Alright, so before the month is over, I wanted to sneak in one last review for The Begorrathon, which I’m sure many of you have become familiar with throughout this month. But on the off chance that you don’t know what I’m talking about, The Begorrathon is a blogathon that was been going on all this month. Co-hosted by The Fluff Is Raging and 746 Books, it’s all about Irish pop culture—books, movies, TV, music, etc. A couple of weeks ago, I opted to watch and review In Bruges, which I liked well enough, but I kind of hoped that Grabbers would be more my style. Because if drunken pub goers battling tentacle monsters can’t win me over, then I am truly a lost cause.
Synopsis: “When an island off the coast of Ireland is invaded by bloodsucking aliens, the heroes discover that getting drunk is the only way to survive.” –www.imdb.com
What I liked:
- The premise. I mean, come on. Bloodsucking, tentacle aliens that can only be beaten by drunken Irish islanders? It’s so ridiculous that it’s charming. And it also creates an interesting conundrum. Like, the townsfolk have to be drunk to be safe from the monsters, but how do you make smart choices when you’re wasted?! It’s a hilarious problem.
- The cast. Leading man Richard Coyle is pretty great as Garda Ciarán O’Shea, a good guy and experienced local officer who’s a little rough around the edges (because excessive drinking). And he has excellent chemistry with leading lady Ruth Bradley, who plays Garda Lisa Nolan, an enthusiastic young officer helping out on the island while O’Shea’s colleague is on vacation. At first they’re quite an odd couple—the grumpy vet and the perky newbie—but eventually they find their groove, and they’re a lot of fun together. Also, Russell Tovey is in this! I love Russell Tovey (quite possibly my favorite actor on Being Human)! He doesn’t get a huge chance to shine here, but he’s still Russell Tovey, so I’ll take it.
- The monsters. Tentacles? Check. Slime? Check. A thirst for blood? Check. A surprisingly cool look for a fairly low-budget film? Also check. They’re creepy, gross, and pretty much everything they need to be. They totally work.
- The setting. It has a few things going for it: 1) It’s an island, ergo it’s isolated. Never a bad thing for a horror movie. 2) It’s a pretty place—all green hills and white beach and blue ocean. 3) It’s an Irish island full of Irish people and their lovely Irish accents. Maybe you native Irish folks are rolling your eyes at me for that last bit. Sue me. American accents are boring. If I could pull of a decent Irish accent, I would talk like that every damn day.
- The sheer, Tremors-esque fun. While I don’t think this quite reaches Tremors levels of creature feature greatness, I do think watching it aspire toward that is very satisfying. It’s pure popcorn entertainment, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
What I didn’t like:
- It could use a little more horror…and a little more comedy, for that matter. Especially that last bit. Since it’s a horror-comedy, I didn’t really expect to be that scared by Grabbers, but I had hoped to get more than a few mild chuckles out of this. I think the premise itself is really the funniest aspect of the film. Well, drunk Nolan is also pretty good, but even that bit could be amped up some.
- It’s a little more generic than I’d hoped it would be. Director Jon Wright seems satisfied with being an Irish Shaun of the Dead of sorts, and that’s a little disappointing. I think the setting, the people, and the situation are all great pieces that seem unique on paper, yet they don’t come together with quite as much gusto as you’d expect.
- It’s like this weird mix of indie and big-budget. Like a blockbuster trying to be all cool and indie. Or…vice versa? I’m not really sure. I liked that the monsters looked so good, but I guess it was just a little strange seeing them in a movie where visual effects aren’t really a focus.
To Sum It Up: While Grabbers is definitely good craic (oh yeah—I’m busting out that Irish vocabulary), I don’t think it’s ever going to be one of the great creature features. It doesn’t quite do enough to make a mark. Still, I could easily see this becoming a cult favorite, and it’s certainly not a bad one to end on for The Begorrathon. 🙂
My Grade: B
Thanks again for making me aware of this lovely blogathon, Niall! It’s been a lot of fun checking these films off my list, and this was an excellent idea. Also, just for shiggles, here are a few pictures from my trip to Ireland from…four years ago?! Has it really been so long?! Good lord…
Here’s Kylemore Abbey in Connemara, a.k.a. where I shall go should I ever decide to give up and become a nun.
And the Cliffs of Moher, where I felt like a daredevil.
This was my ride. Judge away. Tourist and proud, b*tches.
And I kissed the Blarney Stone. Because duh.
And then I wandered the magical grounds of Blarney Castle, like you do.
Oh! And then I found the Witches Stone! I left behind some change in case she was mad about the picture. One can never be too careful when one photographs Witches Stones.
Anyway, that’s just a few of the obnoxious amount of pictures I took during my time in Ireland. It was a gorgeous country, though, and I’d go back in a heartbeat if I had the chance. So cheers to The Begorrathon! It has made me want to plan a second trip…sighhhhh…