Following the release of the 5th Critters film, Critters Attack in 2019, I looked at exploring the rest of the series, having only seen the original many years ago.
Luckily, with Grimmfest returning with a physical festival last year, I got the chance to see Critters on the big screen and totally fell in love with its campy sci fi narrative all over again.
Released following the success of Joe Dante’s Gremlins, Critters was a tongue in cheek adventure where it felt like everyone was in on the joke – including the Critters.
After bagging the Critters collection off Amazon for £3, I was set for more capers with the crites.
But how does the series fair from here on out?
Sadly, its a mixed bag at best, although the sequel, directed by Mick Garris is plenty of fun and feels more consistent with the tone of the original.
The most notorious thing about Critters 3 is the casting of Leonardo DiCaprio, in one of the child roles. It promises to bring the Critters story to the city, when in reality it does very little with the crites and has a languid pace at best.
As we get to Critters 4, billed as Critters in Space (even though they are from space…), the filmmakers make the strange choice of keeping the Critters on the periphery of the plot for the first 35 minutes, instead of focusing on the crew of a spaceship who happen upon the eggs of the crites.
Again there is an impressive cast, including Angela Bassett and Brad Dourif.
At that point, that was the end of the series until three years ago, when Critters was revived in the wave of returning franchises post-Halloween 2018. Featuring a brief cameo from a returning Dee Wallace, Critters Attack suffers from poor CGI but is tonally more consistent than its two predecessors.
Please note, I am not counting the series, Critters: A New Binge, which briefly showed on Shudder.
What do you think of the Critters series? Let us know in the comments.