielberg, and directed by Joe Dante. Starring Zack Galligan and Phoebe Cates, GREMLINS is a heartwarming story about love, teamwork, and welcoming a new family member.
For those of you who still have not seen this 80s gem, here’s a quick rundown: a man buys a mysterious creature called a “Mogwai” from Chinatown to give to his late-teen (early-20s?) son, Billy, for Christmas. Billy loves the creature, named Gizmo, but manages to fuck up the three simple rules he was given within, like, 24 hours: Never get Gizmo wet; Never expose Gizmo to bright lights; and most importantly, never feed Gizmo after midnight.
His friend (played by Corey Feldman) accidentally spills water on Gizmo, causing more Mogwais to spring out of him. You can guess how this ends: chaos ensues. Actually, all hell breaks loose. The new Mogwai trick Billy into feeding them after midnight and they molt into reptilian, homicidal monsters. Not Gizmo though; he’s a sweet lil’ angel baby that rivals Baby Yoda (yeah, I said it. Don’t @ me).
Anyway, people in the town are killed, buildings are destroyed, yada yada. GREMLINS has a bittersweet ending that I won’t spoil.
Definitely give this film a watch. Or a rewatch. And what better way to do so than in 4DX?
For a limited time, Regal Cinemas hosted a special 4DX screenings of GREMLINS. You know those amusement park rides where you sit in chairs in front of a screen, and the chairs move with the movie so it feels like you’re in the movie-world, and sometimes water gets sprayed in your face?
This experience was like that. Only with more jump-scares and better dialogue. And more Phoebe Cates.
Seeing GREMLINS in 4DX was slightly more enjoyable than watching it on the stagnant couch in my living room. Were the added effects totally necessary? Not at all. But the whole thing raises an intriguing question: is 4DX the future of genre films? Truth be told, I could totally see it happening—after some experimentation with older films, like Terminator, Jurassic Park, Jaws, and maybe The Lost Boys.
For now, we have GREMLINS to satisfy us…and it’s everything you didn’t know you wanted for the holidays. For more on GREMLINS check out our full review here.