A contrived, one-note sci-fi horror comedy in which a community stays drunk to repel an alien attack
In Grabbers, an interplanetary invasion of earth can potentially be foiled, not by the fighting spirit of the human race, but due to the aversion of the aliens to drinking blood contaminated by alcohol. It’s a situation which forces the inhabitants of a remote Irish island to stay in a continual state of inebriation in order to keep themselves alive…
That’s the somewhat contrived yet decidedly one-note gag that director Jon Wright’s (Tormented) monster movie flogs over a protracted ninety-four minute running time. Richard Coyle and Ruth Bradley play Ciaran and Lisa, two Garda officers who investigate the disappearance of fishermen on the island of Erin off the coast of Ireland. Pompous English scientist Adam Smith (Russell Tovey) is already on the scene, and local boozehound Paddy (Lalor Roddy) has managed to isolate something fishy in his bath. With a storm about to cut the island off from the mainland, it’s left to the mismatched team of Ciaran and Lisa, one a certified drunkard, the other a tee-total prude, to lead the islanders in an orgy of alcoholism to keep them safe from the many-tentacled monster in their midst.
Grabbers aspires to a Shaun of the Dead banter that comes up less than fresh, and there’s little originality in Kevin Lehane’s script to suggest why a revival of such post-modern gimcrackery might be in order. Apart from lazy stereotyping of drunken, feckless Irish louts and prissy, lab-coated scientists, Grabbers fails badly in the central coupling, with Coyle looking more like Bradley’s father than a prospective romantic interest. Grabbers looks decent enough, and the final sequences featuring the CGI creature are well handled, but Wright doesn’t take the time to create any real tension, which means that the comedy relief doesn’t have a chance of raising laughs.
Selected release from Wed 26 Dec.