Starring: John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh.
Running time: 88 minutes
Directed By: Joe Cornish
Written By: Joe Cornish
If you were to think of every alien film you had seen, or any you have heard of, you could never imagine it to be anything like Attack The Block. This is completely original and brings a new look on the out-of-space alien invasion genre that we have seen an awful lot of.
Attack The Block is set in London. It starts on firework night where a group of youths mug a young woman called Sam (Whittaker). The attack is cut short though when something falls from the sky and smashes into a car. Sam disappears and the youths decide to rob that now destroyed car but instead find some kind of alien. The group leader Moses (Boyega) kills this alien and takes it back to the 'block', the block of flats the youths live in, and show it to a neighbour who may know about these things, not because he grows weed in his flat of course. This neighbour is Nick Frost, who brings a funny cameo to the film.
As they are at the flat more of these things fall from the sky and the kids vow to kill them all. However the creatures, black, hairy, gorilla like creatures with luminous green teeth, attack back, and the boys find themselves hiding in the block whilst the alien creatures force their way in and start killing them off.
The film is quite typical in the sense of a group of people being stuck in a building being stalked by some alien creature, look no further than the Gremlins movies, but what makes it stand alone is the settings and the characters. The film is set in London and the youths are very typical of the youths in London of today. Most will act up to a gang leader. Most will wear the woolly hats and use their hoods and scarves to cover their face. All will say the word 'blud', 'believe', 'trust' or 'ya get me?' at the end of each sentence. The dialogue and the performances of the cast are uncanny to what a group of youths in London would be like. It is very stereotypical but we have never really had a film where we are to side with these youths and follow their journey throughout.
It starts off being difficult to follow them though. The opening of the film is watching them mug this woman for no reason other than to have something to do. We are then expected to side with these kids and want them to destroy the aliens. To be fair many will watch this film and will never side with the kids and this will ultimately ruin the movie for them. Maybe the opening shouldn't have been quite as malicious as it was, I'm sure that would help us to actually like the group of youths by the end of the film.
There are many characters in the film and if anything it is the side characters that are the funnier ones. The main group are all about the London talk, and after a while it wears a little thin but I was often sniggering when 'Mayhem' and 'Probs' were on the screen. These are two nine year old boys who are trying to prove to the older youths that they are hardcore enough to join the gang. The banter between the two is really good and snatches a few laughs. More laughs are bought to us from the genius that is Nick Frost. He isn't in the film much but every time he is he manages to raise a chuckle. His side kick in the movie, a posh, white boy who is buying drugs, is also part of this comic act. The scene when the two are more worried about getting stoned on the sofa whilst the aliens cause havoc in their building is particularly funny. It is billed as a comedy horror but it perhaps doesn't raise quite enough laughs to really be billed as a comedy.
The film opens with a 'B' movie type feel but don't be put off by it. The film is well worth a watch. Many will become annoyed with the dialogue and it's repetitiveness but I'm sure that is exactly how they would talk in real life. You should see this film for the cinematography, the sound design, the creatures, the acting and the directing. It won't be the best film you ever see but it is one that you should enjoy for the ninety minutes it will occupy you.
3 / 5
Next film to review: THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE