Review: Grabbers / Cert: 15 / Director: Jon Wright / Screenplay: Kevin Lehane / Starring: Richard Coyle, Russell Tovey, Ruth Bradley / Release Date: Out Now
This movie has been touted in some quarters as the Irish Tremors – which is bit of a disservice to Tremors really, because Grabbers is too silly and lightweight to warrant comparison to Ron Underwood’s minor creature feature classic. True, it's fun and amusing for much of its running time, but it's not exactly going to rock your world.
A meteor lands (get ready to clutch your sides)... somewhere off the coast of Ireland, and the largely drunken inhabitants of a sleepy fishing village start hauling in mysterious eggs in their nets. It’s not long before the eggs hatch small squid-like bloodsucking creatures. The confused population realises that the critters seem to be allergic to alcohol, so guess what they do? That's right, they get slaughtered – but in a good way.
To begin with, the laughs flow thick and fast with barely a moment going by without some chucklesome line of dialogue or piece of slapstick. However, the comedy runs dry halfway through. The villagers’ antics begin to seem forced, and the brief but nicely done gore of the first half disappears entirely. Richard Coyle, Russell Tovey and Ruth Bradley do a good job in the three lead roles, and Coyle and Bradley get something approaching a character arc and make a cute couple. The rest of the cast is made up of reliable Irish thesps and they all make the best of fairly weak material.
Where the film does score is in its digital SFX, which are as slick and seamless as any you are likely to see in a British movie. In particular, the creature animation is superb, from the miniature squids through to the multi-tentacled big bad which lurks in a cave on the beach. If the filmmakers had managed to strike a better balance between gore and giggles, then Grabbers could have been a contender. As it is it’s an intriguing curiosity which is best enjoyed over a jar or three.
Extras: Audio commentary / Behind-the-scenes featurette / Interview with the director / Outtakes and photo gallery