Grabbers an Irish horror where drinking can save your life.

I missed out on an opportunity to see Grabbers when it had it Irish premier at the Galway Film Fleadh a few weeks back and finally got to see it last night at Cineworld. Grabbers is a movie that has been much talked about within the industry which in Irish terms generally means that the final product never quite lives up to those expectations. I am happy to say Grabbers bucks that trend.

Grabbers, is an Irish horror and farcical comedy rolled into one. The film opens with big visual effects shot of something alien-like splashing down in the sea off the Irish coast, followed quickly by a fishing boat being attacked by a tentacle creature. Soon these creatures (Grabbers) start turning up on shore of a small island and its inhabitants are under attack, decapitating and draining their  blood. Law and order on the island is in the hands of drunken and depressed Guard Ciarán O’Shea (Richard Coyle) who is joined by by-the-book Garda Lisa Nolan (Ruth Bradley) her arrival the island from Dublin coincides with the invasion of the Grabbers. Straight away there is a clash of personalities and methods of work, but with the island under attack protection of the community takes precedent. It’s soon discovered that Grabbers–are allergic to alcohol, making intoxicated people toxic to eat. All the inhabitants retreat to the local pub for one hell of all “lock in” consuming incredible amounts of alcohol, a great setting for an Irish comedy. Not focusing too much, one does have to ask at this point what happened to all the children on the island. Still this does not distract in any way from is a great tale.

Grabber’s production values are way above its small budget; the effects are outstanding with good direction and pace from beginning to end.  A well crafted scriptwriting by Kevin Lehane provides a wide array of characters, with comedy that is not forced and it has some great one-liners. Director Jon Wright avoids mistakes made by most Irish film by not giving the characters thick Irish accents, which no doubt should make it a lot easier for a wider audience to get the gags.

I expect there will be a stream of naysayers who will denounce Grabbers for promoting the drinking culture of the Irish, but in fairness the proposition of drinking alcohol to keep blood sucking aliens from eating you is so paddywhackery nobody should get their nickers in and twist.

OK it not perfect but I liked this film, the biggest difficulty facing Grabbers will be getting bums on seats. There have been many Irish film releases in recent years which unfortunately the production values of many did not quite hit the mark, something that the Irish Film Board needs to address, it could be argued that some should never have made. As a net result when a good Irish movie comes along it difficult to convince movie goers that this one will be different, Grabbers is one of those.

Grabbers is a brilliant an unexpected tale, yet clearly an Irish story that provides lots of laughs, the CGI effects as good as any Hollywood blockbuster. My guess is it will get a limited run in the cinemas, so go out and see it when it’s on the big screen, because it’s well-made, really is hallarious! – it deserves to be seen.

Grabbers, was shot on location on Inishowen peninsula in Donegal, based primarily around Moville, with some outstanding cinematography,  the quarry scene was done outside Belfast, with the pub interior and rooms done in a studio. Directed by Jon Wright and was written by Kevin Lehane.  Special FX house Nvizible – whose most recent work can be seen in the films Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Clash of the Titans  – created wonderful digital effects creature  for Grabbers.

A list of cinemas where you can see Grabbers

© Tom Dowling 2012 image by Tom Dowling


Categories: Film and TV

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