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Nightmare Fuel / Gremlins

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Talk about a “sunburn”...
  • For starters, there's Stripe, the most sociopathic of the Gremlins, especially in the climax when he goes Ax-Crazy trying to kill Billy and Gizmo with a chainsaw. Even as a Mogwai, he had a sinister look about him, not to mention how he gets the dog hung up with Christmas lights. Then there's his Family-Unfriendly Death, when he essentially decomposes at an alarming speed and then pulls a Jump Scare one last time with his skeleton. Even pre-pupa, Stripe constantly wears a sadistic grin on his face.
  • Gremlin birth. 1) Mogwai -> mogwai. Gizmo-screaming. 2) Pupa -> gremlin. Giant slimy bug-looking things cracking open while Gizmo hides in the motorcycle helmet. 3) Gremlin-> gremlin. Watch the scene with the lightning gremlin and the fire hose. Then try to take a shower without scrubbing your back furiously.
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  • "And that's how I found out there was no Santa Claus." This is the climax of the speech Kate gives explaining why she doesn't believe in Santa and/or hates Christmas: when she was a little girl, her father disappeared without a trace on Christmas night. They never saw him until days later, when the house started to stink. It turned out he had wanted to surprise his little girl by playing Santa Claus, to the extent of trying to come down the chimney for her... instead, he slipped and broke his neck and got wedged in the chimney. And Kate was there when the fire department hauled his decaying body out of the chimney.
  • The scene where Billy's mom is in Billy's room with the hatched pupae. Silence....then the turntable starts playing "Do you hear what I hear?" from downstairs. For Christmas music, it's quite terrifying (as it is to Lynn, who knows she's home alone and that record players don't just turn themselves on).
    • The Cat Scare where she slashes at something moving inside Billy's stocking, sighing in relief that it turns out to be a wind-up toy robot... then immediately discovers those two red lights in the tree behind her aren't Christmas decorations.
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    • In the original draft of the script, Billy’s Mother was going to be killed by the Gremlins... and Billy would’ve come home just in time to see her severed head roll down the stairs.
  • The fact that we still have no idea what happened to many of the people in Kingston Falls; indeed, it's quite possible many of them died.
  • The Gremlins themselves are pure nightmare fuel. To start, they look like they stepped right out of a nightmare, with mouths packed with needle teeth, long arms with long fingers and long claws, and wrapped in scaly armor. While their aversion to bright light may come across as a Weaksauce Weakness, it also means they gravitate towards dark areas, and they're only about two and a half feet tall. Think about all the times you enter areas that are dimly lit or pitch black, or even just as dim as the areas shown in the films. Now think about all the places in those areas a two and a half foot demonic goblin could be hiding, ready to spring. . .
    • And they're not even safe from each other. The Gremlins will off their own kind for cheating, being annoying, or just because it'll be funny.
    • In the final film, the gremlins are pretty much Laughably Evil. In the original draft, they were going to be far worse, being utterly violent, ferocious monstrosities that could eat people.
  • Billy and Kate accidentally catch the attention of a theater auditorium packed with gremlins while trying to sneakily rig the building to explode with them inside. We're treated to the striking and terrifying image of dozens of the vicious little bastards cast in shadow as they quickly gather against the theater screen and start clawing their way through it.


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