• The horror element of the original "Gremlins" is replaced entirely with lame comedy in this disappointing sequel. Zach Gilligan and Phoebe Cates return as Billy Peltzer and Kate Beringer, now living in the Big Apple. It's not long after their reunion with Gizmo (he's so cute it's sickening) that the little guy is accidentally hit with water and the villainous title characters return to wreak havoc. This time their target is a high-tech corporate skyscraper run by a Trump-like suit.

    "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" tries hard enough, and it's certainly original and creative. But it just never really clicks. The film plays like a bad episode of "The Muppet Show" as the cartoonish gremlins sing musical numbers, destroy property and morph into giant bats and spiders. It repeatedly attempts to poke fun at itself, but those efforts, too, fall flat on their face. Maybe the gremlins just aren't cut out for comedy. Chalk this one up as one of the weakest efforts from highly-talented director Joe Dante.