I have been hearing about this film for ages and had been following it progress on Facebook and Twitter as the received a broadly positive reception at various film festivals. It finally arrived for a short limited cinema run then it was out on DVD/Bluray the following week, a very common pattern for independently funded films nowadays.
It opens on a scene shot from space of an object crashing into the Atlantic just south of Ireland. It is spotted by fishermen in a boat nearby and the skipper radios in that he’s seen what looks like an emergency flare and he is going to investigate. The boat is attacked by something that we don’t get to see yet and the three men are killed. It is a pretty intense start to film that is essentially a comedy.
The main characters in this film are two Garda (Irish police) the alcoholic cynical Ciaran O’Shea (Richard Coyle) and eager young Lisa Nolan (Ruth Bradley). Ciaran works on the island of Erin off the south coast of Ireland and Lisa is coming to Erin to work for two weeks while Garda Sergeant Kenefick goes on his holidays. Ciaran protests that he doesn’t need any help in a tone that’s just like a teenager complaining about having a babysitter.
At the dock Paddy Barrett (Lalor Roddy) is checking his lobster pots and in one of them he sees a strange creature with tentacles that squirts a foul-smelling fluid on the face another fisherman. Next day Dr Jim Gleeson (Pascal Scott) walks his dog down to beach and discovers about a dozen dead pilot whales lying on the sand. Ciaran and Lisa go to investigate and meet Dr Adam Smith (Russell Tovey) a marine ecologist who takes a liking to Lisa. He hasn’t really got any idea what could have killed the whales.
Ciaran and Lisa go to a quarry and get the owner Declan Cooney to go to the beach and remove the dead whales. After they have cleared the beach Cooney and his men pack-up to leave and Cooney sends one them to fetch shovel he’s left on the beach the man spots a load of strange eggs. He picks one up and gets attacked by something. Cooney is waiting on the man to return so he can leave and he goes to see what happened to him.
In a house near the beach the couple are settling in for the night and they hear a banging at the door. When the guy opens the door Cooney is there moving about strangely and they thinks he’s drunk but then he drops dead. The guy goes to investigate and he gets speared in the chest and lifted away into the air. His wife comes out to see what happened and what she sees makes her run screaming into the house where she gets dragged out through the chimney.
Ciaran is drinking in Maher’s, the only bar on the island and he gets teased by Una Maher (Bronagh Gallagher) the landlady about his interest in Lisa that he tries to deny but then he realises he’s probably not tried very hard to be nice to her. Paddy comes in and no-one believes him about the thing he caught in his lobster pot that he has put in his bathtub. They think he’s just raving with the amount that he’s already drunk which makes him and bit belligerent. That night when he goes home the thing is no longer in the tub but is on the ceiling the corner of the room and we finally get to see it, all glistening green-blue tentacles. It stabs him with its long spear like tongue but it quickly withdraws. It jumps at his face and wraps its tentacles around his head but after a bit of struggle Paddy gets it off
Next day Ciaran and Lisa try to find Cooney but all they find is his car with his keys still in the ignition. They decide to check out the nearby house, the one that was attacked the night before. The lights are on but there’s no sign of anyone. They spot something on the roof and Lisa goes to investigate because of course Ciaran has already been drinking. There seems to be along piece of torn clothing and Lisa tugs on it dislodging something from the chimney. She screams when she realises it’s a head and it rolls off the roof and smacks Ciaran in the face.
They take the head to the doctor to see if he can figure what killed him but Dr Gleeson points out it’s just a head so he has nothing to go on since he doesn’t have big city laboratory facilities. They go to see Paddy whose house has a big hole from when the bath went through the wall. Paddy tells them about the creature and takes them to Smith’s laboratory where he has been examining it. Smith has never seen anything like it and says it is a new species. Paddy calls the thing a grabber much to Smith’s annoyance since he wants it given some sort of descriptive Latin name but Paddy knows he’s got naming rights. Smith tells them the grabber is female and shows them the large egg he has dissected. Smith says if they have a female that implies that there is a male around too which is a little presumptuous for an unknown species even if he doesn’t know it’s not from Earth. Paddy takes Ciaran and Lisa to the beach where he caught the grabber and they have a close run in with the large male grabber.
They figure out that Paddy survived the attack because the grabber didn’t like something in his blood and Ciaran realises it must be the alcohol. When Ciaran tries to call the mainland for help he’s told that all rescue boats have been called in because of a large storm approaching so they are on their own. Together with the help Dr Gleeson and pub landlord Brian Maher (David Pearse) they come up with a plan to get everyone on Erin Isle into the pub for a huge booze up.
I really liked the characters in this film and a lot of the humour in the film comes from their dialogue and interactions. The humour balances out the creature horror parts where the tentacled monsters are attacking and killing people. The creature effects are pretty impressive and one of the best things about it was the way they have the large male grabber move by rolling on its tentacles at fairly impressive speeds. I had a lot fun watching this film and have no hesitation giving it my recommendation