There's no need to seek a deeper sociological explanation for the wave of small monsters that flooded the cinema's and video stores in the eighties. It had just one sole reason, and that was the gigantic success of Joe Dante's “Gremlins”. Soon, the public had to endure “Ghoulies”, “Beasties”, “Hobgoblins” and “Munchies”.
In that big pile of small monsters, the “Critters” can be found somewhere at the top. The 'crites' are extraterrestrial furballs with sharp teeth. Escaped from their intergalactic prison, they end up in sheriff Emmet Walsh's village and wreak havoc.
More problems with the small ones in “The Gate”. A twelve year old Stephen Dorff tries to close a hole in his backyard, since the thing leads to the deepest recesses of hell. With his best friend by his side, he uses the bible and the power of heavy metal to fight back the miniscule demons as they enter our world from hell's gate.
When lightning hits his tree house and leaves a smoking hole, young Glen heads out to investigate. He finds precious rocks in the pit and thinks to have struck it rich. But his happiness is but short-lived as deep inside the earth, a demonic power awakens.