Review: Grabbers [Irish Comedy Horror, 2012]

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Summary: As tentacled aliens attack an Irish island, the most unlikely of solutions presents itself. In the midst of the turmoil, a new garda clashes, and meshes, with an older, burnt-out one. A mixture of horror, comedy, and romance make for a fairly fun movie.

BLOT: (17 Nov 2013 - 08:35:41 PM)

Review: Grabbers [Irish Comedy Horror, 2012]

Gist. A meteorite slams into the ocean, witnessed by a luckless fishing boat crew soon wiped out by an unseen assailant. The next day, on Erin Island, we meet Garda Lisa Nolan [Ruth Bradley], who is spending some time off from her post in Dublin to sub in for a vacationing local. Here she meets, and clashes, with drunken Garda Ciaran O'Shea [Richard Coyle]. As the monsters come inland, foretold by a beach full of dead whales, one is caught in a lobster pot while the other starts racking up a death count. When an attack on a deeply inebriated man leads to the one creature's death, the garda and their friends realize that the bloodsucking otherworldly beasts find ethanol toxic, but even as a party brews, the deadlier of the two creatures shows up in a heavy storm, a magnitude more powerful than the one already killed. O'Shea and Nolan have to work together and, well, just maybe get it on.

Review. The description on Netflix, that a group of Irish villagers have to drink to stay alive, seems like a racist joke in the making, and there might be some of that at play, but for the most part the jabs and gabs are humorous and not terribly mean-spirited. In fact, there are many ways this movie could fall apart—the not-quite-chemistry between Doyle and Bradley, the oddly convenient locals including a posh scientist and a pair of fishermen and the pub owners, the CG-heavy monster effects—where, in essentially all cases, the Kevin Lehane script and direction by Jon Wright finds a way to make it work. Bradly and Coyle are charming enough that you feel wrong not rooting for them, the locals are just silly enough to endear, and the effects end up going big as something not unlike the RPG incarnation of Shub-Niggurath rolls across the island landscape. Even when it overplays Nolan getting drunk, a scene that could have wrecked a lesser movie, the sweet ballsiness of Bradley sees it through. In the end, you have a pleasantly humorous, pleasantly romantic, satisfyingly horrific horror movie that harkens back to the classic Tremors [the use of the name grabbers might even be a reference to "graboids"]. It is easy to watch, with or without alcohol, and while I'm not sure it would be everyone's cup of tea, I do plan on seeing it again.

Score. 7/8. +1 if you like your horror movies to be on the lighter side or Richard Coyle. -1 if you need a high, gruesome death count or for their to be an intricate mythos for them to work.



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