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When a small island by Ireland is invaded by tentacled aliens, local cop Ciarán O’Shea (Richard Coyle) and recent transfer Lisa Nolan (Ruth Bradley) must find a way to save the townspeople. They quickly learn that the creatures drink blood, but will die if their victim is drunk. All they have to do to save everyone, is get the entire town drunk, which proves quite easy when you announce a party with a free bar. Directed by  Jon Wright,   Grabbers  is the opening night film for the 2012  Toronto After Dark Film Festival.

As far as opening night films go, Grabbers manages to showcase almost every aspect that Toronto After Dark has to offer. There’s a few laughs, some incredible creatures, and enough blood to entertain the crowd. It’s a great way to start, and sum up, the festival. The only problem is that it takes about 30 minutes to really get going. Once we’re introduced to all the characters and their odd quirks, and we get our first good look at the creatures, things really pick up.

Some of the CG work on the creatures has a tendency to stick out unnaturally, but most of it is very well done. It’s the actual look of the creatures that should be praised. Like a cross between H.P. Lovecraft and an octopus, these are some slimy and disgusting monsters. The fact that the only way to protect yourself is to get drunk leads to some very funny scenes, and makes Grabbers a satisfying film.

Is Grabbers Essential TADFF Viewing?

Yes and no. Going to the opening night of Toronto After Dark is a must, but with Grabbers being the first of two opening night films, you may want to just see the second film and save the money for another evening at the festival. If you can handle the film being rather slow for the first 30 minutes, the last hour is worth it, and this may be one of the few chances you have to see Grabbers .

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