Grabbers (2012) Directed by Jon Wright. With Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley and Russell Tovey.
Written and directed with a great degree of wit and affection, John Wright’s ‘Grabbers’ gleefully embraces its influences and origins on the way to being a warm-hearted, deftly romantic monster invasion movie set on a remote Irish island. Straight away, it’s hard not to recall John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard, as we’re introduced to a local Garda (Richard Coyle) with a drink/attitude problem.
What’s initially pleasing, though, is just how beautiful the cinematography and musical score are. So much so, that at times, it could be easily mistaken for a tourism advertisement. Wright wears his influences on his sleeve with one big, early visual signpost (literally) to Jaws. From then on, the film remains mostly formulaic and fairly generic, but stuffed with an abundance of neat tricks and humorous quirks that hold it aloft, playing on a higher level than the standard fare that overpopulates the bargain basement roots its title suggests.
Revealing the said neat tricks, as many reviewers have, is going most way to spoiling the finding out of what makes Grabbers so much fun. Of course, a monster mash like this is only going to stretch so far, and although the film isn’t shy of declaring its love for Spielberg’s shark or James Cameron’s Aliens, it’s not in the same league, but, in all fairness, it does know it.
In the end, Grabbers is good, old fashioned fun. Its a perfect cousin to the likes of Tremors or Shaun of the Dead, and its willing cast embrace the daftness, providing some good laughs to go with the eye catching photography and visual effects. 3.5/5