Saturday, December 01, 2012


Everyone Grab A Weapon!

Just so you know, I enjoy films that feature monsters, and you'll probably find relatively favourable reviews for films like Feast, The Host, Cloverfield, Monsters, and Attack the Block. There's something about this innate fear when faced with the unknown, and having to survive both group dynamics and that of the deadly threat posed by the out of this world aliens, that allows for plenty of adrenaline pumping moments during the action sequences, and drama to fill the void left behind, or comedy in some instance.

This UK-Irish production happens to be one of those with a lot of charm, wit and black comedy, with good tension build up as it features monsters dropped in from outer space, and finding a landing site on an Irish island, enough to wreck havoc amongst its group of islanders, who are stuck and can't get out due to an impending storm. Stuck where they are, a select group consisting of a motley crew such as policemen, a scientist, a fisherman and a bartender, all have to keep their fellow townsfolk alive without the need to spread mass panic, while at the same time having to deal with subduing the monster they have little clue about what its weaknesses are.

Directed by Jon Wright, this film takes a while to build up, with a complimentary violent sequence out at sea serving as the prologue before all hell was let loose. Characters were slowly introduced into the narrative, such as policewoman's Lisa Nolan (Ruth Bradley) temporary deployment to the town because resident cop Ciaran O'Shea (Richard Coyle) is usually too hungover to take charge of anything. As the leads, you'd come to expect ample time taken to build this opposites attract relationship, as Kevin Lehane's story provides nice little touches to as many characters as possible, either background or to give little quirks, so that they come across more than in one dimensional terms.

Creature design is important in a film like this, and this little movie boasts no less than three different designs, each carefully injected into the film so that they don't cannibalize on one another, and provides different challenges and subduing techniques. We have baby slug like nasties, a slightly larger female lifeform that provided the titular nickname for the creatures given its penchant to forcefully hug and wrap around the face, and the larger, full grown octopus-like adult that can decapitate in a moment, whose main source of nutrition is human blood and needing water to survive, with a little caveat that serves both as its Achilles heel, and providing enough moments of dark comedy all rolled into one.

Expect the usual monster film elements involving humans versus the monster aliens, with the former group being cornered and really needing to take desperate action. What Grabbers did fantastically well is its focus to want to tell a solid story complete with people drama, seamless edge-of-your-seat-moments, combined with moments that don't take themselves too seriously, allowing you to laugh as you would expect to scream given Wright's knack to build tension and anticipation, with an avenue for release. A definite recommendation before this is expected to disappear from our shores!

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