The Critters franchise is getting a significant update this year through Shudder’s Critters: A New Binge and now Syfy’s Critters Attack! The fifth feature-length film in the series, which originally ran from 1986 to 1992, is making its network premiere on Syfy this weekend after a Blu-ray and streaming launch over the summer. While not a classic by any standards, the film should still provide nostalgia for fans of the property.
Critters Attack! was shot in South Africa, doubling for small-town USA, and is separate from the generally unloved Critters: A New Binge series that ran on Shudder this year. Furthermore, Critters Attack! is only loosely tied to the original four films, acting more as a soft reboot with some winking nods to past events than a conventional sequel. The main connection to the original Critters is actor Dee Wallace, who we interviewed this summer about her role in the Syfy picture.
Wallace, who doesn’t reprise her part but plays a new character called “Aunt Dee” signed off after understanding that the Critters Attack! producers wanted to use puppets rather than CGI. Indeed, the production appears to be a love letter to the 1980s for writer Scott Lobdell and director Bobby Miller, with this approach extended to a focus on a group of children and teens who do battle against the Krites, helped by Wallace’s character.
The final result, which I caught over the summer, doesn’t hold up to the original Critters, but isn’t necessarily any worse than the sequels in execution. Some nasty deaths and self-deprecating humor all help to make Critters Attack! an easy watch, and certainly on a higher level than Critters: A New Binge. Although further sequels aren’t currently on the cards, we’ll still be getting more 1980s retreads from Syfy, who are also working on a Killer Klowns from Outer Space movie and brought back the Leprechaun franchise this year.
You can catch the newest addition to the Critters series on Syfy this Saturday, October 19th at 9pm EST. Horror fans can also tune in to the channel that day for an epic A Nightmare on Elm Street marathon, which will run through the franchise from the original to Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.
Source: Bloody Disgusting