I Watched ‘Gremlins’ w/ My Kids and Totally Forgot About THAT Scene
Last night I realized just how different things were for children of the 1980s compared to the current generation of youngsters.
I have three kids, a 12-year-old daughter, and two 9-year-old boys. Before you ask -- yes, the boys are twins and not the result of some marathon baby-making routine back in 2008. Anyway, I was bored last night after helping the boys with their homework and thought it might be fun for us to watch a good Christmas movie together.
I doubted the boys were old enough for the best Christmas movie ever made -- 'Die Hard' -- yet (more on that later), so I thought 'Gremlins' would be a good one for us to throw on the projector for family movie night. It's on Netflix until January, it has been years since I've seen the first one, and my boys are kind of obsessed with little monsters like that right now. Perfect choice right? Well... almost.
So I had this nagging feeling that there was something in the movie I should be worried about... and boy was I right. Around the 1 hour and 18-minute mark of the movie, Kate, the character played by Phoebe Cates, gives a two-and-a-half minute monologue about why she hates Christmas... and it's a doozy for a movie rated PG. Seriously, I would have rather explained her infamous scene from 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' than this one.
She tells a horrific story about how her dad never came home on Christmas and long story short -- they found him dead, stuck in their chimney dressed as Santa Claus with a bag full of presents. She ends the story by saying, "and that's how I found out there was no Santa Claus."
I was like "WTF just happened! Isn't this a kid's movie? Why would they say some s*** like that?" Of course, all of that was my internal reaction. I remained silent, waiting for my kids to say something. They didn't react at all and continued to watch the movie. I was kind of hoping they would, so I could explain that this is a movie meant to scare kids, and that's why they said that. I wanted to blow it off by telling them movies aren't real and sarcastically ask them if they think Gremlins are real too, but they seemed unphased.
Honestly, I think it went in one ear and out the other for the boys. My daughter has already told us earlier this year that she thinks Santa isn't real, to which I replied, "Okay, see where that gets you next Christmas." The boys, however, are very much down with Mr. S. That's why my heart sunk immediately after hearing that awful story in what I remembered as a kids movie. I mean, I saw this damn thing when I was much younger than they are and didn't remember that part, so maybe I'm overreacting. I still felt like a s***ty parent afterward though.
So if you're looking for a good, throwback Christmas movie to watch with your kids, 'Gremlins' may not be the one. I didn't even mention the 5-minute bar scene right before that, where the Gremlins are getting lit at the most f***ed up Christmas party you've ever seen. I actually found that kind of funny, but I could see other parents freaking out about that. Realistically, you could cut out both sequences by skipping from 1:13:00 to around 1:21:00 and not miss anything vital to the story.
This is a good reminder to start checking the "Parents Guide" section on IMDB for before watching movies from your childhood with your kids. I could've totally avoided this situation, as it did thoroughly warn about the Santa story in 'Gremlins.'
I should've gone with my gut and watched 'Die Hard.' I mean, I watched it in theaters when I was only 7-years-old and I turned out mostly okay. Sure, there's lots of swearing and blood and cocaine use and I think maybe even a brief booby or four, but at least John McClane didn't try to ruin the magic of the Christmas when he threw Hans Gruber off of Nakatomi Tower. Besides, everyone knows that...