Last call at the bar.
Ah yes, drinking and the Irish, one of the easiest stereotypes to come up with. Sure, some will be attracted to the lovely Ireland, or that wonderful accent, or even the alternate monster-movie themed box art. For me, it was all three, although the simple prospect that somehow beer would be the savior of the people within it was far more amusing than any of the other concepts in there. Well then, it's last call - time to find out if it's all tapped out or the best concoction you've ever tried.
O'Shea (Richard Coyle) is a policeman (or Garda as they are seemingly called in Ireland) who isn't that great at his job. He's a friendly guy, but a troubled past has led him to being a bit of a drunk even while on duty. Garda Nolan (Ruth Bradley) is a hard working lady who wants nothing more than to excel at her job, and finds herself getting shipped to the same island that O'Shea happens to be assigned on to relieve the head chief for a while (leaving just Nolan and O'Shea as the only resident officers on the island). They get off to a rather rocky start, on account of O'Shea's "drinking problem" but slowly start to warm up to each other as time goes by. However, not all is peaceful in this little island beauty.
Paddy (Lalor Roddy) is a fisherman who happens to catch himself something very, very strange. He takes the little bugger home with him and leaves it in the tub while he goes off to go about his normal business (which frequents the bar just as much as any actual working). Strange things are happening off the coast, with fisher vessels being found devoid of it's crew with no reason as to where they have gone or what happened. Things also start heating up for our Garda as carcasses of whales start washing up on shore. Things escalate further when people on land start disappearing, and slowly things start to connect to Paddy's little creature thanks to a bit of science. Also thanks to Paddy, they start to find out that the creatures seem to be deathly allergic to alcohol - a fact that saved Paddy's life when his little pet attacked him, and they plan to use to save the entire town. As the creature's close in on the folks of the island, they all gather in the pub for a party (but really it's to keep them highly drunk and safe from the creatures). Can the town survive the night, or will the monsters have a bit of an Irish treat?
The tale of grabbers could easily be stuck into a monster-movie genre by itself, following a classic "something from the depths has surfaced, and we are it's prey" foundation. It does take some strides towards character development that works rather well if not at a basic level, and it creates a bit of a romance subplot because of it. The plot is pretty straight forward without any real twists, although they keep the excitement up by throwing in small twists of action via characters, and the pacing is good enough that tension builds as we approach the big reveal of the momma monster towards the end.
Actors do a wonderful job at their parts and, as odd as it might seem that a movie whose end is laden with drunken characters and monsters, incredibly believable. The Irish accent helps to draw you in (unless I guess you don't like an Irish accent), but is easily understood and avoids needing subtitles to know what's going on. A wide array of drunkenness is shown here - going from the sad and sloppy start of O'Shea, the goofy and suddenly talkative Nolan, to the barely noticable difference in Paddy. The fact that we get to see the transitional state between some of the characters is a nice touch as well.
Effects-wise, we have a fun mix between practical and CG. The monsters, as far as I can tell, are done in CG in a manner that befits a creature made up mostly of a giant sucker-face and tentacles. Movements are handled well, with the little critters launching themselves through the air and the larger one having a tendency to roll from place to place like a boulder down a hill. Some of the practical effects are a mixed bag - fire and the likes comes of well done as does the dead whales, but some things (such as a severed head) are a little worse for the wear.
Audio follows suit as most movies soundtracks would - it helps a bit to add to the scenes, but nothing landmark or necessarily memorable. Lines delivered by the actors come off well (and audio balance is done quite nicely), and as I've mentioned numerous times those attracted to the Irish accent will have an absolute ball with it. Creature sounds are well handled, sounding believable or sometimes slightly comical as the scene deems fit.
Grabbers is one of those movies that's just a blast to watch. If you have a real big thing against drinking to the extent that people in a movie drinking is disgusting, then A - you probably have a problem and B - this movie won't be for you. Violence is pretty well handled here, with relatively minor gruesome scenes on screen - language is pretty common place for foreigners I'm sure, although people in a more subdued America might take some offense to the use of various words starting with F, S, and C (cause some people here get uptight about those kind of words). Beyond that, if you want to watch a pretty good monster flick that channels some humor into it, this is a pretty good entry to try.