A gang of kids in a council estate in South London find themselves at the centre of an alien invasion. Attack the Block, written and directed by first time director Joe Cornish (from Adam and Joe fame) is a funny sci-fi horror with its fair share of frights and laughs. The Aliens take the form of mysterious “wolf gorilla things” and when one crashes to Earth, the leader of the gang decides to kill and capture it. After a short while they realise that it wasn’t alone and they find themselves the centre of a full-scale alien invasion having to protect themselves with ornamental swords, fireworks and baseball bats.Cornish manages to paint a realistic picture of the lives of urban council tower block dwelling teenagers. Well, as realistic as he can considering they’re under invasion from extra terrestrial.
The film opens on a mugging led by gang leader Moses and involving Jodie Whittaker’s character, Sam as the victim. This doesn’t set the audience up to root for the unlikely hero, he’s got a lot of atoning to do. What would a person who’s committed such a crime need to do over the course of a few hours to redeem himself in the eyes of his victim and neighbours? Well that’s what the rest of the film is concerned with. As one of the characters puts it, “actions have consequences, you know?”Aside from the social commentary the film is a laugh filled sci-fi action horror. The genuinely scary Aliens were simple in their very very black fur and glowing teeth. They moved stealthily and created a lot of havoc. The stand out performances came from Jodie Whittaker and Luke Treadaway yet the entire cast were generally very good. Some moments exposing the inexperience of a few of the cast members broke the illusion of the film, casting complete newcomers has been a successful gimmick for lost of films but Attack the Block doesn’t benefit from some of it’s weaker performances.
A solid british sci-fi comedy that benefits from both frights and funnies.