Gremlins ★★★★★

Perfect in nearly every way, Gremlins is timeless entertainment, and to this day remains one of Hollywood's greatest films, with Gizmo one of its finest creations. Now that I have kids I get to rediscover the treasures of my childhood with them over and over again; seems I just have to be ready with a carefully timed sneeze, or cough (or burp or fart) when Phoebe Cates says "that's when I knew there was no Santa Claus," at least for a little while longer.

Laden with Easter Eggs, some familiar, like "phone home caca," and some I swear I never noticed before, like the damn happy face sticker from The Howling on the Peltzer's refrigerator that director Joe Dante lingers on just long enough to notice, Gremlins is a treasure trove of entertainment for both kids and adults. You can almost see the give and take of the Dante/Spielberg collaboration in the downright horrific scene between the gremlins and Mrs. Peltzer (Dante), followed shortly thereafter with their juvenile antics in Dorry's bar (Spielberg), much of which should probably have ended up as deleted scenes. But watching young kids interact with it I can see how essential it is in placating the film's otherwise sinister edges.

Next to The Goonies this is the best thing Chris Columbus has ever written, and I hope for the inevitable reboot he can overcome the cloying pablum of his other efforts over the last twenty years and assemble the right people to recapture the original's tone. I could say that lightning cannot strike twice, but then again there is Gremlins 2: The New Batch.

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