‘Big things come in small packages’
Gremlin – aka Gremlin’s Curse – is a 2017 horror monster movie directed by Ryan Bellgardt (The Jurassic Games; Army of Frankensteins) from a screenplay co-written with co-producers Josh McKamie and Andy Swanson. Adam Hampton, Katie Burgess and Caleb Milby star.
In the US, Gremlin was released in July via Uncork’d Entertainment. On 26 February 2018, the film is released on DVD in the UK by High Fliers Films as Gremlin’s Curse.
Buy DVD: Amazon.co.uk
Two years after the murder of his ten year-old son, Adam Thatcher receives a mysterious box from a relative containing a terrible secret, a creature that will brutally kill everyone he cares about one by one.
The only way to release himself from the curse is to give the box to someone he loves, continuing the never-ending circulation of this ancient evil.
As the ominous timer on the box counts down to its end, Adam can only imagine the horrors that await. Does he give the box away to save his family, or face his own demise while unleashing a powerful terror on the rest of humanity? He can’t destroy it. He can’t escape it. He can only give it to someone he loves…
Gremlin is a bit of a disappointment — it’s okay but not as good as expected — mainly due to the clichéd family dynamics (shrew wife, petulant teenage daughter, lunk of a husband, and nearly mute pre-teen son), inconsistent writing, and weak acting all around. Gremlin is certainly worth a watch just because of the unique subject, but probably not worth a second viewing.
Ben Spurling, MOVIES and MANIA
“The pacing of Gremlin is one of its most impressive aspects – not only is the plot development steady and engaging, but the action and the creativity of the film’s lore improves and accelerates as the minutes increase. Another memorable characteristic of the film is its willingness to make daring choices in its script that – without revealing any spoilers – take the story to new and unexpected heights.” tnhorror.com
” …a thoroughly engaging mini-monster movie […] Still, the protagonist-oriented, eighty-eight-minute photoplay is held back by less than stellar effects. It also suffers from a talkative second act and an all-too-abrupt finale.” Andrew Buckner, A Word of Dreams
” …it really manages to shock and surprise with its kills, not only how they are achieved but also by the mere fact that it shows no hesitation to kill off some of its most likeable characters rather than leaving the dying to cannon fodder supporting roles. Plus, it’s very effectively directed, with a CGI creature that looks suitably horrifying.” Mike Haberfelner, Search My Trash
“It’s a somewhat more realistic take on the usual monster thriller — for one thing, the police aren’t there solely to become victims and actually get to do some investigating. The special effects are a bit inconsistent, but the characters are all well-drawn and the acting is solid, even from the kids. And alongside the terror, the family still has to deal with the same problems they had before.” The Movie Critic Next Door
Interview with director Ryan Bellgardt:
While most would probably suppose that the film was inspired by Gremlins I’m thinking you might be a fan of another Joe Dante movie, Matinee.
At the risk of sounding uneducated, I’ll have to be honest and admit I’ve never seen Matinee. Sounds like I would like it, I’ll check it out! You are right by saying that this film wasn’t inspired by Gremlins at all. I was actually more inspired by It Follows and thought pitting a father against an unbeatable curse that included a mysterious gift and a creature would be fun.
Those classic B-movies of the ‘50s and ‘60s might have left an impression too. Am I right?
Oh sure! I love old Godzilla movies, Ray Harryhausen movies for sure and I also really loved shows like The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits.
I would say that I am more a child of the 80’s. I grew up watching popcorn movies and people like Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg have influenced me just as much if not more than B-Movies.
Do you have a favorite amongst those films?
One of the earliest films I remember that had a big impact on me was Fantastic Voyage. I was so in love with the idea and it showed me how movies can transport the viewer into a brand new world. It wasn’t played cheesy or winking at the audience. The characters in that movie believed it was all happening and I really liked that.
Is it hard to get folks to take these movies seriously though now after, well, Sharknado?
Yeah, that’s an interesting point. I can’t really help how seriously people take our movies, but we’re not trying to make a bad movie. The premises are often weird but I’ll always prefer that the actors play it straight. We’re constantly learning and improving our skills as filmmakers with the goal to make a movie that entertains people.
How would you describe the mix of tones in the film? Do you play it for reals?
Yes. It’s all for reals. Our cast is buying in 100% into their characters and giving the same type of performance that they would in a heavy family drama. It’s a dark story. This family has to make some really difficult and sometimes insane decisions. If they don’t buy into it, there’s no way the audience can. At the same time, I can’t help but inject a little fun and humor. I didn’t want Gremlin to be too depressing.
Can you tell us about some of the different titles you were flirting with for the film or was it always Gremlin?
The original working title was Give it to Someone You Love. We changed it to Gremlin about halfway through post-production.
We’d be remiss to ask you about your next film, The Jurassic Games. How is it going?!
It’s going great! We’re moving right along in post and are having a blast making dinosaurs devour our cast! I’m really excited to get this one out there too.
Cast and characters:
- Adam Hampton
- Katie Burgess
- Caleb Milby
- Rachael Messer
- Catcher Stair
- Mike Waugh
- Chris Crane
- Kristy K. Boone
- Kyle Pennington
- Mike Page
- Connie Franklin
- Stacy Casaluci
- Vicki Wilcox