Critters (1986) is an American sci-fi comedy, action horror movie that is the first installment in its series. The Critters series consist of Critters (1986), Critters 2: The Main Course (1988), Critters 3 (1991), Critters 4 (1992), and Critters: Bounty Hunter (2014). Director Stephen Herek (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), 101 Dalmatians (1996), Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995), The Three Musketeers (1993)) did an amazing job with a small budget. The movie contains sexual references, bad language, a lot of violence involving creatures eating humans, frightening scenes, suspense, minor thrills, comedy and a little bloody.
Critters start by showing us a group of ‘Crites’ killing two guards while being transported from one prison to another. The Crites went on to escaping by hijacking a ship from the station. The commander hires two shapeshifting bounty hunters to capture them. The movie then skips to showing us Jay Brown and his family lives in Kansas on Earth. Jay’s son Brad (Scott Grimes - American Dad! (2005), ER (1994), Robin Hood (2010), Party of Five (1994)) mistook the Crites spaceship for a meteorite. Jay (Billy Green Bush - Five Easy Pieces (1970), The Hitcher (1986), Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974)) felt the ground shaking as the Crites land and went out to investigate. It did not take long for the Critters to start creating chaos and devouring humans. These are no ordinary Critters as they can shoot small metal darts that will quickly tranquilize their targets causing them to go numb. The bounty hunters are also causing the town to be in an uproar as they search for the Critters. The movie goes on to being a somewhat enjoyable watch as the Brown family fights to save their lives.
The movie was an okay watch that I enjoyed to an extent but did not like the concept that the Critters can eat whatever they want with no consequence, and it is hard to get rid of them. The ending of the movie was a shocker as it gave a clue to part two. The humor in the film helped from taking the movie too seriously and was much needed. The actors did a great job with their roles, and the sets were fantastic, but it lacked excitement and depth. The screenplay could have been better or maybe it was, and the director did not execute the movie to the potential it had. Overall the movie was okay but is not something that I will watch again. I saw a crew member through a window in the back of a shot where the family drags the father through the front door after he is attacked for the second time. There were a few goofs in the movie, but they were minor and might be undetectable to most viewers.
About Critters (1986)
Starring: Lin Shaye, Dee Wallace, Billy Zane, Corey Burton, Adolf Hitler, Don Keith Opper, Billy Green Bush, M. Emmet Walsh, Ethan Phillips, Terrence Mann, Scott Grimes, Montrose Hagins, Roger Hampton, Nadine Van der Velde, Art Frankel, Jeremy Lawrence, Michael Lee Gogin, Douglas Koth, Chuck Lindsley, David Stenstrom, Adele Malis-Morey
Director: Stephen Herek