Sunday, November 11, 2007

Critters 2

I hadn’t seen this movie since I was a little kid, so after my purchase of the original Critters a year ago turned out fairly well, I was curious to see how the rest of the series would hold up. Sadly, going by this follow-up (the first of three), I’d have to guess that the series may have been best off by stopping after the first one.

This is not to say that the movie is bad, per se (although it is), it’s more that it’s a pretty big drop off from the first. The somewhat subtle humor in the original has now been replaced by wacky sound effects, giving it this weird dichotomy of being a movie that seems to have been made for children, but with brief nudity and people being eaten. The plot, like most horror sequels, is basically that of the first film, only on a somewhat larger scale. The evil space monster critters are back, and this time instead of mostly confining themselves to one small farmhouse, they are now trying to wipe out an entire Midwest town. The alien bounty hunters Ug and Lee (I so didn’t get that awful pun until I was reading the back of the DVD case for this) are also back, as well as the heroic young boy, now looking roughly college age.

The various monster attacks alternate fairly well between being pure comedy (like when the Critters swarm the town sheriff while he’s dressed up as the Easter bunny), and being, well, only semi-comedic, as when they ambush one of the bounty hunters. It’s better than most monster movies of this type, as it keeps moving along at a fairly steady clip, and there’s nothing outright dull or obnoxious about it. Indeed, there’s even a few outright clever moments to it, as when the Critters all join together at the end to create a massive ball of eating power, or the ridiculously fast response time of the bounty hunters. It’s just that there’s nothing really particularly impressive about it all, which is a real shame since the original was so much fun. I may still eventually get the last two in the series, just because part 3 marks the film debut of Mr. Leonardo DiCaprio, and part 4 is what I believe may be the first time a horror series jumped the shark by putting its monsters in outer space….IN THE FUTURE!!!!~ before it became almost a fad to do that when a series ran out of steam.

Rating: **

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