Directed by Jon Wright
“It’s not a fekkin’ lobster.”
Another late night at Sundance brings us Jon Wright’s Grabbers from Forward Films and High Treason Productions. Made for a meager $6.5M, this flick has a very big budget feel. With tremendous acting and spectacular special effects from Shaune Harrison (Harry Potter and Deathly Hollows Part 1 & 2), Grabbers is as intense as it is hilarious for most of its 94-minute runtime with only a few bumps in the road along the way. Of course it cannot go without mention that being shot in Ireland gives way to some of the most beautiful scenery that only Ireland and maybe Scotland can add to a backdrop for any feature film.
The day following a meteor landing in the ocean and a group of fisherman going missing, Garda Lisa Nolan (Ruth Bradley) arrives for a temporary assignment in a small, normally quiet village in Ireland. Partnered with Garda Ciarán O’Shea (Richard Coyle) they must begin investigating strange occurrences happening around the village. The next day a local lobster trapper discovers an odd looking creature in one of his traps and ends up killing it when it attacks him in his bathroom. He then takes the dead specimen to the local scientist, Dr. Adam Smith (Russell Tovey). Dr. Smith discovers an egg inside this dead creature and decides he needs to contact the local authorities who are out investigating yet more disappearances from the village.
Arriving at the scientist’s lab, they discover that these creatures need only two things to survive: blood and water. However, they also accidentally discover that a high blood alcohol level will in turn kill these nasty creatures from outer space. In an attempt to fend off the creatures, it is decided that the entire village have a gathering at one of the two local pubs, get smashed and prepare for battle.
It goes without saying that just from the premise this was in no way ever to meant to be a serious story, and it certainly is not. Grabbers is a lot more than that. Grabbers is one of those features that you wish you held a remote control while viewing so you could back it up a few seconds because you just know in your mind that you missed something more hilarious than the last line because you were rolling on the floor laughing. It is not all laughs, however; there is plenty of action along the way to keep you focused on the task at hand. At the conclusion of the opening scene, the film gets off to a bit of a slow start but gets going again at a fairly reasonable pace about two thirds of the way through the first act. There is a little bit of a lull during the second act as well, but everything really gears up in the third act through the grand finale.
These lulls do give plenty of time for some great character development, which is infrequent in our wonderful genre as of late, even inclusive of a minor love story.
Aside from the story and some genius characters, it must be stressed on this budget that the creature effects are stupendous. Though the majority of all of the effects are CGI, they are fairly seamless in nature and very realistic. The fantastic visual effects, along with a pretty solid soundtrack, makes Grabbers one of the most enjoyable creature films we have seen in recent history. Although as previously mentioned it stumbles a few times here and there, you can certainly not miss an opportunity to see this well put together creature feature as soon as you can get your hands on it. So grab a bottle of Bushmills Irish whiskey and prepare to laugh until you cry for an hour and a half. This one definitely delivers.
4 out of 5