Review by Derrick Carter
Running Time: 1 hour 34 minutes
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Directed by: Jon Wright
Written by: Kevin Lehane
Starring: Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley & Russell Tovey
GRABBERS is a homage to 80’s monster movies. It succeeds as both a creature feature and a rollicking good horror-comedy that crackles with a sense of Irish humor. If there was ever a perfect film to sit down with your buddies and crack open a few beers, GRABBERS is it. It seems appropriate given the content of the movie. Some of the things that make GRABBERS a winner is a light-hearted tone, jokes that work, and a sense of fun, rather than scares.
On a rainy night, a glowing comet lands in the sea surrounding Erin Island, a small fishing community off the coast of Ireland. The next morning a multitude of dead whales wash up on the beach of the island, to make matters even more strange, it appears that they were partially devoured before hitting the shore. After a few of the townsfolk turn up in pieces, it becomes startlingly apparent that there is a new species of creature on the island. All this monster requires to survive is water and blood. A nasty storm is going to hit the island, allowing these beasts the ability to roam free for the night. Never fear, because they have one weakness. Alcohol! It’s up to a drunken police officer and his stern new partner to get the town in one area and drink booze like their lives depended on it. Of course, being hammered also impairs the abilities of our heroes. They must protect themselves from the Grabbers and being too drunk to do anything to protect themselves!
It’s often said in many horror reviews that tons of movies are faithful throwbacks to the cheesy fun films of the 1980’s. With TRICK ‘R TREAT, SLITHER, and FEAST as the only possible exceptions, GRABBERS is quite honestly the 100% ultimate throwback film. It feels like it came out of the 80’s and I mean this in the best way possible. It’s fun, hilarious, and unabashedly silly. It’s far from perfect, but it’s damned entertaining. The cast of Irish actors were all good in their parts, even the side characters like the whipped bartender or the town drunk (keeping a Grabber as a pet in his tub) stood out.
The build up to the mayhem is surprisingly well-paced and full of humor, despite it being mere stepping-stones to get to a finale that never lets up on either the tension or the goofy laughs. The CGI itself is sometimes a bit shabby, but mostly on the high-end of things. The design of the monsters themselves is basically a bunch of tentacles with a mouth in the middle, but they do look freaky. Practical effects were incorporated as well and add a much-needed sense of realism to the creatures. The idea that alcohol-tainted blood is the only weakness is milked for all it’s worth and some other weapons come into play also.
Where GRABBERS has some flaws is in the already-mentioned occasionally shaky CGI. Other than that, it’s a very fun film that is worth a look. So if you’re a fan of 80’s horror-comedies or creature features (e.g. NIGHT OF THE CREEPS), then this is probably up your alley. Personally, I dig those films a lot and enjoyed this one immensely. Highly recommended for monster fans or people looking for a light-hearted horror romp!