The first "Critters" movie was a low-budget little monsters sci-fi/horror film that, despite its limitations in money and tech, still managed to strike the right chord in balancing the sci-fi, horror, suspense, and comedy elements, even with a PG-13 rating (despite its theme, only two people actually die in the first movie). Unfortunately, despite the fact that you can see them trying really hard to recapture it, "Critters 2" falls short of the mark.
A couple of issues lead to this conclusion. First, despite this film's budget being double that of the first, it doesn't really show. Most of it must have been blown on extra puppets, as this time there's supposedly hundreds of Crites running around causing havoc. Which is weird because, honestly, the Crites feel like they barely have any actual screen time since the plot is also now divided between the attack of the Crites and the townspeople not believing the story of their previous attack and even blaming the attacks on the boy from the first film who has returned to town.
Which leads to the second problem. In the first film, there was an effort to give the Crites some semblance of character. While still voracious eating machines, they still have some minimal interaction with each other and the environment, which fleshes them out a little more. Here, even though we see them talk a couple times (in their own language), it's little more than a one-liner here and there. There's too many of them with no standouts or leaders to give them any character at all.
This all ends up making for a rather dull sequel to a surprisingly entertaining first film. Ultimately, it's not a worthy follow-up.
No matter how many times I watch it, this doesn't get an less fun. It's zany antics crack me up way too much. This mean-spirited cousin of Gremlins is endlessly entertaining. This is the best of the series for me. There's nothing quite like a goliath man-eating furball rolling down main street, while shape-shifting intergalactic bounty hunters are trying to blow it away. Kill more Crites!
Entertaining. Some loose ties to the first movie in the series and features the late Roxanne Kernohan in her most notable (and briefly fully naked) role of her career.