Grabbers

120px-Film-stripThe Irish Film Board does it again. After 2011’s The Guard, they’ve funded this radically different but just as enjoyable horror romp. With a reasonable story, great performances and very impressive special effects it proves that you don’t need to be a billion dollar studio to produce enjoyable cinema.

Grabbers

“I need a photograph of it for National Geographic. And facebook.”

Plot-in-a-nutshell: Alien creature arrives on a small Irish island and the inhabitants have one night to survive. And get pissed.

See it if you like: Your nice, generic monster films with a generous lathering of humour

This one almost slipped us by. I just happened to catch a review of it online and I’m not even sure if it made it out in the cinema at all. A shame if it didn’t as it’s pretty damn good. If you like such films as Lake Placid which are formulaic but don’t take themselves too seriously, then this should be right up your street.

Richard Coyle plays Garda Ciarán O’Shea, an alcoholic police officer who is one half of the entire force on the dinky landmass. His partner is off for two weeks holiday and is temporarily replaced by the workaholic Lisa Nolan (Ruth Bradley). The two get on like… erm… a house that’s not on fire. O’Shea’s clumsy advances not altogether going down well with the prim Nolan, who also finds herself being wooed by science nerd Dr. Adam Smith (Russell Tovey) once our first creature is discovered.

It turns out our creatures have two basic needs – water and blood. So that’s all fine, then. They can’t venture inland. Oh. Except there’s a huge storm coming in so it’ll be chucking down…

The cast are really good together, forming a lovely rag-tag band of unprepared heroes doing their best to keep the island’s tiny populace safe. There are plenty of comic moments, the majority based on dialogue, and capable performances all round. It’s a solid script, has its (very long, tooth-ended) tongue planted firmly in cheek and paces itself well.

What impressed particularly, though, were the special effects. The alien creatures were stupendous, from the smaller ones to the big-ass baddie in full flow at the end, the detail is excellent. I have seen far worse on big budget TV shows, and in Hollywood films (Conan, I’m looking at you).

There’s not a lot else to say without giving away too many jokes or plot points, so I’ll leave it there. Don’t expect anything radically new and you won’t be disappointed. Good, old-fashioned, monster movie fun.

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