This was a childhood classic film I saw at an early age. I remember getting the collectible records from Hardee's. I don't think I had them all but I had a good chunk.
Gremlins is about Billy Peltzer, who receives a weird gift from his dad. Out shopping in Chinatown one night, Mr. Peltzer buys his son a Mogwai. These are furry little creatures that come with three important rules: don't expose them to bright light, don't get them wet and don't feed them after midnight. Billy soon breaks the second rule and finds out it causes the Mogwai to reproduce when they get wet. The new Mogwai are not as well-behaved as Gizmo, the original. They soon manipulate events to eat after midnight and they transform into the Gremlins of the title. Before long, they are on a rampage through the small town of Kingston Falls. They mostly cause mischief but their brand of pranks can prove deadly as well.
This was a darky comic little movie that remains fun to watch. In the age of CGI, the practical effect Gremlin puppets are pretty awesome. There is, of course, the classic scene in which Phoebe Cates breaks down and talks about her father getting stuck in the chimney and dying on Christmas...a huge downer in the middle of a kid-friendly wacky horror movie. I think it was scenes like that, that didn't pander to kids, that made us feel like we were watching something more adult and risky than we were. It helped that it was promoted all over the place so our parents would feel horrible if we didn't get to see it. I still remember playing out the movie at day care, I would be the evil gremlins while everyone else wanted to be Billy and Gizmo. Ah childhood.
I haven't actually seen this in years but I rewatched the sequel not too long ago and was delighted.