Gremlins is a beloved 80s film where terrifying creatures wreak havoc on a small town and murder many if it’s inhabitants. It’s no secret that this horror-comedy takes place during Christmas time, but the creep-factor prevents many people from thinking of it as a go-to holiday film. However, what they don’t realize is that Gremlins is a perfect Christmas movie. If you don’t believe that a movie with bloodthirsty monsters slaughtering folks for fun is a perfect Christmas flick, then check out the list below to see why you’re wrong.
The movie focuses on a Mogwai named Gizmo, who was given to Billy as a Christmas present from his father. He may be a pet, but he quickly becomes Billy’s best friend which is one of the best gifts he could have received. It turns out that if one of the three key rules are broken, Gizmo can spawn several hateful monsters. The movie is called Gremlins after these evil former-Mogwai, which all ties back to Billy getting his Christmas present.
On top of the film’s plot being centered on this one major Christmas present, we see Billy’s dad, Randall, constantly trying to invent something to be the next big present, and his failed attempts lead to some hilarious slapstick moments.
There’s not much more Christmasy than singing carols. This film is chock full of holiday hits like “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” and “Do You Hear What I Hear?”. Gremlins are murdering people while most of them play, but they’re certainly playing to make everything feel more festive.
Not only that, but a handful of the Gremlins take time out of their busy murder schedules to go caroling at Mrs. Deagle’s mansion. They even dress up like cute little demonic Christmas carolers. They sing their own little tune mostly composed of Gremlin grunts, but they’re trying their best to spread Christmas cheer. They mostly use it as a distraction to mess with some electrical equipment in Mrs. Deagle’s house, but they’re clearly in the holiday spirit as they do it!
Stories of Santa
Every Christmas flick needs a good story featuring Santa, right? Well, Gremlins certainly has stories of Santa Claus. Kate tells Billy about the time she was a kid and her father dressed as Santa to surprise her and the rest of her family by coming down the chimney. He slipped, broke his neck, and died, but it’s still a fun, Christmasy idea if it had worked!
One of the citizens of Kingston Falls, Dave Meyers, dressed up as Santa every year. Well, he did so until he was devoured by Gremlins, that is. That being said, a man dressing up as Santa every year to entertain local families is super festive and wholesome!
Kindness Prevails While the Greedy are Punished
Many Christmas classics showcase a similar theme where kindness is rewarded and greed and cruelty is punished. We see it in Frosty the Snowman when Santa makes Professor Hinkle write “I’m sorry for what I did to Frosty” a hundred zillion times while Frosty gets to stay at the North Pole so he doesn’t melt. In Gremlins, the greedy Mrs. Deagle gets launched from her chair-elevation railway out her window and to her death. She was like Ebenezer Scrooge, but instead of being visited by three ghosts, she was visited by a horde of singing killer Gremlins.
Of course, the kind-hearted heroes all get to live, and even reunite in a sequel. Even Mr. and Mrs. Fudderman somehow live through getting crushed by a snowplow. The themes in Gremlins totally match up with other Christmas classics.
One of the best parts of the holiday season is all the beautiful decorations. There’s something about all the lights and colors that can warm the coldest of hearts. Of course, most of the set pieces in Gremlins are decked out in gorgeous decorations. Not only that, but the decorations are heavily used throughout the story, like when Gremlins jump out of the Christmas tree at Lynn or swing from Christmas lights at Pete.
Sure, the decorations are used by the Gremlins as a vessel for murders, but they play a large role because of it, and the decorations should be a big part of a Christmas movie.
As you can see, Gremlins has all the makings of a perfect Christmas movie. If you still think otherwise, then perhaps there is just no convincing you.
[…] Gremlins 2: The New Batch was released in 1990. Since then, other than cameo appearances in The LEGO Batman Movie, Ready Player One, Space Jam: A New Legacy, and the like, there has been no actual Gremlins content. That’s why it’s particularly exciting that a new animated series is on the way. Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai is an upcoming prequel series that will be released on Max (formerly HBO Max) and will explore the origins of how Mr. Wing gained possession of Gizmo years before the events of the original movie. […]