Crites Get the Munchies

The first mistake anyone makes in Critters Attack is going outside. Impromptu babysitter Drea (Tashiana Washington) tries engaging some kids with card games, jokes, and cell phones. Nothing works except the wooded areas around this small town.

Hiding in those plants? Crites. It’s been a while since these toothy aliens munched on people. They’ll do that a lot in Critters Attack. They chew to the bone – and then ON the bone – to maximize gore value and show how voracious these little brutes like to be. Rated R or not, Critters Attack is talking to kids conditioned to staying indoors, convincing them to stay there. Screw exercise. Even a college-age, champion runner can’t escape from these maws.

Critters Attack stars Washington and in a slightly extended cameo, Dee Wallace. It’s definitely feminine led, that doubled when the Crite female (named Bianca) lashes out at the men of her species. She came to Earth on her own accord, smashing her over-excited and hungry mates. Their mom, basically, or a feminist figment lashing out at the violent and ill-mannered bro Crites causing havoc. When even the Critters series catches on to a social movement, that’s progress.

Critters Attack can’t break free of its underwritten, DTV origins

The setting is primarily a college campus, inset in small town. Call it Nowhere, America. Perfect then for this backlash against frat boys and clique culture. Critters Attack isn’t high on character, but it gleans enough in a brisk 80-minute or so runtime to establish a theme. Women take control, both of the human and alien variety.

It’s a movie without much personality though. Critters Attack can’t break free of its underwritten, DTV origins, playing to franchise nostalgia first. As a reboot, lore is cast aside. Monsters here. Gore there. People run. Repeat. Other than adding a Crite queen, Critters Attack isn’t keen on differentiating itself. For the rushed climax, an idea from Critters 2 is reused (again with the nostalgia), without the vibrant energy of that ‘80s gem.

But, to its credit, Critters Attack sticks with puppets and animatronics in this CG-obsessed era. They look rubbery yet utterly authentic, with identifying marks to separate one Crite from another, with a sprinkling of charisma between them. Anyone watching Critters Attack is here for them, and their gooey melee is enough to entertain.

Video

Pedestrian digital video stands out in daylight with pleasant contrast. Exteriors pull out plants and trees, plus some richly defined mountain textures. Contrast brings out their depth. Nightfall brings a smattering of noise and darker shades invite banding.

Black levels dry up, skewing blue with digital color grading winning out over pure depth. The splash of color stays attractive though, with bright primaries and spot on flesh tones. Blood brings in exaggerated red in droves.

Critters Attack stays keen on detail, well textured. Close-ups resolve the needed facial definition and those puppets challenge the disc with their bundles of fur. Warner’s encoding holds up. Even at night, fidelity remains pronounced and rich.

Audio

Crites move all around in this DTS-HD soundstage. They rustle plants or chitter before leaping toward victims. In ball form, the mix picks up on their movement, traveling between speakers flawlessly. For a limited budget, mixing pays attention to positioning.

Soft LFE support extends the soundtrack and a few futuristic gun shots. A light rumble from a rolling ball of Crites creates a small thrust of low-end activity.

Extras

Engineering Gore is the best of these lean features, an eight minute exploration of the effects and their processes. An EPK junker titled An Out of This World Experience runs seven minutes. For a whopping two minutes, the climax is discussed. Finally, a fun but dorky one scene commentary from director Bobby Miller and a Crite is up last.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Critters Attack
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
3

Movie

Crites return in Critters Attack, a reset of the franchise with plenty of gore, a meager story, and a few bits of fun to keep the series moving.

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