Movie Review: Grabbers (2012)

Synopsis: Bloodsucking aliens invade an island off the coast of Ireland and it’s up to two Garda’s to get the population drunk in order to save them.

Director: Jon Wright

Starring: Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley

Review: I’ll be honest, the main reason I was drawn to this movie was Richard Coyle. I loved him in the adaptation 2010 of Terry Pratchett’s ‘Going Postal’ and have caught him in assorted other roles. He plays many characters with a twinkle in his eye and was, for me, a standout in the recent ‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ adaptation. But back to ‘Grabbers’.

The concept is simple: Garda O’Shea, played by Coyle, takes an assignment on a small island to cover a colleagues holiday. Unbeknownst to the community, bloodsucking aliens have landed and are slowly picking off the residents. The only way to avoid being eaten is to drown your sorrows in a beer or two. It’s a mix of the tongue-in-cheek chase of the graboids from ‘Tremors‘ (1990) and going to Shaun of the Dead‘s ‘Winchester’ until it’s all blown over.  

It’s not a ‘serious’ horror and the scares are very subtle, with very limited gore, especially when compared to the two movies referenced above. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time and as a monster movie, it’s sadly not received the attention it deserves. Everyone fully commits to their roles, to the extent that they evidently got drunk off camera so they could ensure their portrayal of them ‘drunk’ was more accurate on screen. I’m guessing the rehearsals must have been hilarious! 

This was writer Kevin Lehane’s first full-length script and it shows a good understanding both of ‘B’ movies but also clear storytelling – certainly, there are other, more experienced writers who have scripts with superfluous and excessive scenes or dialogue. Director Wright is also very competent, with a good eye using the surrounding landscape to enhance the story versus a more intimate setting in the pub. And speaking of setting, the Irish countryside is beautiful and made full use of. The musical score is kept to a minimum and there are a few hints of back-story for the main characters, to explain their current actions. 

It’s by no means perfect, with Coyle’s uneven Irish accent being the most notable and a few rather dodgy CGI moments but for the most part, it’s a fun, gentle horror movie, perfect for a popcorn (and beer!) evening with friends. 

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