2 Mar



Director: Jon Wright

Writer: Kevin Lehane

Stars: Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley, Russell Tovey

Motion Picture Rating: 15

Runtime: 94 minutes



So here we have a small coastal community terrorized by a monster from the deep. A fishing trawler has lost its crew and butchered whales have washed up on the beach. The local police mean well, but are out of their depth. Sound familiar? It should because Grabbers owes a great deal to Jaws, as well as Gremlins and Tremors too – monster movies with casts of characters that you care about and a story that builds nicely to an exciting man versus monster finale.

Grabbers is set on a small island off the coast of Ireland. It’s all a bit Father Ted with a decent nod to Local Hero. Strange maritime incidents have been occurring and the town drunk reckons that he has caught a nasty sea creature in a lobster pot. He’s not wrong and soon that creature has spawned others and the villagers are in peril. The two local police, drunken and dishevelled Richard Coyle and by the book Ruth Bradley, are trying to solve the mystery and are supported by resident marine ecologist Russell Tovey. As it happens, alcohol is the key to survival. The sea monsters seek human blood, but are poisoned by booze-filled bodies.

This is a cracking little film. The concept that locals must stage a lock-in and stay drunk to stay alive is a clever one. And for a first time script writer Kevin Lehane conjures up a realistic community with some great characters. The leads are particularly good, especially Coyle and Bradley as the miss-matched coppers with more than a little chemistry between them. Tovey is less convincing as ‘Dr Exposition’, and some of the early extras are shaky, but overall it is a winning cast and they imbue the film with a lot of heart.

I am surprised that Grabbers made such little impact at the box office, but that title probably did not help. The producers should have been more imaginative and could have benefitted from copying the marketing strategy of Shaun of the Dead. Still, this could do really well on DVD and I hope that it does. It is low budget, but the special effects are hugely impressive. The townsfolk are charming and the film is a lot of fun.

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