I'd seen this film a few times before today, but for some reason I could hardly remember it. The only thing that stuck in my mind was the gremlins saying "Bright light! Bright light!" I'd also forgotten that they're not actually called gremlins in the film, they're mogwais.
A father buys his son a pet while on a business trip. It's a cute little creature that shows great intelligence and can even sing. The father is warned that there are three rules he must observe:
- The mogwai must be kept away from bright light, including normal daylight.
- The mogwai cannot get wet.
- The mogwai must not be allowed to eat after midnight.
Strange rules, especially the third. The reasons for the rules aren't stated, but when they're all broken we see what happens.
Mogwais are scared of bright light, and extended exposure to daylight can even kill them.
If a mogwai gets wet it has babies which are fully grown within minutes. What a boring way to get pregnant!
If a mogwai eats after midnight it morphs into a hairless evil creature with sharp teeth that looks more like a small dragon than a cuddly toy.
I thought it was a film directed by Steven Spielberg, but I realised today that he is only the executive producer. As you probably know, the executive producer of a film does almost nothing, as far as creative input is concerned. In most cases it's only someone who sits in the background, such as a book author who owns the rights to characters, someone with veto rights if he doesn't like things in the film. In the case of "Gremlins" I don't know why Steven Spielberg was given the job. Maybe the studio just wanted his name on the box because he was at the peak of popularity in the early 1980's.
The end result is a horror comedy that's pleasant enough, but has no outstanding qualities.