Critters is a franchise that I grew up loving. I also wanted to start the series since it has connection to Easter, which is coming up. I couldn’t remember which of the first two actually took place on the holiday. Though I did figure it out after some internet detective work. I also had not seen any of the Critters movies in years. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the first one still holds up.
Critters was directed by Stephen Herek. The story was by Domonic Muir with the screenplay by Herek, Muir, and Don Keith Opper. I didn’t know that Opper had written on this movie, so that was interesting to see. A lot of the stuff I remember from this movie is stuff that carries through the entire franchise. The Crites talking was something I remembered but I didn’t remember them being such assholes. This one is very much like a siege movie but with monsters. There’s also a good mixture of humor in it, which helped keep it from getting too dark.
The cast of Critters is an interesting snapshot of the 80s. Dee Wallace, M. Emmet Walsh, Billy “Green” Bush, Scott Grimes, Nadine can der Velde, Don Keith Opper, Lin Shaye, Billy Zane, Ethan Phillips, Terrence Mann, and Jeremy Lawrence all star in the movie. The family all feel like they care about each other. The sibling feel like siblings, and you feel like they really care about each other. I didn’t realize that Billy Zane was in this and with hair. That was a surprise to me, especially him having hair.
The Chiodo Brothers made some iconic creatures with the Crites. They even managed to make the larger Crite kinda terrifying which can be hard to do. The bounty hunters and how they transform is really interesting. The music by David Newman fits the movie well. It switches tone when it needs to and does so well.
Critters is a fun monster movie that kicked off a franchise. It gets lumped into the movies that came out because of the success of Gremlins. It was probably being made before that but it came out after, which is the cause of that. You’d have to rent or buy Critters to watch it. I give Critters 8.5 cats in mailboxes out of 10.