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01 September 2012 @ 05:41 pm
Film Review: Grabbers  
A horror comedy starring Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley, and Russell Tovey.

In this silly film, the Irish prove that they are more than comfortable making fun of their own stereotypes.

A leech/squid-like aliens land on Earth and promptly begin to terrorize a small, isolated Irish community. Newly arrived workaholic Garda Lisa Nolan (Ruth Bradley), local Garda Ciaran O'Shea (Richard Coyle) and scientist Dr. Adam Smith (Russell Tovey) are one of the first to discover these creatures and figure out their love for water and sucking the blood out of people. They also find out that the aliens are deathly allergic to alcohol. So obviously Ireland is the best and worst place for these things to end up since water is aplenty with the rain coming down in torrents. But the locals love to drink. A lot.

Hatching a ridiculous plan, the gang decide to herd the clueless locals to the pub for a free bar night to ensure everyone gets well and drunk to put off the aliens. Only O'Shea who ironically was a borderline alcoholic before all this elects to keep himself sober because someone has to be clear headed. What follows is about an hour and a half of watching extremely drunk people fumbling around with makeshift weapons as the aliens soon descend on them.

I'll grant you this premise had the potential for being awesome. Done right, it could have been like a drunk-version of Shaun of the Dead. But strangely the execution of the plot fell pretty flat. It's not that the actors aren't great at playing intoxicated. In fact, they're almost too good. In real life, drunk people are annoying. They fall all over you, slur through what they believe to be either poetry or philosophy, and make really poor decisions. So watching realistic drunks fight aliens was surprisingly more irritating than enjoyable. When someone gets too drunk to even push a table across the floor properly to barricade the door, you know you've reached the point where the cure has become the sickness.

My other issue with the film was that the plan to get completely smashed in order to survive would have felt less stupid if it weren't for the fact that the aliens themselves seemed unaware of their own allergy to alcohol. Apart from the huge mother alien, all the other grabbers seemed to realize after the fact that they've inadvertantly drunken something that will kill them. By that point, it's too late for the alien and it's too late for the human. So what's the point of getting sloshed when it hardly puts off the alien? If anything, getting drunk seemed to handicap everyone as no one could think straight to make good decisions with the exception of O'Shea who spent half the night trying to marshall random drunk locals from stumbling outside into the arms of the awaiting aliens.

Coyle who has starred in things like Strange and Going Postal has proven that he's been getting better with his acting as time has gone on. I'm probably a bit biased since he ended up being the only watchable sober one in this, but he managed to ride the plot through without completely embarrassing himself. I'm not sure I can say the same for Ruth Bradley and Russell Tovey. There was a moment in the film when Tovey picks up a chair to defend himself and rolled my eyes at what I had to think was a Being Human reference. The character of Smith wasn't much but it seemed to be the usual uptight, slightly twitty character Tovey excels at playing. At this stage in his career, I'd like him to get a role that would allow him to stretch his acting muscles just a bit.

All in all, the film was adequate but didn't live up to the premise for me.