I must admit, I do have something of a soft spot for the Critters movies. Back in the days of setting the VHS to record late night horror movies on Channel 4, Critters was always a favourite. And the second one was pretty good too. And the third one had a very young Leo Dicaprio. And the fourth one was… a film as well…
So, I’ll be honest, I was pretty excited to see that a fifth one was on the way. Disappointed in the lack of Scott Grimes, sure, but heartened at the knowledge that Dee Wallace would be back for more.
And “back for more” pretty much sums it up.
Critters Attack! sees sushi delivery girl Drea (Tashiana Washington) as the newest victim of the Crite invasion as an evening of babysitting turns into a night of terror when our favourite furry basketballs wreak havoc on yet another small midwest town. Add in a cute and fluffy female crite by the name of Bianca, and we have… a film.
The issue with Critters Attack! lays not in the lacklustre acting. It lays not in the fact that almost every death involves the victim being dragged off screen. Indeed, it lays not even in the fact the Dee Wallace seems utterly uncomfortable playing a bounty hunter rather than her usual “horror movie mom” role. It lays simply in the fact that this is a film series from the nineteen eighties, whose only attempt in trying to update its sensibilities is by having a tweenager communicate only via text message. This is a film that feels dated before its own release.
I wanted to be on board. I really did. The puppets are still great, but, as The Muppets Wizard of Oz can attest, that does not a movie make. The dead horse of the Critters legacy is being flogged, and at this point, the corpse really should have been left on that space station back in 1992.
Dir: Bobby Miller
Scr: Scott Lobdell
Cast: Tashiana Washington, Ava Preston, Jack Fulton, Jaeden Noel, Dee Wallace
Prd: Bobby Miller
DOP: Hein de Vos
Music: Russ Howard
Run time: 89 mins
Critters Attack! is out now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Video.