Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Yup. Aliens" Movie Review: Attack the Block

Tonight we had a free preview screening of Attack the Block. I did not know anything about this movie other than that the promotional materials (tag line: "Inner City Vs. Outer Space") suggested an alien invasion in, I don't know, the inner city, and that the title was kind of silly.

These days it's so easy to know so much about movies before you see them. It's actually kind of fun to go in with no particular expectations, and just sit there in the dark waiting to be entertained. Or bored silly. Or possibly disgusted. You never know!

In this case, we were entertained. I found out afterwards that this movie was produced by the same people who did  Sean of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, and that was not surprising at all. It had the same mix of horror and hilarity. In fact, I will coin the cumbersome portmanteau word 'horrorlarity' right now to describe this combination.

Dry British wit! Gore! Get 'em here!

I'm going to just flat out say that if you liked those two movies, you should definitely see this one.

I won't say too much about the story, since that would seem kind of odd after I threw in that little paean to going to movies without knowing all about them, but let's just say this:

Some kids are mugging a woman in a tough London neighborhood when aliens land in meteors. A motley cast of characters attempts to defend the Block (an apartment building) from Attack. Horrorlarity ensues.

It's all fun and games until someone gets reduced to a fountain of blood.

There are lots of classic horror movie jumps and suspense scenes and waiting anxiously for the dimly-seen monsters to appear. They mostly play coy in the threatening shadows, leaping from off-camera in, as I say, classic horror fashion,  and they work pretty well there. What we see of them is reasonably creepy, and I liked the effect of the glowing bits (which, as someone notes immediately, are not eyes).

Nothing wrong with the classics, after all. The story itself is a solid monster-fighting plot, and the characters and the dialogue make it new and interesting. There are a bunch of people with varying levels of friendliness and hostility toward one another, helping and hindering one another's efforts not to get killed.

To warm the medical librarian heart, there are some wounds, some grisly deaths, and one character who's a nurse. She doesn't visit a medical library during the course of the film, but presumably she's been in one at some point, right?

If you like humorous monster movies, you should check this out.


No comments: