Grabbers
Five Stars (out of five)
2013. Not Rated, but has cursing and gore. Released by IFC Films. Running time 94 minutes. English Subtitles. Special features include a 'making of' documentary. This was reviewed on DVD on February 10, 2014.

Would you mind if I go first? I've had some experience with this on Primeval. Grabbers is an Irish-produced horror/SF film about an alien that crash-lands in the ocean by a small island that’s just off the coast of Ireland. A crew of fishermen, seeing the bright lights of the crash, rush to see if they can offer assistance, and the denizen of the spacecraft is more than happy to accept their help--it’s just not the sort of help that the fishermen had planned to give; the otherworldly creature devours the crew, leaving their boat adrift for the Irish coastguard to find abandoned much later. The following day, a pod of whales is found on the beach, all of them dead. As if this wasn’t enough to deal with, Garda Ciarán O'Shea (Richard Coyle) also has another visitor.

A bunch of dead whales on the beach? That can't be good, can it? With his partner taking a two week holiday, O’Shea is temporarily teamed up with Garda Lisa Nolan (Ruth Bradley). Nolan, whose usual assignment is the streets of Dublin, thinks the sleepy coastal town will practically be a vacation. But neither O’Shea or Nolan could have counted on large, hungry aliens that look like a mouth with multiple tentacles stalking the island. It’s not long before they become aware of the monsters, thanks to a local fisherman who tried to bring one of them home as a pet, and O’Shea and Nolan soon find out that the only thing that fends off the creatures is being drunk.

Bring it ya pansy aliens! Directed by Jon Wright, Grabbers could very well be a great double bill with Edgar Wright’s (no relation) The World’s End, since both films deal with drunken heroes fighting off otherworldly menaces. In Grabbers’ case, O’Shea realizes that drinking is their salvation when the fisherman who brought the Grabber (what the locals decide to call the monsters, against the wishes of the hapless marine biologist, played by Russell Tovey) survives his close encounter with his would-be pet. Although it’s lighthearted in tone, the film presents still its scenario seriously, with the Grabbers being a genuine, lethal threat.

Hello, are you the cab that I called? Wait, what's with the light and siren? The humor comes naturally and, being unforced, that makes it all the more funny. Ruth Bradley, best known from the British Primeval TV series, really shines here as her upright Garda (a member of Ireland’s national police force) lets down her hair, both before and after she gets smashed. This is one of the most funniest, riotous, laugh out loud films I’ve seen in recent years (The World’s End being the other). The moments showing our drunken heroes taking on the monster (the effects for which are also very well done), all while paying homage to James Cameron’s Aliens in one hysterically comical bit, is almost too funny to bear. Don’t miss this one. --SF

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