2012 Certificate: 15


Alien meets Whisky Galore! in this comedy B-horror from Ireland. When sleepy Erin Island comes under siege from bloodsucking space squids, country cops O'Shea (Richard Coyle) and Nolan (Ruth Bradley) discover there's only one way to save the population: by getting everyone completely drunk. After starring in TV's Primeval, Bradley is right at home amidst the monster-led mayhem, while Coyle and the rest of the locals have a whale of a time down The Stereotype Arms. Enjoy responsibly.


  • Jon Wright


  • Richard Coyle

  • Ruth Bradley

  • Russell Tovey

  • Bronagh Gallagher

  • Louis Dempsey


The idea of bloodthirsty but alcohol-intolerant space monsters descending on an island full of Irish stereotypes sounds like lots of shlocky fun.

Disappointingly, Grabbers is short on shlock and it's not very funny.

Still, Richard Coyle and Ruth Bradley generate what comic chemistry they can as the mismatched cops (he the permanently hungover local Garda, she the eager new recruit from Dublin) investigating a spate of gruesome incidents on craggy Erin Island.

Turns out they're under attack vampiric octopoids from outer space. Yoiks! Luckily, with 'help' from resident biologist Russell Tovey and a few deep-pickled locals, they discover the invaders' weak spot: they're allergic to booze.

Thus, to avoid being bled dry, the islanders must drink the pub dry.

The key to low-budget success is invention, but while aiming to remodel Jaws by way of Gremlins and Whisky Galore!, director Jon Wright shows little of the promise of his debut Tormented.

And despite the odd flash of droll wit, writer Kevin Lehane's dialogue rarely rises above the "feck-n-bollix" school of Irish banter.

Given the budget, the monster effects are passable enough. But with a script that never lives up to its potential, no fresh visual ideas, and a dearth of real splatter, this is a comedy horror that fails to deliver enough yucks or yuck.

Like the tentacles of aliens who've had a few too many, Grabbers fails to grab.