The Critters Collection: Critters 2: The Main Course Blu-ray Review
Written by Robert Gold
Blu-ray released by Scream Factory
Directed by Mick Garris
Written by David Twohy and Mick Garris
1988, 86 minutes, Rated PG-13
Scott Grimes as Brad
Liane Curtis as Megan
Barry Corbin as Harv
Terrence Mann as Ug
Don Opper as Charlie
Lin Shaye as Sally
Sam Anderson as Mr. Morgan
It’s been two years since the Critters invaded Kansas, and the small town of Grover’s Bend would like to keep those events firmly in the past. Sheriff Harv has retired and the Brown family sold the farm and moved away. Now, Brad Brown is returning to visit his grandmother for Easter and not everyone in town is ready to welcome him or his wild stories. Brad wants nothing more than to put the whole thing behind him and he goes so far as to deny anything strange ever happened. He pairs up with his childhood friend Megan Morgan and the two hit it off right away. Trouble comes in the form of small eggs that hatch in the heat and spawn a new wave of deadly Critters.
Word of the outbreak reaches the intergalactic bounty hunters Ug and Lee, now working with Charlie McFadden, and soon they are on their way back to Earth to finish what they started. The town comes under siege on Easter Sunday during church services and it is up to Brad to pull the community together. The town must fight these Critters together if they plan to survive the ordeal. He enlists the help of Sheriff Harv and they come up with a plan of how to get rid of the Critter menace. There are broader strokes of comedy this time around, but never at the expense of the horror elements.
Critters 2 takes the fun of the original picture and builds on it exponentially. This is a fast-moving, highly entertaining ride that sets its pace early and rarely lets up. Confidently directed by Mick Garris (Sleepwalkers), the movie pulls the key elements from the first picture and opens them up to involve the entire town. We get to meet more of the locals and enjoy their small-town existence before turning the monsters loose. Garris makes his directorial debut working from a script he co-wrote with David Twohy (Pitch Black), and handles the task with style.
Scott Grimes (Band of Brothers) returns as Brad, the kid who has an understanding of what these alien porcupines are capable of. He remains likeable in the role and once again carries a lot of the picture. Terrence Mann and Don Opper are back as Ug and Charlie, and both are entertaining in their roles. Liane Curtis (Benny & Joon) co-stars as Megan, the tomboy at Brad’s side for this adventure. She gives a solid performance and reacts well to little monsters eating things. Barry Corbin (Wargames) steps into the role of Sheriff Harv and does so with ease. He is a no-nonsense kind of guy with a great Texas accent and it is always fun to see him on screen. Lin Shaye (Insidious) returns as Sally, now working for the local newspaper. She provides further continuity between the two films and is a welcome addition.
The Chiodo brothers are back on Critter duty with more elaborate puppets this time around as the script opens up the possibilities for bigger sight gags. One of the highlights is a giant Critters boulder made up of countless little creatures that rolls through town. The number of monsters seems to have increased for this sequel and they remain scary by design though they seem more playful. Critters 2 follows the rules of a sequel and delivers bigger thrills and broader laughs and moves to its big finale with confidence. This is a really strong entry in the franchise and keeps the energy up leaving audiences ready for more.