‘This time everyone is on the menu’
Critters Attack! is a 2019 American comedy horror feature film directed by Bobby Miller (The Cleanse). It was produced by Adam Friedlander and Armand Leo (Tremors franchise). The movie stars Dee Wallace – who was in the original Critters – Tashiana Washington, Ava Preston, Jack Fulton, Jaeden Noel and Vash Singh.
Twenty-year-old Drea (Tashiana Washington) reluctantly takes a job babysitting for a professor of a college she hopes to attend.
Struggling to entertain the professor’s children Trissy (Ava Preston) and Jake (Jack Fulton), along with her own little brother Phillip (Jaeden Noel), Drea takes them on a hike, unaware that mysterious alien critters have crash-landed and started devouring every living thing they encounter…
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Surprisingly unamusing for a supposed comedy horror film and definitely betraying its TV movie origins, Critters Attack! is a decidedly unwelcome and belated addition to what was a previously enjoyable franchise. It plays like a Disney channel kids movie via Stranger Things and it’s a plodding half an hour in before we finally see a “cute” Crite, ala’ Gremlins. Some dodgy puppets turn up as we go along, however, the emphasis still remains largely on juvenile angst and not the alien beasties the audience wants to see.
Inexplicably, Critters Attack! is due to be shown at the London FrightFest in August. Cripes, why? Critters Attack! isn’t even decent Syfy channel material, let alone worthy of a film festival date.
The finale is poorly lit (a common problem with many recent movies) presumably to cover up the lacklustre special effects. Even the welcome presence of Dee Wallace can’t obviate the blandness. It’s hardly spoiler worthy to say that badly-played bagpipes save the day. Comedy bagpipes scenes are obviously hilarious, after all.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES & MANIA
” …outside of bits and pieces, the humour is mostly absent. A Critters movie should be hilarious silly fun, but its human characters suck the fun out of the proceeding […] suffers from a bland cast of characters, poor pacing and, most significantly, a lack of campy fun.” Joe Lipsett, Bloody Disgusting
“As a reboot, lore is cast aside. Monsters here. Gore there. People run. Repeat. Other than adding a Crite queen, Critters Attack isn’t keen on differentiating itself. For the rushed climax, an idea from Critters 2 is reused (again with the nostalgia), without the vibrant energy of that ‘80s gem.” Matt Popricki, DoBlu
“It isn’t the scary fun of the originals, nor is it the outrageously stupid though effective humor of Critters: A New Binge. Critters Attack! is a by the numbers horror-comedy that doesn’t do either well, and fails to build much suspense throughout because of it. I’d wait to feast on this one until it’s streaming somewhere…” Killer Horror Critic
“Though well-played, there’s a mite too much business about Drea’s educational aspirations – when we’re all really here for alien furball massacres, which are trotted out via old school gloopy physical effects (there’s an 80s pastiche electronic score too and even the titles have a VHS look).” The Kim Newman Web Site
“Every now and then a little amusement trickles out in the festivities from seeing a hapless sap get preyed upon and turned into a meal, or to see a critter burst into green gloop. Within the movie’s tonal limits, it can’t get especially nasty and its humor is plain bad, but with a project like this, it’s the little things.” Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com
“Balancing the tone of a film like this can be a challenge, as one wants to make sure that there is a genuine sense of danger, but never so much that we forget to have fun. Miller and his cast are totally game for the challenge, delivering performances that accentuate the lunacy of the material without stepping over the line to camp.” J Hurtado, Screen Anarchy
Critters Attack! was rated ‘R’ by the MPAA for “bloody creature violence.”
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is releasing Critters Attack! on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital on July 23rd, 2019.
Image credits: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
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