Two years after E.T. , Steven Spielberg gave it a mischievous sibling in Joe Dante’s anarchic creature feature, a subversive parable on the dangers of irresponsible pet care that doubles as an antidote to small-town Americana and Yuletide sentimentality.
Built around a cutesy furball that spawns an army of uncontrollable ids when allowed to get wet, it’s as much a Freudian nightmare as a celebration of monsters behaving badly.
More than either, it’s a treat for movie buffs, Dante peppering it with filmmaker cameos, cartoonish slapstick and satirical swipes at Hollywood classics from yesteryear.
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