Gremlins 2: The New Batch

 
Campy horror sequel has unrelenting cartoonish violence.
  • Review Date: June 3, 2013
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 106 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

As a slapstick farce of a horror movie, there isn't much in the way of positive messages.

Positive role models

While an argument could be made that Gizmo learns to stand up for himself, it would be a flimsy argument, as so much of the action is cartoonish and ridiculous.

Violence

While there's mostly cartoonish violence, and a lot of it, there are some moments in the film that might be scary for younger viewers. A gremlin is shot in the head by another gremlin. A gremlin is killed when a man shoves him into a paper shredder, resulting in thick green goo spraying all over the man's suit.

Sex

A woman makes sexual advances on a man at dinner by rubbing her foot against his groin area. A woman asks if a man is hiding pornography in a drawer in his cubicle.

Language

"Hell."

Consumerism

Gremlins build a gremlin out of Legos. A can of Jolt Cola is prominently displayed. Scenes in bars feature neon signs advertising Coors Light and Busch beer.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

An elderly Asian man smokes from a long pipe. The boss of one of the main characters is frequently seen smoking or lighting up a cigarette. Characters drink beer and cocktails at dinner. Dozens of gremlins take over a bar and are shown drinking and smoking. A chef on a television program drinks from a bottle of sherry.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Gremlins 2: The New Batch is the 1990 sequel to the hit '80s movie. It's more entertaining than one might expect, but much of that entertainment comes from cartoonish violence in the form of gremlins spending the last hour of this 90-minute movie running amok in a Manhattan high rise similar to Trump Tower. While not as gory as other horror movies, some of the gremlin deaths -- for instance, a gremlin getting killed via a paper shredder -- might be a bit much for younger viewers. Some of the satire of 1980s-style greed will also go over younger viewers' heads, as well as references to Ted Turner's attempts at colorizing classic black and white films in the late 1980s. There's mild profanity and a few mild sexual references. A troubling aspect worth mentioning is the stereotypical portrayal of an Asian character who does nothing but speak in broken English while taking nonstop photographs with his camera.

What's the story?

Gizmo is removed from his Chinatown curio shop home after Mr. Wing dies and the shop is slated for demolition by billionaire developer and broadcaster Daniel Clump. He ends up caged in Clump Tower, where "mad" scientists prepare to conduct research on him. But when Gizmo's old friend Billy (Zach Galligan), who has moved to the Big Apple and is, coincidentally enough, employed in Clump Tower, realizes that Gizmo is in the building, he rescues him from the scientists. While forced into a business dinner, Billy sends his doting wife Kate (Phoebe Cates) to rescue Gizmo, but by the time she gets there, it's too late. Gizmo has gotten wet, thus unleashing an army of evil gremlins, who run amok in the skyscraper and threaten to take over all of New York City.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The first 30 minutes of GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH throws together just enough of a storyline to lead to the remaining hour of the movie, which is basically little more than sequence after sequence after sequence of gremlins getting into trouble in a Manhattan high-rise. That being said, this sequel is surprisingly fun, as it mines a steady stream of laughs out of cartoonish violence and references to dozens of other movies.

It's a thin premise, but as the filmmakers knew, audiences don't watch sequels to Gremlins for deep character interaction -- they watch Gremlins sequels to watch gremlins going crazy destroying things. While there's lots of slapstick comedy, the movie also contains more sophisticated pop culture references and satire at the expense of moguls like Donald Trump and Ted Turner. It's a ludicrous, over-the-top kind of movie, and with the right expectations, it's the kind of movie that's enjoyable for its own sake.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about characters based on racial stereotypes. Why is it wrong to present characters in stereotypes based on their race, ethnicity, or gender?

  • How does this movie play with the conventions and "rules" of storytelling in movies?

  • How is the violence in the movie similar to and different from other horror movies?

Movie details

DVD release date:August 20, 2002
Cast:John Glover, Phoebe Cates, Zach Galligan
Director:Joe Dante
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Horror
Topics:Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Run time:106 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13

This review of Gremlins 2: The New Batch was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written byBBFC on CSM July 12, 2014
age 12+
 

BBFC 12

Contains moderate bloody fantasy violence, scary scenes and mild horror.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written bymiles12345677A. June 22, 2013
age 9+
 

not as much story, but a great sequel

The first time i watched it, I didn't really like it, I watched it again and liked it better, and the other day I watched it yet again, and i must say; I LOVED it! My point is you should watch it more than once, just to get a real idea of how good it is, and be aware: it does not have the same horror tone as the first one. As a movie four stars, but as a sequel five
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 17 years old Written byDominicboo1 June 6, 2013
age 11+
 

Silly Spooky Sequel Succeeds!

Gremlins 2 is a rare sequel that's even better and funnier than the original. The original Gremlins is funny...this is hilarious! However some mutated gremlins particulary Mohawk's transformation into Spider Gremlin are very dark and scary. However most of the new Gremlins are even funnier especially the new Brain Gremlin. (voiced perfectly by Tony Jay) This movie is definetly a good choice for those who like or (in my case love!)the original.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass