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'Gremlins' is a Christmas classic

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Even the horror genre boasts films that render a Christmas story. An example is "Gremlins," which was released almost 30 years ago in 1984. Although it is considered a horror film, it is often played for laughs, and it is not nearly as violent as the "Friday the 13th" films.

"Gremlins" stars Zach Galligan as Billy Peltzer, an earnest young man who works at the bank. For Christmas, his dad gets him a new pet named Gizmo, a small, furry creature. Billy has to follow three rules: keep Gizmo away from water, do not feed him after midnight, and do not expose him to light. When these rules are broken, many new, green creatures are produced. These new aggressive and belligerent creatures have none of Gizmo's charm and terrorize Billy's home town.

"Gremlins" is very well acted. Zach Galligan does good work as Billy, who loves pets and tries hard to follow the rules for taking care of Gizmo. Phoebe Cates is also good. She plays Kate, Billy's girlfriend who also works at the bank.

Seeing the gremlins create chaos is very entertaining to watch. In one scene, Billy's mom fights some of them in the kitchen. It is fun to see this domestic, but determined mother protect her nest from usurping, unwelcome intruders.

For horror fans, "Gremlins" is a good choice to watch at Christmas time. It has a lot of suspense, but it is also very funny.


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