Gremlins (1984) - Dir. Joe Dante
Written by Chris Columbus (Home Alone (1990)), Gremlins (1984) actually has little to do with the Christmas spirit outside of giving and receiving. In fact, it more than likely led to the invention of gift receipts. One of three holiday horror films released in 1984, Gremlins is just as comedic as it is terrifying, and grows funnier with age. At the time of its release the film was one of two titles, the other being Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), that led to the creation of the PG-13 rating, due to violent subject matter that was still too tame for an R rating. The juxtaposition of comedy and horror is where Gremlins finds its success. While it is violent, it's a cartoon violence, and is only as serious as over-protective parents, who don't care to explain it to their children's delicate sensibilities, make it out to be. The bigger problem with the film is the suspension of disbelief that you must undergo in order to fully enjoy the movie. Fortunately the film is so entertaining that most of the issues with the story, such as the Gremlins multiplying when wet, but not multiplying when running around in the SNOW, or showering each other in booze, goes unnoticed. However, in the true holiday spirit of marketing, the film did launch a slew of products inspired by the creatures from the film including action figures, games, and stuffed dolls of the hero of the film: Gizmo.