(director: Bobby Miller; screenwriters: Scott Lobdell, Critters characters by Domonic Muir; cinematographer: Hein de Vos; editor: Mike Mendez; music: Russ Howard III; cast: Tashiana Washington (Drea), Dee Wallace (Aunt Dea), Jaeden Noel (Philip), Jake Fulton (Jake), Leon Clingman (Ranger Bob), Ava Preston (Trissy), Steve Blum ( Critter voices), Vash Singh (Kevin Loong); Runtime: 72; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Adam Friedlander/Armand Leo; Warner Bros & SyFy; 2019)

“Despite its many flaws, it’s mildly entertaining.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A low-budget underwritten comedy/sci-fi/horror film directed by Bobby Miller (“The Cleanse”) and written by Scott Lobdell. Despite its many flaws, it’s mildly entertaining if in the mood for catching a campy, nonsensical TV movie. It’s about killer aliens called the “critters,” and is the fifth entry in the Critters film franchise that began 33 years ago. It’s the only one receiving an R rating. By the way, the critters are pint-sized carnivorous aliens.

In an undisclosed place in America (filmed in South Africa), the recently orphaned 20-year-old Drea (Tashiana Washington) is babysitting for a college professor, in the school she hopes to attend, his two youngstersTrissy (Ava Preston) and her younger brother Jake (Jack Fulton), along with her own younger brother Phillip (Jaeden Noel) . The kids are bored at home, so Drea goes for a nature walk with them in the nearby woods. The group run into aliens called the Krites, who have crash-landed in their small town and are devouring everything in sight. The group while fleeing come upon a cute and harmless critter queen named Bianca, who has been exiled from her alien homeland. The group won’t leave Bianca behind and thereby must dig deep inside themselves to be warriors to put a stop to the bloody onslaught. Fortunately to the rescue comes their mysterious Aunt Dee (Dee Wallace, in a cameo). We learn she has a history with these intergalactic beasts. In the first film Dee Wallace was a mom, but now is a badass action hero bounty hunter sporting a big gun.

Hats off to the Critters Attack! for sticking with low-key puppets and animatronics in these CG-obsessed times. It’s a movie that meets TV standards but may not be valued as much as a theater film, even as it scores with fans as a nostalgia delight.

Critters Attack

REVIEWED ON 7/14/2019       GRADE: B-