by / August 10th, 2012 /


Review by on August 10th, 2012

 1/5 Rating

Director: Jon Wright
Cast: Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley, Russell Tovey
Rating: 15A
Running Time: 94 mins
Release Date: 10th August

When a fishing boat off the coast of a small Irish island is mysteriously emptied of its crew, events on the island itself begin to take a curious and alien turn for the worse.

Enter garda and drunken malcontent Ciarán O’Shea (Richard Coyle). O’Shea is coupled with his new partner, a preppy young upstart from The Big Smoke, Garda Lisa Nolan (Ruth Bradley), who is whisked in to lend a hand at the quaint station while the boss is on leave for a fortnight. The search for the missing fishermen alert the mismatched guards to a series of mysteries happenings on the Island, culminating in the curious rumours that village drunk Paddy (Lalor Roddy) has captured a tentacle-ridden “sea monster”, and is raising it in his bathtub.

Brimming with self-effacing charm and traditionally Irish wit, Grabbers subverts expectations to deliver a greatly amusing Sci-Fi/Horror/Comedy in the vein of James Gunn’s Slither. The characters lend poise and idiosyncrasy to a script that can at times seem frayed around the edges. But with hysterical performances from Lalor Roddy and Ned Dennehy, the film overcomes the preconceptions of its premise. Indeed, it is at first a little hard to grasp the concept that the only way the town can survive the onslaught of a ferocious and quite literally bloodthirsty alien is to remain completely hammered for as long as possible. However, with some cleverly simplistic “science”, delivered from the pleasantly amusing Dr. Smith (Russell Tovey), the plot is driven home and suspension of disbelief saved.

English director Jon Wright crafts a visual narrative that certainly punches far above this films weight class. When the surprising—and often breathtaking—cinematography is realised alongside the finest CGI an Irish film has ever seen, the clichéd and overly didactic script is forgotten. And as the film progresses the script becomes far more comfortable with the story it has to tell, falling neatly in line with a sharp screenplay and a cast and crew that really seem to be enjoying themselves.

After the false start and some muddled exposition, Grabbers delights and entices with genuinely impressive action sequences that flow from one to the next, illustrating a keen understanding of the multitude of genres this film is covering. Paying tribute to everything from B movie greats to the climactic scene of James Cameron’s Aliens, Grabbers rams its tongue firmly in cheek and delights in delighting its audience. With humour placed somewhere between the childlike irony of Graham Linehan and the comic darkness of Martin McDonagh, Grabbers is the slapstick Sci-Fi sibling of The Guard.