This one is not to be confused with GREMLINS, or the godawful GREMLINS 2. Such associations are likely inevitable, though, given the unfortunate choice the creators made with titling this film. It has had several, among them the far more appropriate THE BOX, but they ended up going with GREMLIN. I hope the title doesn’t cause it to get overlooked, because this flick is a real gem. The acting is good and the story manages the rarity of being unpredictable; there are a few times when the script takes a 90-degree turn that I didn’t at all see coming. GREMLIN is also the most unintentionally hilarious movie I’ve seen in some time.
There’s a little monster in a box, the latter being a slightly larger version of the puzzle box from HELLRAISER. The box must be given as a gift to someone the owner loves. Otherwise the little monster that lives inside it will come out and kill the recipient. And there’s a timer on the box. If it runs down before the box is handed off to someone else, the monster inside, which is really an alien god, will destroy the world. The monster itself is equal parts cricket and bullfrog, mixed with the Alien chestbuster, and the fact that it’s adorable and tiny in addition to indestructible and completely lethal had me giggling with delight every time it showed up. GREMLIN is not GREMLINS. But if you enjoyed the latter film, chances are you’ll like the former.