[Review] “Gremlins” (in 4DX) the Enhanced Classic is a Holiday Treat

Baby Yoda may have taken over the world, but while everyone is reveling in his cuteness-overload I was reminded of an equally precious predecessor. When the adorable mogwai Gizmo popped on-screen during a showing of Gremlins in 4DX, my heart sighed. His furry tiny body, and charming personality easily rival Baby Yoda. He was the original big-eyed, bat-eared gangsta.

I was too young to see it on the big screen before but when I discovered a limited 4K re-release in 4DX (even better) I jumped at the chance. After viewing It: Chapter 2 in 4DX I’m hooked. It’s described as an immersive movie-going experience. With motion seats, flashing lights and effects such as water, wind, and scents; it is essentially a movie ride. The 4DX in this film started out slow but amped up immensely as soon as the gremlins made their appearance.

Since it had been so long since I’d seen the movie, I was a bit worried about it showing its age. However, my fears were unnecessary. Directed by Joe Dante and originally released in 1984, Gremlins has held up incredibly well. The upscaled scenes were crisp, the sound was superb, and it proves that good practical effects are impossible to beat. The gremlins still look so amazing!

While Christmas shopping in Chinatown, Randall Peltzer (Hoyt Axton) discovers the perfect gift in a little Mogwai named Gizmo (voiced by Howie Madel). Ignoring a warning that the mogwai comes with great responsibility he purchases the pet in a back alley.

Randall is told the three rules never to break. No bright lights and sunlight will kill him. No feeding after midnight. And don’t get him wet. Gifting him to his son Billy (Zach Galligan) everything goes smoothly until two of the rules are broken unleashing Gremlins upon their small town.

If there was one thing I remembered from watching Gremlins in the past, it was how much fun I had watching it. This time it was even more amusing. I was able to see humor where I didn’t as a child and the 4DX enhanced the scenes perfectly.

The outrageous story and exaggerated characters are deliciously over-the-top. Randall as a struggling inventor/traveling salesman and the horrible Ruby Deagle (Polly Holliday) are caricatures. Mrs. Deagle was in one of my favorite and greatest scenes I’ve felt in 4DX. The seats rotating along with the stair slide and ending in a thud was comical and a bit thrilling.

It was clear that this movie entertained the crowd. Much of the audience was laughing out loud. And especially during the gremlins antics. The skateboarding, drinking and devious dudes are really comedy gold. They did an excellent job being each one to life with individuality.

Gremlins might not be a traditional Christmas movie, but it certainly put me in the spirit! The nostalgia I felt as a child was still there and I think I’m going to add this to my Christmas viewing rotation. And hopefully, we’ll see that rumored Gremlins reboot come to fruition soon!

Crystal Cleveland
Born and raised in Corpus Christi, TX, Crystal knew from a very young age that she wanted to be an actress.

She began modeling at the age of 4, walking the runway for JCPenney and Sears. Was published in multiple magazines as an adult, and served as inspiration for two comic-based publications. With a theatre background in productions of Les Miserables, Into the Woods, and The Bad Seed she lived throughout Texas and California. During this time, she anchored a local news-based program and worked on several local commercials.

Now living in Charlotte, NC, she is making a heavier transition into Movie/TV-based productions. Recently being cast in a horror-based series out soon.