It’s 1984. You’re nine years old, and completely naive about the ways of the world. You see the Gremlins trailer. It’s kind of cute. Kind of has a holiday appeal to it. There’s Phoebe Cates. She’s a comely woman. Oooh, look. A cute little Mogwai. It’s adorable. But wait? What’s that? If you don’t follow three rules (No water, no food after midnight, and no bright light), the Mogwai turns mischievous ?
Awwww. A mischievous Mogwai? What’s it do, throw glasses and lick your face? How adorable. Oh sure, the trailer suggests that they become clever and dangerous, but what it doesn’t tell you is that they will scary the holy goddamn Jesus out of you!
It’s smart, really. This is back when the movie wasn’t completely given away in the trailer. It looked kind of like a kids’ horror movie. You never see a Gremlin’s face … just a brief shot of the back of their heads. So, you have no idea when you go into the theater that you’re going to leave 100 minutes later bawling, with urine-soaked pants, and traumatized for life.
Well played, Gremlins trailer. Well played.