Review: Grabbers

Starring Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley, Bronagh Gallagher

Directed by Jon Wright

Edinburgh International Film Festival

Attack of the giant vampire blood-sucking squid from outer space!

From the opening sequence where something glowing green falls from outer space to the Irish island of Erin through to the final sequel-baiting image of eggs buried in the sand, Grabbers is a gloriously traditional creature feature that hits all the right notes.

Richard Coyle (Strange) stars as the alcoholic local Garda who clashes with uptight by-the-book newcomer Lisa (Ruth Bradley – Primeval). They have to put their personal differences aside, however, when people begin disappearing and a local fisherman claims to have captured a ‘sea monster’. Along for the ride is Russell Tovey, Being Human’s George, as the foppish marine scientist Smith.

Echoing horror-comedies from the past, such as Gremlins, RelicCritters and Tremors, Jon Wright’s Grabbers gets the tone just right between serious monster movie madness and great in-context laughs. Easily the best moment comes when our intrepid trio set out to tackle an escaped creature in the lab with a chair, a knife and a rolled-up newspaper.

Turns out these outer space vampire squids need our blood, but they’re allergic to alcohol, so the only solution to the problem of being trapped on the island with a marauding monster is a lock-in at the island’s only pub! This seemed somewhat familiar as an idea, and it recalls a recent episode of Supernatural (‘Party on, Garth’) in which Sam and Dean had to be drunk to see a Japanese ghost.

That’s the core of Grabbers, though: there’s nothing amazingly original here, but the script, characters, actors and decent special effects all come together in a satisfying whole making for a great monster movie throwback. It’s enjoyable stuff, fairly uncomplicated but done with a nice sense of humour.

Verdict: Nothing too original here, but all the traditional elements come together in a satisfying whole. 8/10

Brian J. Robb

Grabbers screens at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on 25 June at 21:00. Richard Coyle and Ruth Bradley discuss the film in this video.

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