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The central focus of the series is upon a group of malevolent carnivorous alien creatures called "Crites" that have the ability to roll into balls and combine into a pernicious sphere that can roll across the landscape and cause untold destruction.


In the first Critters film, the largest Crite took leadership over the others. This is typical of animals that live or hunt in groups, such as lions, where the alpha male or female take charge of the rest of the group. This is carried over into the second film where, though later turning out to be Ug in disguise, the largest Crite was seen as the leader once more, being able to persuade the immense pack of smaller Crites to continue on to Polar Ice Burger instead of attacking the humans that were following behind them. Although the concept of the biggest Crite being the leader was dropped in Critters 3, "Scarface", the Crite whose face was burned due to the bleach that Rosalie dropped in the basement, is generally accepted as being the leader, as he is the one seen leading the group throughout most of the movie and is the last Crite to be killed. Because the fourth film only has two main Crites, it is often hard to distinguish if there is a "Lead Crite" at all.


Crites have been described as porcupines, rats, badgers, possums, hedgehogs, rabid cats, Tasmanian devils, and a slew of other similar creatures.

The appearances of the Crites varies from film to film. In the first film, they appear to be much smaller than in the sequels (save for the Lead Crite) and not as furry. Their stomachs are fully revealed whereas in the sequels they are covered completely by fur. Their fur seems to be more slicked back instead of wild or spiky like in the sequels. Even their teeth seem more needle-like than in future installments. In one scene a Crite's eyes appear to be orange instead of the bleeding red they normally are, but this is never seen again, including in the sequels.

The second film introduces the look of the Crites that is more familiar to viewers. The Crites appear larger than in the first film, have larger teeth, fur covering their entire bodies except for their arms and legs, not to mention their fur is thicker and more haphazard than their predecessors.

The third film unveils an even larger, more rounded incarnation of the Crite. Their eyes are now a florescent, glowing red instead of the dull bleeding red from earlier films. Their fur has gotten thicker and spikier than before, and appears to be blacker than the brownish tint seen in the second film.  The fourth film does very little to deviate from the appearance of the Crites from the third. The Crites look about the same in every aspect, although their eyes seem duller than in the previous film.


Nothing much is known about the reproduction habits of the Crites, as no information is ever given in interviews by the creators or shown in the films regarding this aspect of their species. They appear to need to eat before laying eggs, but this is only a theory amongst many. How they produce eggs in the first place is another mystery.

In Critters 4, Charlie tells Fran that it takes six months for Crite eggs to incubate. This is contradicted in the previous installment, however, when the eggs from the beginning of the film hatch in what appears to be a span of just a few hours. This could be explained away as the Crite that initially laid the eggs had stored them in its body until it laid them under the RV.

It is also unknown how many eggs a Crite can produce in one sitting.


It's commonly accepted that Crites eat only meat, as is shown in each film over and over. Later dropped after the first film, eating more and more increases the Crites' size, eventually leading to a Crite becoming the alpha or dominant in its group.

Hunting Habits

Crites are normally seen to hunt and attack in groups in the movies. Rarely has a Crite been shown to attack on its own outside of the few occasions in the first and fourth films. Charlie explains in the fourth film that Crites generally go for a victim's face and neck, although the films show them attacking the chest and gut area of a victim more often than not. Once a victim is caught, usually one Crite initiates the attack and the others quickly follow in one swift barrage.

Since Crites are not armed with man-made weapons such as guns or knives, they have natural weapons built into their bodies. One such mechanism is the poison barb they're able to shoot like a projectile at a victim. The barb injects a type of poison into the victim's bloodstream, causing the victim to fall asleep or unconscious for an unspecified amount of time. It's shown that removing the barb awakens the victim. It's unknown whether these barbs affect other Crites. The fourth film is the only film in which the Crites do not utilize their poison barbs. Some fans speculate that it is because they somehow cannot, but there is nothing shown or hinted at in the film that supports this. The size and thickness of the barbs varies from film to film.

Another mechanism is their rather large mouth filled with rows of sharp teeth. A Crite's bite is shown to be extremely effective and hard to get out of. In most cases, a victim is forced to beat on the Crite's snout like that of a great white shark or crocodile, or stab the Crite with sharp objects enough that it willingly lets go. In the third film, "Blackie" (as designated by another Crite), encounters Annie near the entrance on her way to find help. It opens its mouth and lets out a shrill and deafening scream that has enough power to shatter a jar. Although it serves the purpose of temporarily disarming or stunning the victim, it also serves as a beacon to alert the other Crites. This mechanism is never used or heard of in any other installment.

The second film introduces viewers to the "Giant Critter Ball" - an enormous ball of Crites all latched onto each other to move as one single unit. Not much is known about this mechanism, but it was able to survive an exploding factory and being rammed by a pickup truck. It was only defeated once Charlie crashed the bounty hunter spaceship directly into it, resulting in a massive explosion. It is only used in the second film. The Crites in the third film also showed to be able to launch themselves straight up into the air, as seen when one of the Crites launches itself up a laundry shoot in an attempt to attack Rosalie. Scarface shows a variation of this at the end of the film, tucking into a ball and "revving up" like Sonic the Hedgehog in order to attack Johnny. These two methods, though, are never seen again.




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Critters I


Critters II


Critters III


Critters IV