Thursday, December 12, 2013

Movie Review: Grabbers (2012)

What could be more satisfying on a winter's night than curling up on my comfy couch and watching a movie about hilarious drunken Irish men and women fighting a giant alien squid? Nothing, I tell you. NOTHING. There are some movies that you just know you're going to love, you know? I first read about Grabbers quite a while ago, saved it in my Netflix queue and eagerly awaited the day that they would add it. They finally did (weeks ago, actually, but I'm a well-known procrastinator) and tonight I had the pleasure of viewing it. 

On a small Irish island, two police officers lead the town in a fight against a huge blood-sucking, squid-like alien creature. After figuring out that the creatures don't like the toxic level of alcohol in their victim's blood, the entire town proceeds to get drunk while still trying to kill the creature.

Despite heavy influences, or at least close reminders, of other horror comedy creature features like Tremors, Grabbers is a movie that really seemed to find its niche and roll with it. Though the film is specific to its location, the jokes can easily be enjoyed by people of any country. Is it racist to say that Irish people are funny just because they're Irish? I love the accents, and they way they call people things like "gobshite" and use "feck" to replace "fuck." The humor is not dirty, but rather the quick-witted commonplace humor from everyday situations, and that is something that I can always appreciate. 

Special effects-wise, Grabbers delivers. There's the usual fair at the beginning of the film where the monster is only heard and not seen, and we only see the little grabbers first before seeing the big daddy grabber at the end, but what they give us is quite wonderful. There's nothing particularly ingenious about the design of the creature; really, it's just an octopus with a lot more legs and without the creepy bulbous head. There's a circular mouth in the middle where a smaller tentacle shoots out and attacks. With the well-rendered CGI, the way the creature moves and reacts with its environment, the movie is given just the right amount of semi-realism to be both believable and funny at the same time, which is something a movie in this genre needs. How the grabbers "walk" was probably my favorite part, as they had all of the, oh about 30 legs or so making it roll around like a ball. 

The only real flaw in the movie is the lack of explanation for the creature. It is, in fact, an alien, which we get from the requisite flaming-ball-of-rock-hurtling-toward-Earth scene at the beginning. At the risk of thinking too much into the situation, I don't really see how this thing could be from another planet. They figure out that the creature needs only blood and water to survive, two things that I'm pretty sure still don't exist on other planets yet. I digress. I really don't care that much about the non-explanation, but it did need to be pointed out. The alcohol thing, while probably mostly done for hilarity's sake, is a simplistic yet workable solution for the situation, so I'm cool with that, too. 

You'll love all the characters here. There's the curly-haired, lovable Garda (police officer) O'Shea and his new partner, the adorably eager Lisa Nolan, as our two main characters, and they're both a joy to watch throughout the film. When the drinking starts in the last act, Lisa (actress Ruth Bradley) proves herself to be the cutest drunk ever. Seriously, she's adorable. There are many yucks to be had from the rest of the townspeople as well, like the dorky marine ecologist Smith, the town crazy Paddy, and the dirty-minded pub owner's wife Una. All their little actions and quirks were wonderfully timed and executed, even though some of them could have a used a bit more character development so they that they didn't seem as much like the usual Hollywood stereotypes of what Irish people are like. 

Grabbers is one of those movies that there should be a lot more of. On the surface it seems like a silly, light-hearted comedy with a crazy monster in it, but the film is really very smart and uses good thought to get our characters out of this insane situation. Some movies just have that cute factor about them. Grabbers is a cute movie and I'm sure you'll love it. You also might need the subtitles like I did to catch all that Irish humor, though!


  1. We really enjoyed this one.... posted the You Tube link of this enjoyable film...
    watched it a couple of more times since as well...

  2. Fun movie, as if the irish made a remake of Tremors :) I needed subtitles too, some of the Irish was hard to understand... aside from all the Feck-Offs and Feck-yous :D

    btw, if you enjoyed this one, you should check out "Big Ass Spider". I think you might like it.

  3. It really would be a boon for mankind of movies like this (and Shakespearean movies for that matter) added a bunch of English language subtitles. Say you wanted to watch the movie with Jive subtitles, or Brooklyn, or Posh London, or whatever. THey could add in an extra layer of humor if done right.