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The next time you see a shooting star in the sky, by all means make a wish upon it. Wish that your life will be spared, because it’s quite possible that the shooting star is marking the return of the Critters — they are coming, they are coming to kill you, and then they are going to eat you.
Following its Blu-ray and digital release, Critters Attack! is coming to SYFY this Friday, and it’s the perfect hybrid of scary and silly for October. Do the Critters look kind of cute? Maybe. Do they bring nostalgia out in you for the previous films (the first in 1986, the last in 1992) in this franchise? Probably. Are they lethal? Yes, yes they are. They also provide an adventure that is tons of fun.
For one thing, Rupert Harvey and Barry Opper, two producers on the original franchise, are at work here. They know what makes the Critters as fun and freaky as they are, and that madness continues its proud tradition here. Most of the Critter action takes place in that location of horror destiny — a cabin in the woods. This only adds to the constant winks that the movie gives you. It knows what it is, and it’s here to revel in it.
Drea (Tatiana Washington) ends up in this cabin, and it’s her job to survive the movie, as well as protect the children (of course) who are in her care as well as her brother Phillip (Jaeden Noel). Can she do it, or will the Critters…you know…eat her? Will she succumb to the madness? Will the great, nostalgic synth tones of composer Russ Howard III lull her into a false sense of security?
She could be outmatched, because the brilliant Steve Blum (Star Wars: Rebels, the English dub of Cowboy Bebop) voices the Critters. That’s good for the audience…it’s not good for Drea and her coterie. Thankfully she has the legendary Dee Wallace on her side, appearing here as the mysterious “Aunt Dee.” Wallace featured in the original Critters in 1986 (as Helen Brown), and now Wallace is on the case of tracking these little monsters.
The puppet design is what you might expect from anything Critters related — they look kind of cute at first, almost like if the Skeksis, Podlings, and Fizzgigs from The Dark Crystal all got cross-bred in a lab. Actually, that sounds disgusting, but it is still kind of accurate. The Critters are not to be underestimated. They will not be your friends. They will use your body to create more of themselves in a fashion most gross.
For fans of the original series, this will be a welcome return. If for nothing else, Wallace’s return makes for a fun viewing, as does scenes of the Critters rolling their furry way into murder. One early scene has Critters furry flying fast and loose onto people’s faces, and it’s hilarious…before the gore starts, and then you feel bad for laughing.
Speaking of gore, yes, this movie has it. Unlike it’s predecessors, it is rated R…and it earns it. The Critters may or may not scare you, but their scenes of body-ripping violence will definitely gross you out. We would caution viewers about what they eat before watching, as once the Critter-gore begins, it is somewhat relentless.
This is, once again, a perfect movie to watch with a group of friends right before Halloween. Whether you’re returning to the world of this cult classic franchise, or you are witnessing your very first attack, it’s a fun, disturbing watch, and it will have you think twice about any and all balls of fur that you may see out in the wild. Gather your troupe, muster your courage, and get ready to see how much R-rated gore these little balls of fluff are capable of.
Slight spoilers here: they are capable of a lot of it. Seriously. A lot.
Critters Attack! will hit SYFY on October 19th. Be ready, and get hyped!