I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do this, but I found a compelling reason in Ryan Hollinger’s point of view.
A remote island town in Ireland is besieged by animalistic aliens. The townsfolk are isolated due to storms, but they do find a form of defense: The aliens can’t stand alcohol, so the the locals decide to get drunk.
Of course the Irish have a reputation as alcoholics, but it’s not actually true. The consumption (in grams per day) for the Irish male over 15 was 42.7 in 2018, while the highest in the EU was 71.9 (Lithuania). That’s quite a gap. Ireland is pretty midlevel in this regard. Of course, there are other ways of looking at this. This quantity might be distributed differently in different countries. Is some part of the population consuming all of it? There’s a huge difference between males in females in most countries (much larger than the differences in weight would explain). (Source)
Where does this reputation come from than? Racism? English propaganda? American anti-immigration sentiment? Hard to say, but it does also seem that most countries seem to think that the people from that country are very problematic alcohol users. In Finland we had a prohibition from 1919 (next year after our independence) until 1932. This was based on perceived alcoholism among the working class, when the truth was that Finns didn’t use very much alcohol, because we were just too poor to do so. Still, the upper classes blamed the alcohol consumption with the lower classes for the problems in society, so the political parties representing those poorer people went “Oh yeah? We’ll see about that” and thus got the whole debacle started. And yes, it actually kickstarted alcohol usage in Finland (veterinarians were prescribing massive amounts of alcohol for horse care, for example).
Here’s the Hollinger view on the movie:
The key lesson to me here is that we should be allowed to have subjective view of our own culture. We shouldn’t be too willing to overlook our problems, but we should be accepting of what we are. I mean, I do like certain Finnish media just because they are very Finnish in nature, so while I don’t necessarily completely relate to Hollinger’s points about the Irish, because obviously I can never live that life, I do relate to the idea of appreciating the good things about your own culture. (Not that there isn’t plenty of shitty Finnish entertainment, even ones that are very Finnish in nature, but at the same time when I do like Finnish works, it’s usually specifically because it is very Finnish, but in a good way.)
Not that the movie isn’t good from a perspective of an outsider. While it is a pretty basic in creature feature on paper, the Grabbers are kind of (there’s that word again) fun and I do like the characters. Especially the town drunk, which is unusual, because those are often very one-note characters. The character arcs are in some instances kind of predictable, but in other cases kind of unusual.