Grabbers 2012 Dir. Jon Wright
I don’t want to say that horror comedies are more marketable these days, because studios are cowardly about mashups and different ideas, but we do seem to be experiencing a resurgence in the odd and quirky midnight movies of the 1980s. Horror and comedy are the two most closely related genres in narrative arts. They both rely heavily on timing and are very difficult to do correctly. The best of these wind up being scary with moments of pitch black humor like Slither or An American Werewolf in London, but at worst you end up with sheer parody like the Scary Movie Series. While not every horror comedy can be the next Shaun of the Dead, some interesting films have been popping up offering both laughs and threats, for those willing to seek them out. One of these is an irish film called Grabbers.
Taking place on a remote Irish island, Grabbers features two police officers, an alcoholic and a workaholic, reluctantly partnered together to cover for the chief who is away on vacation. This odd couple have to put their differences aside when a local fisherman dredges something out of the ocean that’s…out of this world. After discovering that the invading forces of aquatic extraterrestrials can’t abide booze, the police stage a lock-in at a local pub in order to save the local community. Can they last the night?
Grabbers does everything right, compelling characters, funny dialogue, creepy monsters, love story and convincing CGI. It’s that last item that becomes the most important in a film that entirely revolves around a believable monster, and boy does this film deliver. As well as creative monster effects, the film also offers unique and quirky characters that make you care for this community. The drunken Garda, Ciarán O'Shea (Richard Coyle) is endearing despite his drink-leaden handicap and is perfectly matched with Garda Lisa Nolan (Ruth Bradley), the straight-laced officer from the mainland. These two have real chemistry and you want them to end up together. The town is also made up of strange a beautiful characters that feel a little like the cast of an updated version of The Quiet Man.
This is like the SYFY channel monster movies only good. Seriously, this is good. Instead of watching Sharknado for the tenth time out of some sense of postmodern irony, watch Grabbers. The threat is real, the monsters are awesome and the characters are fun to watch.