Follows 20-year-old Drea, who reluctantly takes a job babysitting for a professor of a college she hopes to attend. Struggling to entertain the professor’s children Trissy and Jake, along with her own little brother Phillip , Drea takes them on a hike, unaware that mysterious alien critters have crash-landed and started devouring every living thing they encounter.
Following the trend of other recently-resurrected horror franchises (Halloween, Leprechaun Returns), Critters Attack! seems to be a direct sequel to the first Critters movie from 1986, ignoring the subsequent sequels. At least I think it is. I have to admit, I am a huge fan of this recent trend. It’s certainly much better than just making a “reboot” as those tend to ignore the source material. Creating a direct sequel to the original film also lets the viewer catch up on the franchise by only having to watch the original film itself and not its dozen or so sequels in order to keep up with the story.
The story of Critters isn’t a complex one. A bunch of furry, razor-toothed aliens crash land on Earth and eat everything and everyone in sight. However I do recommend watching the first Critters movie before watching this one, if only to appreciate its 80’s campi-ness. Among those characters we see Dee Wallace rejoining the cast, although she goes by “Aunt Dee” in Critters Attack! and not “Helen Brown”, which was her character from Critters (1986). This fact gave me hesitation that this could actually be a reboot, although “Aunt Dee” seemed to know what the aliens were when they landed, so I’m sticking with my initial reaction that this is a sequel.
Getting to the movie itself, the acting leaves a lot to be desired. The budget was obviously very low and the dialogue in most non-action scenes were either poorly written or poorly delivered, or a combination of both. But let’s be honest, we don’t watch monster-horror-comedy for the A-list acting – we watch it for the monsters! Even with the low budget, they did a great job of recreating the Critters, and with practical effects instead of CGI! I enjoyed every scene that had Critters in them, and I appreciate the filmmakers taking the time to keep them true to form.
Everything said and done, I think given a larger budget this movie would have the mainstream movie-goers entertained, but as is, I don’t see non-fans of the original movie enjoying this. Given that I was and still am a fan of the original Critters movie and its subsequent sequels (yes, even Critters 4), I thoroughly enjoyed watching the little furballs of death roll around and cause mayhem again.
This movie is…
It’s not for your average horror fan, but fans of Critters won’t be disappointed.
Cheers and goodnight.