This is a fun monster movie film that throws it wayyy back- an homage to classics like The Blob and The Thing with references to Aliens and Predator. I like to describe it as an Irish sister film to Slither, The Faculty, and Shawn of the Dead. If you roll all these movies up in a ball and spit it out, you get something like Grabbers.
Now, sci-fi monster movies are probably my least favorite sub-genre of horror films. But I knew I would enjoy this within the first 10 minutes of the movie. It’s the classic progression of a horror film, opening with a prologue teaser before the credits. The initial terror takes place upon a fishing boat. There is a strange light flashing across the sky. The men aboard are scared and confused as they are snatched up one by one into thin air without showing an inkling of the culprit. The audience is hooked, anticipating the arrival of the monster.
Dead sea creatures start washing up on the shore. But this is an unusual situation because the creatures died AT sea, not on land. Later, a fisherman brings up a net that he believes to be filled with sick lobster. Unsure, he puts the net in his bathtub and it turns into an egg that hatches an octopus-like creature that moves really fast and has sharp teeth. Scientists are stumped by this beyond mystifying creature, so the fisherman dubs it a grabber since he is the one who “discovered” it. The intermingling stories of the townsfolk and main characters are introduced and developed as the plot unfolds. And of course there is the budding romance between Garda O’Shea and Garda Lisa Nolan. The acting is actually really good and believable, paired perfectly with the light humored script. Its’ one downfall, as an American viewer, is the sometimes hard to understand, thick, Irish accents.
The movie really starts getting interesting when we realize the weaknesses of the grabbers- water and alcohol. If they can keep the angry critters away from the water, they won’t survive. Too bad there is a bad storm coming- how unfortunate. But if the townies stay drunk, these blood-sucking freaks won’t want to drain the life out of them. Alcohol dehydrates, ya know. Plan B it is. Funny? Yes. Scary? No. But entertaining, nonetheless.
The ending ties up as expected, but leaves us with a little golden nugget leading us to believe that there could be a sequel. It’s probably my own fault I didn’t enjoy this as much as I should have. I appreciate the homage to other horror movies, but it seemed to rely on that heavily and lack a lot of originality. But the pace is steady, the little critters (reminding me of Gremlins) and big critters were cool with good sound effects, and the cinematography is beautiful at times. It definitely kept me interested. And showing a scene of the original Night of the Living Dead near the beginning of the film gives it a couple extra points in my book. Overall, it is a fun movie. But watch this if you want a good laugh, not a good scare.
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