We all know that various film genres tend to recycle the same story lines. And that definitely seems to be true for "Creature Features": A small isolated community (lets say a town or rural village) is tormented by supernatural or other worldly beings and the films unlikely protagonist has to rise to the occasion and quash this alien threat and save his town,village,local beach community or other. Throw in an obvious love interest and a self aware tongue in check style and you've got yourself a movie. So,that being said is their anything about "Grabbers" that makes it stand out from the likes of Gremlins,Tremors or even black sheep?......well no.
The "creature" here is a bloodsucking Alien with tentacles(hence the name "grabbers") that lands on a remote Island of the west coast of Ireland. It begins to pick off the locals left,right and centre and it's up to a drunken guard and his new dubliner lady guard partner to save the day. As I said the films main problem is with the clichÃ (C)d story and a lack of innovation and new ideas. We all know exactly how it's going to play out. This wouldn't be such an issue but it's just not all that funny,albeit it does have it's moments. The dialogue isn't as fast,chippy and clever as it thinks it is as it doesn't hold a candle to last years "the Guard",which it's desperately trying to be. The aforementioned "grabbers" lack the personality of the gremlins in "Gremlins" and the banter between the townfolk just isn't as good as it was in "Tremors".
Now it's not entirely a lost cause. I'd be lying if I said I didn't laugh at some of the films funnier moments. The characters themselves are eccentric and likeable . The special effects,both the CG work and the prosthetics, are some of the best I've seen in an Irish movie. The performances range from fair to excellent , most notable of which being Ruth Bradley's lady cop. Bradley is the stand out in this film, especially when playing the intoxicated sections as only an Irishwoman could(I'm Irish so I can say that).Dare i say she may be one of film's greates drunks. Even though I said the film lacks new ideas, the concept of the villagers having to drink intensely to keep the monster at bay is clever,even if it's not fully utilised. What is well utilised however,is the Irish countryside which is given a dreamlike and serene quality through it's natural beauty.(which is more than can be said for "The guard")
"Grabbers" is far from a terrible film,but nor is it a great one. It's a film that seems perfectly content to sit right on the line of mediocrity. It's has a familiar feel that forces you to compare it to others that it just doesn't stack up to.