1980s cult film Gremlins is a classic holiday movie. If your idea of a holiday is heading down to Hades to spend some quality time with part bat, part frog, homicidal demons, that is.
The Joe Dante horror-comedy, which does have a Christmas theme to it, definitely errs more on the former if you’ve revisited it in recent years. In fact, we think we may be more afraid of it now than we ever were as kids.
And it totally makes sense why.
Watch the official Gremlins trailer below. Post continues after video.
The original draft of Gremlins by Chris Columbus was an all-out, R-rated, nightmare-inducing horror film surrounding the story of the murderous rat-like creatures who wreak havoc on a town to terrifying effect. And the one we got instead was… much the same, really, but with a PG rating.
In fact, the whole film in its hellish glory was inspired by a vermin infestation in Chris Columbus’ New York apartment. Which, now that we’re adults living out on our own in the wilderness, is a genuine fear we all share.
“By day, it was pleasant enough,” recalls Columbus, who was attending film school at NYU at the time. “But at night, what sounded like a platoon of mice would come out and to hear them skittering around in the blackness was really creepy.”
It was Spielberg who stepped in and suggested turning Gremlins into a family-friendly adventure film in order to meet budget, opting to take out some of the more… extreme deaths.
Even so, many of the horrific elements of the original script are still present.
Hear us out:
1. The three rules immediately instil a sense of terror.
Sure, Gizmo the mogwai is a cute little fella, but the rules surrounding how to care for him aren’t just for fun.
They’re not dissimilar to the sort of rules in vampire or werewolf folklore. Proper scary sh*t.
Of course – getting a mogwai wet makes it multiply, bright lights can kill them, but feeding them after midnight is what spawns the hideous and terrifying creatures that are gremlins.