EIFF 2012: Grabbers
Posted on Saturday June 23, 2012, 12:16 by Stephen Carty in Under The Radar
@yo_damo writes: The Edinburgh International Film Festival continues to be as much a centre for networking as actually seeing movies, thus Friday was a day spent outside the cinema. This involved having lunch with Hollywood icon Elliott Gould, coffee with Martin Scorsese's brilliant editor Thelma Schoonmaker and finally ending up in a bar called Bertie's with Jon Wright, Kevin Lehane, Richard Coyle and Ruth Bradley – respectively the director, writer and stars of monster movie Grabbers. I've been banging on about this film for ages, so I thought I'd let someone else have a go...
Stephen Carty writes:
A very likeable horror-comedy, Grabbers happily lives up to the early hype, serving up a very enjoyable blend of Tremors, The Guard and Lake Placid, with some tentacled splashes of Peter Benchley’s The Beast thrown in for good measure.
After an appropriately choppy, attack-at-sea prologue, we’re taken to a sleepy Irish fishing town and introduced to boozy copper Ciaran (Richard Coyle, who’s also starring in the Festival’s Pusher remake), a man who’s hardly the most responsible plod on the beat. So much so in fact, that when the Chief decides to take a holiday, he saddles Ciaran with a new partner in the form of teetotal workaholic Lisa (the disarmingly enchanting Ruth Bradley), despite the fact that nothing ever happens in this leafy little hamlet. That is, however, until the titular creatures arrive and start sucking blood from the inhabitants.
Admittedly, Grabbers doesn’t reinvent the horror wheel (years of similar movies have pre-conditioned us to know who’s about to get killed), but it rises above such quibbles with lovely coastal charm and lots of feck-fuelled laughs (with Lalor Roddy’s drunk fisherman getting all the best lines). That said, while consistently funny and boasting some playful twists – the locals have to get utterly bladdered in order to survive the alcohol-allergic monsters – it’s serious when it needs to be, and the scary interludes throughout are always effective. The effects are impressive for something so comparatively low-budget, and Wright wisely uses the monsters sparingly (all these years after Jaws, filmmakers are still adopting Spielberg’s less-seen-the-better approach).
It’s not all feckin’ and tentacles though, as Grabbers is surprisingly sweet, too. Complemented by a terrific, atmospheric score, Richard Coyle and Ruth Bradley (did we mention how lovely she is?) have a nice easygoing chemistry together, which really elevates a potentially token romance. Elsewhere, the cast all manage to score a few laughs each (special mention to David Pearse’s put-upon pub landlord), while Russell Tovey seems to be having a blast in a nice role as the snooty, creature-examining Dr Smith. It may not be a game-changer, but it's still a very fun and effective horror-comedy that is definitely worth grabbing when, and if, you can.