Review: Gremlins (4K)

Randall Peltzer, a struggling inventor, visits a Chinatown antique store in the hope of finding a Christmas present for his son Billy. In the store, Randall encounters a small, furry creature called a ‘mogwai.’ The owner, Mr. Wing, refuses to sell the creature to Randall. However, his grandson secretly sells the mogwai to Randall, warning him to remember three important rules that must never be broken—do not expose the mogwai to bright lights or sunlight which will kill it, do not let it come in contact with water, and never feed it after midnight.

Plot: A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.

Director:  Joe Dante

Aspect Ratio: 1.85.1

Runtime: 106 min

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Whether you choose to see it as a statement on consumer culture or simply a special effects-heavy popcorn flick, Gremlins is a minor classic.

Online Ratings:

  1. Rotten Tomatoes 84% 
  2. IMDB 7.3
  3. Metacritic 40

“Keep him out of the light. Don’t give him any water — and no matter what, never feed him after midnight.”


This movie was shot on 70mm film and ultimately given a 4K digital intermediate. As per the norm with UHD releases, it was also given a HDR color grade for your viewing pleasure in HDR10. When it comes to grain, you get grain, grain and more grain — sometimes it’s light, but most of the time it’s pretty moderate. Good news is that the grain helps the movie hold a filmatic look, which looks great in its full screen ratio. As expected, there are some soft shots, but nothing that takes you out of the movie.

Gremlins on 4K UHD is the best way to watch and it’s the first true release of the film to date.

This disc is an upgrade at nearly every level — you’ll get more sharpness, great use of HDR and black levels. As you already know, this film is pretty dark, so you will notice the increased contrast and shadows during those scenes. The easiest highlights to note are not only the character close-ups, but during the few daytime moments. You’ll notice boosts in sharpness and color due to the natural lighting and great use of HDR. Something else to note is even though it’s a great upgrade, this disc won’t have eye-popping reference grade material — just know it’s a solid 80’s looking UHD transfer. Honestly, if you’ve ever watched the Blu-ray release, nearly every scene in UHD is a highlight in comparison. I’ll just leave it at that.

Gremlins has long been considered a classic of the 80’s and a film that comes into rotation every single time the holidays come around. Gremlins, at least in my opinion, goes into the category of alternative Christmas movies to watch like Die Hard and Lethal Weapon. You can’t go wrong.

Officially, the 4K UHD Combo Pack & Digital releases on October 1st, so make sure you head out to your local retailer to pick it up — it’s an easy recommendation. We need more 80’s movies getting this treatment. Moving forward, there are actually a lot of classics coming to the UHD format next month including: The Shining, Pans Labyrinth, Scarface, The Wizard of Oz and It’s A Wonderful Life — be sure to check back in for more reviews throughout October.

Are you a fan of this movie? Will you be picking it up in UHD? Let me know what you think in the comments below.



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