EIFF: Take 3

Day 3

Grabbers ****

Director Jon Wright/ 94 mins 

This year’s Trollhunter is a comedy horror from the Emerald Isle which may not be in the least bit original, but sure is a whole lot of fun.

 

Ciarán O’Shea (Richard Coyle), is a washed up policeman of sleepy Erin Island, his daily routine consisting mainly of hanging out at the pub with the local drunks. That is until a workaholic policewoman Lisa (Ruth Bradley) arrives from the Irish mainland to assist him, while his superior goes on holiday. They suddenly find themselves dealing with dead whales, decapitated fishermen and weird alien creatures or “grabbers”. The unlikely pair must overcome their differences to save the town from these extraterrestrial squid.

 

The film is best described as a cross between Tremors, Local Hero, Shaun of the Dead with a blend of humour from last year’s great comedy The Guard. The acting is excellent from all involved especially by Coyle and Bradley who have excellent chemistry together. Although Being Human’s Russell Tovey is exceptionally annoying in every scene that he is in.

 

Director Jon Wright’s film is exciting with better special effects than the previous British CGI movie Monsters. Recommended to all fans of comedic creature features.

 


 

Either Way (Á annan veg) ****

Director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson / 84 mins 

An Icelandic melodrama with not only heart, but with also some unexpected humour thrown in to the mixture for a refreshing piece of cinema.

 

Two friends, Alfred (Hilmar Guðjónsson) and Finnbogi (Sveinn Ólafur Gunnarsson) work together painting the dividing lines on Icelandic public roads. They only each other for company, apart from the odd visit by a jovial trucker plying them with drink . The two men’s personal differences are the source of equal parts laughter and frustration.

 

Firstly the film is beautifully shot with a panoramic shots of an inhabited landscape, which could also count as the fourth character in the film. The acting from the two leads is good and the action is never dull considering that the film is mainly just of road workers talking to each other about their personal lives.

 

A unique piece of filmmaking and an impressive feature film debut  from writer director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson.

 

Guinea Pigs **

Director Jim Clark / 85 mins 

A new claustrophobic horror film  set in a research facility from a new writer/director Ian Clark is a throughly confusing and frustrating experience.

 

Eight strangers volunteer to take part in a two-week trial of a new drug called Pro9. The group are forbidden from using phones, internet and even leaving the building, before the tests have finished. The subjects settle in for what they think is a straight forward fortnight, but on the very first night something starts going horribly wrong as side effects from the drugs start taking over. 

 

An interesting idea is let down by  some poor acting, bad directing and  a script full of plot holes. All the characters are completely unlikeable, there is no one to root for other than the infected humans who are killing other members of the cast. The decisions made by the characters at times do not make any sense at all and there are too many things that are never fully explained. The performances are very stilted and soap like. While the director does too much of the shaky camera style of action that it is hard to see what the eye is supposed to be drawn to. The sound and the ending save it from being unwatchable, but even the finale has been done before in Frank Darabont’s last film.

 

Reviews by Paul Logan


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