Someone mentioned to me that they’d seen this movie and that I would probably like it. The reason being, they said, was that it was Irish and had Father Ted-like humour. My response was, “Okayyy…” and my intention was not to watch it because that kind of comparison is for one; a pretty big call and two; not the kind of writing I would really want to see in a film like this.
Anyhow, I did end up watching this after I noted that it had Richard Coyle (from the pre-Doctor Who Steven Moffat-created Friends clone that is Coupling) who’d impressed me with his performance in the adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal and I was in the mood for a monster movie.
As Grabbers is a low budget horror, I didn’t have high expectations for the story or effects (recently I’ve been let down by a string of similar films for these reasons) but my worry was soon put to rest as this one didn’t falter in either sense. As for the Father Ted comparison, it’s set on a rural Irish island and there are old drunk characters. That’s about it. There are funny moments but it’s not the absurdist sitcom stuff of Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan.
Anyway, the tale focuses on a policeman named Ciarán O’Shea (Coyle) who isn’t that much of a policeman but he doesn’t need to be because it’s a sleepy island town where there is pretty much zero crime. He’s an alcoholic (like the rest of the inhabitants there) and the story begins with him being teamed up with a young go-getter of an officer in the form of Lisa Nolan (Ruth Bradley) who’s from the mainland. All this coincides with some weird creatures washing up on shore and a little bit of death (which is a tad unusual in itself).
From there it’s your classic alien invasion story and like others before it, there is a preventative measure to fight the monsters with. Realising that the creatures can’t handle alcohol and that they’re all stuck on the island for the night with no hope of getting outside help until morning, the plan is avoid panic by not letting the general populace in on what’s going down but to also get everyone so pickled that even if they did come across one of the creatures, it would do them no harm – they include themselves in this plan.
Aliens and drinking – need I say more? For a well-made low budget film that has a sense of fun about it like monster movies of the eighties, this is definitely worth your time.