My haiku review of Grabbers.
Children, can defeat space men
by their last orders
When Garda Nolan (played by Ruth Bradley) travels to a small Irish island to provide work cover across summer silly season an unfortunate confluence of events leads to her arriving at the same time as villagers start to disappear under mysterious circumstances. With the help of Garda O’Shea (played by Richard Coyle) and a marine biologist Dr Smith (played by Russell Tovey), Nolan must uncover why in this seemingly idyllic fishing village the inhabitants are vanishing, and deal with the cause; hungry, human hunting deep-sea aliens with grabby tentacles and sharp, pointy teeth.
Not much to complain about with this film. The various characters are nicely rendered, with the two Garda officers particularly well realised by the lead actor and actress. They capture quite a lot of energy with their performances where other films which this one might be considered to be an “homage” to would never really have to begin with. If you can image an alternate reality where Critters starred Christian Bale and Kate Winslet it wouldn’t be too far away from the quality to expect here. The supporting cast hold up their end well, with the film feeling like a well rehearsed long running ensemble piece with mature characters that have gone through a variety of life events, only for a crazy trickster god to pour a hamlet sized bucket full of sea demons into the main town square.
The monster effects are suitably slimy, with the various unfortunates drenched in liquid ichor which wouldn’t look out of place in a twisted version of Pat Sharp’s Funhouse presented by a Pat recently possessed by the dark whittering soul of Charles Dexter Ward. At one point we get to see the full scale of the enemy, and the implacable nature of the very well modelled creature puts paid to any ideas of falling back on a stereotypically Irish behaviour to save the day. The monster rendering is used to lead us towards a final scene which couldn’t have been resolved in any other neat way given the resources available to the heroes.
This is a very fun monster movie, and suits the Midnight Movie Madness mark-up perfectly. We managed to catch this on the first day of Frightfest and throughly enjoyed both the film and the late night slot we found it in. If you’re a fan of Tremors or Black Sheep then you’re bound to like this flick. I’m giving it a-recently-broken-by-a-near-miss-from-a-tentacle-beast one thumb up, its a gorgeous picture that you’re bound to enjoy.