A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Courage, working hard, teamwork, and integrity.
Positive Role Models
Drea works hard and applies herself, striving to get into a good college despite being from an under-resourced background. She also shows initiative and heroism when confronting the threat posed by the alien "critters."
Diverse main cast, including multi-ethnic families, work forces, and communities. Good gender balance among the lead characters.
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Violence & Scariness
Bloody injury, death and gore, including aliens who live inside and feed off human victims. Blood spray and spatter, including alien gore from on-screen critter deaths. Some comedy and slapstick moments feature as part of several on-screen deaths. Fighting with guns, knives, and improvised sharp weapons, such as rakes and spades.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mild, unrequited romantic interest between two teen characters. Shirtless male nudity.
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Language used includes "bastards," "bitch," "a--holes," and variants of "s--t."
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Products & Purchases
One character has a YouTube channel, for which they produce merchandising -- played for comic effect. A couple of younger characters are preoccupied with their phones and other electronic devices.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Critters Attack! is a horror-comedy reboot of the successful '80s and '90s B-movie franchise with moments of bloody and gory violence. When a species of small alien monsters arrive on Earth, they begin killing and devouring humans. Led by Drea (Tashiana Washington), a group of peers -- who initially don't get along -- unite to combat the critters with Drea in particular displaying intelligence and bravery. Violence is frequent, bloody, and gory. The critters do little else other than kill and eat humans, leading to many scenes of gruesome deaths, with exposed organs and bones in some cases. The critters too have graphic deaths, with green blood spatter and blue insides decorating the screen. There is strong diversity and gender balance among the main cast -- and even among the critters. There is occasional swearing, such as "s--t" and "a--holes," as the stress of the characters' situation causes tempers to fray. Likewise, mild consumerism is present, as two younger characters initially prefer their smart devices to real-world interactions. Another supporting character makes a brief mention of merchandising alongside his fledgling YouTube channel, in one of the movie's many lighter moments. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Although it existed firmly in the shadow of the Gremlins movies during its initial run in the 1980s and '90s, the Critters franchise has retained a cult audience. This TV movie reboot, Critters Attack!, is the fifth film of franchise, and follows a spin-off TV series. It's a slight but savvy addition that makes absolutely no effort to take itself seriously and is all the better for it. Washington leads on the front foot as the smart, proactive Drea, whipping through a script that is light on characterisation and detail but manages a steady supply of goofy set pieces and bloody, comedy deaths.
A couple of brief call backs to the earlier films are supplied by a cameo from Dee Wallace as Aunt Dee, who appeared in the original 1986 Critters as lead Helen Brown. Thankfully, these aren't just "fan service" cameos, rather they help the film get to its final destination. Which is ... an inevitable, blood-spattered showdown with a sniggering race of carnivorous, rampaging monsters. So while it's impossible to recommend Critters Attack! as required viewing, it does provide a low budget horror-comedy that's probably fine with you viewing it as nothing more than a disposable but diverting 90 minutes.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.