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Bobby Miller
Tashiana Washington, Dee Wallace, Jaeden Noel
Writing Credits:
Scott Lobdell

While babysitting two teenagers, college student Drea discovers that the alien Krites have landed in the nearby forest.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Latin Spanish Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:
Latin Spanish

Runtime: 89 min.
Price: $24.98
Release Date: 7/23/2019

• Fight Commentary
• ”Engineering Gore” Featurette
• ”An Out of This World Experience” Featurette
• ”The Critter Ball” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Critters Attack [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 16, 2019)

After Critters debuted in 1986, the series ran to a fourth chapter by 1992. However, it then went dormant until 27 years later, when 2019’s Critters Attack brought it back to life.

20-year-old Drea (Tashiana Washington) takes a babysitting gig. This lands her time with young Trissy (Ava Preston) and Jake (Jack Fulton), and her own little brother Phillip (Jaeden Noel) comes along as well.

Desperate for a way to fill the kids’ time, Drea takes them for a hike. While they walk, they encounter weird little alien beasts who threaten their survival. Drea and the kids need to fight to stay alive.

Following the success of 1984’s Gremlins, we got a minor surge of movies that offered a similar mix of comedy and horror with strange diminutive creatures at the core. Ghoulies hit first, and then the original Critters came out a couple of years later.

None of these made much money, and even the official Gremlins sequel underperformed when The New Batch premiered in 1990. Despite those limited returns, cheap horror movies never die, so both Ghoulies and Critters churned out multiple sequels.

With Attack, we get more of a reboot than a true sequel, though this film walks the line. While it essentially feels and acts like a relaunch of the franchise, it maintains a connection to the prior flicks that make matters iffier.

A discussion of that topic would require spoilers, so I’ll avoid this domain. Suffice it to say that Attack technically exists as a sequel but it behaves much more like a reboot.

Pedantic discussions aside, does Attack muster any entertainment value? Nope - whatever potential might come from the basic premise goes down the dumper in this cheesy adventure.

Granted, some of Attack shoots for a campiness that leads to an intentional level of fromage. The movie never aspires to become a serious scarefest, so there’s always a tongue in cheek element.

Unfortunately, this translates less as wacky fun and more as amateurish nonsense. Poorly constructed and cheap, Attack fails to do much with its potential thrills.

Some of this stems from the presumably dirt-low budget. Whereas the original Gremlins had the wherewithal to create an apocalyptic sense of monster mayhem, Attack always feels constrained by its lack of funds.

This means the critters fail to mount a real feeling of danger, and the results don’t seem major. Everything comes across with such a bargain basement tone that we don’t view the events as menacing, no matter how much the characters attempt to convey impending doom.

As such, we get a toothless horror adventure. The action doesn’t excite and the scares don’t register.

I do like the choice to stick with puppets for the critters instead of the usual CG. This may’ve resulted from monetary concerns as well, but it works, as it allows the 2019 film to connect to its predecessors.

Though it underuses her, I also feel happy that Dee Wallace pops up here. She starred in the first movie, so it’s fun to see her again, even if Attack gives her little to do.

Despite the occasional positive, though, Attack flops as a whole. It’s not funny or scary or exciting and it just feels like a cheap attempt to revive a long-dormant franchise.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B-/ Bonus C-

Critters Attack appears in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a good but unmemorable presentation.

Overall sharpness felt fine, though some mildly soft spots materialized. These didn’t dominate, but the image could seem a bit on the soft side at times.

No signs of jagged edges or moiré effects appeared, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also remained absent.

Miraculously, the movie avoided the usual orange and teal palette. Attack went with a reasonably natural sense of hues, though these tended to lean toward the pale side. The colors looked decent but they lacked much vivacity.

Blacks seemed a bit inky, while shadows could come across as a little dense. Nothing bad occurred here, but the image left me underwhelmed.

Though superior, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack didn’t do much to impress either. The soundfield managed to open up during action scenes, albeit in a somewhat “speaker-specific” manner.

This meant that while the elements spread around the room with good localization, they didn’t blend together in a seamless manner. The soundscape added life to the proceedings but didn’t feel as natural as I would like.

Audio quality worked fairly well. Speech suffered from some iffy looping, but the lines remained acceptably natural and concise.

Music showed pretty good clarity – even if the score came across as cheap synth material – and effects delivered decent punch. Those elements offered reasonable range and boasted fair bass response at appropriate times. Ultimately, this was a competent but unremarkable mix.

When we move to extras, we get a scene-specific Fight Commentary. This features director Bobby Miller and critter ”Marty Krite” as they cover one six-minute sequence.

As expected, this chat takes on a comedic bent, one that views Marty as an actor, not an alien. It gives us minor amusement that ends quickly enough to avoid tedium.

Three featurettes follow, and Engineering Gore lasts eight minutes, two seconds and includes notes from Miller, prosthetics artist Shelagh McIvor, prosthetics coordinator Carolyn Williams, prosthetics designer Werner Pretorius, puppeteers Keith Arbuthnot and Mike Fields, and actors Dee Wallace, Jack Fulton and Jaeden Noel.

“Gore” looks at the design and creation of the movie’s Critters. It’s a short but informative overview.

With An Out of This World Experience, we find a six-minute, 58-second reel that features Wallace, Miller, Noel, Fulton, and actors Ava Preston and Tashiana Washington.

“World” tells us a bit more about the execution of the Critters but it also digs into some thoughts about the shoot in general. The featurette seems fluffier than “Gore” but it gives us some decent notes.

Lastly, The Critter Ball spans one minute, 55 seconds and brings notes from Miller, McIvor, Williams and Arbuthnot. As indicated by the title, it brings thoughts about the “Critter ball” scene. Though brief, it delivers a few useful insights.

The disc opens with ads for It Chapter Two and Batman: Hush. Trailers adds promos for Annabelle Comes Home and The Joker.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Attack. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

After 27 years, a minor horror series relaunches via 2019’s Critters Attack. Unfortunately, the franchise returns with a thud, as this cheap, lifeless effort fails to deliver any thrills or fun. The Blu-ray brings adequate picture and audio along with a smattering of supplements. If diehard Critters fans exist, they might get some pleasure from Attack, but it does nothing for me.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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