My Review of ‘Attack the Block’ (2011)

I’m not a big horror fan, but there are notable exceptions. And this film is much more than a gory blood-fest with monsters lurking in the shadows. It is, in fact, the most astounding piece of sci-fi/horror/action-adventure/comedy I’ve ever seen.

To sum up the plot (to the extent that’s possible): a gang of British teenaged street hoods (we’re in London, okay—and not the posh part) mugs a nurse named Sam. Of all things! That’s the name of the female protagonist in my mystery series! But I digress ….

She’s played by the new doctor on Doctor Who, aka, Jodie Whittaker (which is, in itself, reason to see this film). All the kids in the gang are distinctive, with various names and personalities, but the leader is, um, Moses (yes, really!) (played by John Boyega).

Oh, and this is Guy Fawkes Night. So … fireworks. Lots of them. Not to mention socio-political subtext. Ahem!

Anyhow, a meteorite landing interrupts the mugging, and Sam escapes further molestation. For the time being. Because when Moses scavenges from a car smashed by the falling rock, he runs across an alien hatched from a cocoon. This bodes nothing good, especially after the underage thugs chase the alien and kill it. Way to go, guys!

Okay, without going into all the gory details—and they are occasionally gory—the death of Baby Alien leads to an alien onslaught upon the high-rise tower block (aka, project, aka, low-income housing) where our band of merry hoods live.

Attack The Block – (clockwise from bottom left) Jerome (Leeon Jones), Brewis (Luke Treadaway), Sam (Jodie Whittaker), Moses (John Boyega) and Pest (Alex Esmail) © 2011 Screen Gems

Basically, the alien attack (eventually) unites the previously un-unitable Sam and the teen gangsters. And there’s also a couple of stoners with their own storyline who get involved, because the “weed room” is the safest place to hide from the huge mass of big, hairy aliens with sharp, glowing green teeth descending on the block.

Oh, and did I mention the two little kids—one with a squirt gun—who pitch in to ward off the monsters? Plus, the Big Horrible Boss Man who’s supposed to be in charge and has his own bone to pick with Moses? And the awesome gangsters’ gals, who are total badasses!

This photo is not representative. Believe me! These girls fight back!

This film manages to combine social commentary, race relations, alien invasion, action/adventure (a la Die Hard, at one point), and comedy into one fantastically-expressed story.

Kudos to the crew that created the aliens with nothing but hairy outlines and phosphorescent green teeth. Those images plus the aliens’ screams are all you need to be scared as all get out and kept on the edge of your seat.

The cinematography and editing create enough suspense to send your heartbeat into fibrillation territory.

You might ask, how is any of this possibly funny? All I can say is, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Jodie Whittaker try to drive a gang of teens who mugged her from her flat with an acoustic guitar. Or watched the young would-be gangbangers driving through the block on their scooters—like a scene from Quadrophenia—with a couple on bicycles, for Pete’s sake! 🙂

As for the end, you’ll get no spoilers from me. But as comic/sci-fi-/horror goes, it’s brilliant!

I must warn you that there a few bloody bits (and I’m not using British slang, here), where throats are torn out. So just be advised.

A definite five stars! This got rave reviews. It’s a shame it didn’t do better at the box office.

Here’s the official trailer:

You can buy or rent the movie from Amazon., Apple Movies, or IMDB.com.

PS: This is a nice capsule review from Psychologies. 🙂

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4 Responses to My Review of ‘Attack the Block’ (2011)

  1. Nice little read, there, Debbi … ! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan O. says:

    A solid sci-fi flick. Nice review.

    Liked by 1 person

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