Tuesday, 20 December 2011
DVD: ATTACK THE BLOCK (2011)
This is going to be a short review because its been widely reviewed and, quite frankly, I don't have anything original to add.
In case you haven't heard of it, here's a short synopsis. A mixed gang of 14-15 year olds who live in the same London tower block mug a young nurse on her way home to her new flat in (unknown to the gang) the same block. After the mugging they come across an alien which eats a dog belonging to one of them and they kill it. They take the corpse to the local drug dealer in the block to show it -this unknown animal- off. Then the rest of the aliens arrive and attack the gang and anyone else in their way. The aliens are very black, shaggy, no-eyes, but with lots of luminous teeth. The gang pal up with the nurse they mugged out of mutual survival needs and surviving occupies the rest of the film.
This doesn't sound particularly wonderful I admit, but this is a very likeable and engaging little movie written and directed by Joe Cornish. The gang, aggressive and drug-taking thugs as they are, aren't as bad as they first seem with quick phone calls to relatives to assure them they won't be home late. Much of their macho behaviour is, like their nicknames, to do with image. Two kids around ten are continually laughed at as they try to claim nicknames for themselves. Much of the dialogue is slang but it's fairly easy to pick up from the context and it sounds right. The young cast are excellent and the characters they play distinct individuals.
There's some gore and a lot of bad language. The aliens are quite scary, partly because they're never shown in any detail. To be honest, they reminded me of larger nastier versions of Krites from Critters. Overall, this is a lot of fun and I think I'll watch it again quite soon.
One minor quibble: the aliens' life cycle is absolutely unbelievably unbelievable stupid rubbish even by the standards of low budget SF movies. I won't say why because that would spoil a major plot reveal, but it still doesn't spoil the fun.