Study Guide

Gremlins Point of View

Point of View

Cautionary Tale

Lots of films are cautionary tales. Requiem for a Dream warns people away from drugs. The Birds warns people to keep a close eye on pigeons. And Gremlins warns you to never, ever get your mogwai wet or feed it after midnight.

Some lessons are more important than others.

Gremlins has a frame narrative that sets it up as a cautionary tale. Here is an excerpt of Rand Peltzer's voice over introduction.

RAND: I'm an inventor. And I have a story to tell. Yeah, I know. Who hasn't got a story? Well, nobody's got a story like this one. Nobody.

Rand's narration disappears for the rest of the movie until he delivers this moral lesson at the end.

RAND: If your air conditioner goes on the fritz, or your washing machine blows up, or your video recorder conks out, before you call the repairman, turn on all the lights, check all the closets and cupboards, look under all the beds. Because you never can tell. There just might be a gremlin in your house.

Gremlins is a stew of mixed messages that we explore in our section on Genre. Here, just for fun, we want to go back and look at one thing Rand says: "I'm an inventor." Yes, we know he's the genius behind the Bathroom Buddy, but what if he fabricated this whole story?

That's one way to explain a small plot hole in the movie. How does Rand know what happened when he wasn't there? Billy could have filled him in on a number of details, but Rand still wouldn't know everything. There's no way he knew Mr. Hanson tried to lure his mogwai with a Snickers, for example.

So Rand is either embellishing the story…or he made all of it up. Hey, it would be his greatest invention yet.

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