Review: Grabbers


As I have no doubt said in many a review, comedy creature features are often a risky watch. All too often the comedy element becomes the film itself, as a no-budget creature design falls foul of the so-bad-its-good cliché. Thankfully Ireland’s latest creature movie scores high in all aspects with a genuinely amusing script, strong acting and a fairly decent creature to boot.

The plot, as you might expect from the box art, surrounds a small isolated island just off the coast of mainland Ireland which, in the middle of storm season gets cut off just at the same time an alien creature decides to invade. After a local fisherman finds one of the smaller offspring (which he labels a grabber), the shit hits the fan and the island is forced to defend itself the only way it can, in this case a giant piss up!

Naturally, the plot treads a very thin line. Often threatening to stall, somehow this movie keeps thundering along. I put this down to a strong script, delivered by a competent cast. There is a wide range of interesting characters, and ironically enough, it is the drama element of the movie which draws you in. The two main characters offer a nice contrast, he’s a rather disillusioned island officer whilst she is the epitome of law and order, and whilst it’s obvious where the two will inevitably end up, both characters feel quite essential to the main story. In fact this can be attributed to most of the main cast, and whilst the others are mainly just one dimensional pun, they are all needed to make this movie work and not simply monster fodder.

That said, this isn’t a drama movie and no amount of moving or amusing scenes were going to mask a lack of decent creature action and gore. Thankfully, and despite an obvious limited budget there is plenty of monster action. The creature design is pretty good, although it’s hardly abstract; more just a giant octopus. There are a couple of decapitations and the odd other bloody scene here and there too. Obviously don’t expect anything too gruesome, but I was pleasantly surprise in the levels of violence considering the heartfelt atmosphere of the rest of the movie. The creature occupies a good deal of on screen time also, although much of the action features the slightly more amusing ‘baby’ creatures rather than the big mama.

Overall, if you are in for a bit of family friendly light entertainment then this could be the movie you are looking for. ‘Enjoyable’ would be a suitable adjective - nothing amazing, but it does the job nicely for 90 minutes.

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