I’ve watched Grabbers a couple of times now. The first time I wasn’t overly taken with it. I enjoyed the monster concept, and some of the effects work, but overall it felt like a slightly modified, British version of Tremors only maybe not quite as funny. That’s not to say it’s a bad movie or that it doesn’t have some extremely funny moments, but the movie seems doomed to be compared to other “tentacle” monster movies like Tremors even though it really isn’t Tremors-like at all. Everyone I mention this to seems to compare it to Tremors and in the positive so maybe that’s something to be embraced. My second viewing however was a bit better. I got the joke. I was in a jolly mood, and well… I think I like Grabbers just fine now. Grabboids can keep the desert!
Synopsis from IFC:
On Erin Island, an idyllic fishing village off the coast of Ireland, charming inebriate Ciaran O'Shea (Richard Coyle, Pusher, Coupling) is tasked with showing strait-laced police officer Lisa Nolan (Ruth Bradley,Primeval, In Her Skin) her new beat. Not that there's much to police, as most of the community's troubles are caused by O'Shea himself. But strange doings are afoot: The crew of a fishing boat disappears, dead whales wash up on the shore, and a local lobsterman catches a mysterious tentacled creature in his trap. Soon it becomes clear to O'Shea and Nolan that some unnatural creatures are out there, and that they're hungry. But it turns out the alien monsters terrorizing the town are allergic to human blood with high alcohol content. So it's time to rally the villagers, arm the troops - and head to the pub!
So these Grabbers are pretty cool looking right? They aren’t horrible CG renditions of Sharktopus without the Shark. They have a strange design, alien and yet sea creature-like with lots of teethies and Host like tentacles (not grabboids). Sure there CG too and mostly I dislike computer graphic monsters unless the feature is ultra-super mega B (think SyFy original anything) but these worked for me.
The basic premise also works. British accents always a plus in the funny and heartfelt serious moments. I’m a sucker for the comedy of the Brits (mostly). It’s starting to feel like the defining horror/socio-critical statement we’ll learn from British movies of our age will be that British guys drink too much and that horrific events will make them see the error of their ways in some form or another. We’re talking nearly moral, modern day, Science Fiction Aesop’s Fables for drunk bastards at pubs. Think Shawn of the Dead or Cornetto related fodder. Drink. Drank. Monster. I’m cool with it. I stopped drinking a couple years back save for the occasional sip o’ craft brew now and again. I suppose that’s growing up.
It works within its lower budget well and makes excellent use out of some very physical comedy. Yes, fans of Tremors are going to be interested in this (trade your southwestern accent in for one from across the pond sans the desert). You’ll also find a good crossover crowd with the Cornetto Trilogy lovers. Edgar Wright, Sean Pegg, Nick Frost need apply and those of you who though Attack the Block was good… this is definitely worth your time.