Friday, 31 August 2012

Frightfest 2012: Grabbers

It’s difficult to find a place to categorize Grabbers, yes its most certainly horror, well more comedy-horror. But what is it comparable too? Well combine Critters, Jaws and Father Ted and you are most certainly heading in the right direction, chuck in a bit of Gareth Edwards Monsters and you are pretty much bang on.

This quirky Irish story is by far one of the more interesting offerings to come out on the horror front this year. While being very different from the current norm, it also has a certain something about it that takes us back to times past.

Grabbers finds a small Irish island community under siege by a strange alien race, which crash-lands off the cost. Its original offspring resemble typical sea life, although those that know their fish, can most certainly tell the difference. Having captured a grabber in a lobster pot, the creatures finds they’re way ashore, and where one may go others follow. How can a drunk policeman, a by the book newcomer Garda Lisa Nolan, and a host of fishermen, and a sea expert fight off the continuing assault, well alcohol certainly appears to be a good start.

It’s a funny old journey watching Grabbers, the story could very well have been thought up after a night on the tiles. It’s a combination of the good, the bad, and the preposterous, that being said in a very good way. On paper the story might seem a bit too unoriginal, but this really is not the case, this is a really refreshing movie, and that is not a play on words.

Clearly shot on a budget, the movie makes a good job of creating scale, by using lots of outdoor locations (often the same ones with different angles), and then ending with what is essentially a good old knees up down the pub, this allows for some cash to be spent on the special effects. And it’s in the special effects that you get the best surprise. It could be very easy to create a cheap looking monster, and it fit in with the obvious budget requirements, while playing on comedy of the movie. Instead what you get are several small, but scary creatures, and one rather large terrifying one. Somewhere in-between you have midsize ones that are around the size of a man, and its these that are the most menacing.

Grabbers is full of familiar faces Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley, Russell Tovey, Ned Dennehy, and Bronagh Gallagher head up the impress cast. But its not about the names, its all about the bigger picture, and all the characters work really well, no unlikeable characters, its all so incredibly well put together.

Director Jon Wright who bought us Tormented, delivers an incredibly polished product in Grabbers, its not a horror movie, its not a comedy, its not a monster movie, it’s a love story, that just so happens to have all the other aspects wrapped round it. You would be hard pushed not to enjoy Grabbers, regardless of what your “boat” is.

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