Ben Hibburd’s review published on Letterboxd:
I'm finding recently that I'm having to be careful when I'm navigating through my childhood favourites. Now that I'm older (but not much wiser) I find that I'm looking at these films through a different lens; a more analytic one at that. Issues that used to fall under the radar are far more apparent.
I found that this was a film of two halves, the first 30-40 minutes were not great shall we say. I liked the opening set up, sorting out the films rules and mythos was fine, but soon the film started to drag out as nothing interesting was happening. I also found the characters to be pretty boring, and not particularly memorable, at-least during the first act.
However, once those little Gremlins come out to play, and the havoc ramps up this film becomes so much fun! Where-as the first 40 minutes were slightly subdued, the film explodes into life when Gizmo has his offspring. Watching Gremlins for the first time in about ten years, I'd forgotten just how intense the film can get, but it never comes across in bad taste. The mischief and mayhem is still ever present, and no matter how many times I watch that mean old lady fly out of her window via her stair lift, I howl with laughter.
Coming back to this film after so many years was a weird experience. Over-all I still very much enjoy this film, and the parts that work; work extremely well. There are so many enjoyable and memorable moments, the majority of which come during the second half of the film. It acts almost as a metaphor for director Joe Dante's wildly creative imagination being let loose as soon as the Gremlins are. Because some of the build up in the first act went on for to long, and any time the the story wasn't focused on the Gremlins it felt rather boring. However, despite the rough start this is still one of the best horror comedies of the 1980's.