Movie Review – Grabbers (2012)

2012’s comedy-horror Grabbers is, I believe, Ireland’s first ever monster movie. Directed by Jon Wright and written by Kevin Lehane, the film centers around an alcoholic cop and his new workaholic partner as the two battle alien sea creatures while, as is the way with such movies, recognizing a romance budding between them. They learn that the largely aquatic monsters, who need only water and blood to survive, are poisoned by the toxicity of alcohol in the blood-stream. They thus devise a plan to get the town shitfaced in a pub in order to survive a rain-drenched stormy night. Much of the comedy, naturally, revolves around the protagonists trying to function and defend themselves while fighting through the copious amounts of booze they’ve ingested.

Grabbers showcases stunning cinematography, capturing much of Ireland’s natural beauty, and impressive CGI creature effects. The creature designs pay homage to the face-huggers in 1979’s Alien. In terms of both tone and comedic set pieces, the film owes a lot to earlier movies of a similar vein, especially 1990’s Tremors, but also 2004’s Shaun of the Dead. If you enjoyed those two movies, Grabbers easily fits within that niche. The characters are colorful and the actors do a convincing job of acting drunk, having filmed themselves intoxicated and self-studied their own quirks before filming.

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Grabbers is funny, though not hilarious and while it’s got some great creature moments, it’s not particularly scary. Over all, the film rides a comfortable line between humor and horror but as I watched I kept hoping that it would stray further into either territory to really give me something to remember. It never does, and while it’s a thoroughly enjoyable film there’s not enough there to distinguish it to make it truly remarkable. Grabbers is still worth seeking out and perhaps even viewing with some friends and copious amounts of alcohol.

Grade: B-

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