It’s not often that you see a movie set in London’s estates that isn’t an intense downbeat heavy drama. Don’t get me wrong this movie is still downbeat about the life the kids are leading but this time they’re fighting aliens!! Yeah, take that Brit drama!
Attack the Block is set in the familiar high rise estates so often seen as part of London’s seedy underbelly on TV and film. Filled with criminals, destitutes, single mothers and neglected teens. I’m really hoping the reality is a bit nicer than the portrayal on the screen.
We start in the criminal underbelly/neglected teen section of the estate and pretty much stay there through the whole film. These kids are finding their meaning in drug deals, robberies and brit gang culture. The two younger boys who follow our main protagonists around show us where these young men came from, idolising their elder brothers, and the drug dealers show us where these youngsters are headed.
The tough guy act doesn’t last long when they realise they are dealing with really aggressive aliens not the usual easy to intimidate residents of their block. With the help of a nurse living in the block, that they earlier held up at knife point (which lends an interesting dynamic) they are forced to use their wits and strengths, rather than relying on smart arsery, to out run the marauding aliens.
The aliens are pretty cool too, well, not the first one it looks kind of gross (it looks like a large hairless dog), but the follow ups are big old wolf types that are so black they are like that new black that science just found which is really hard for humans to see (yes, science is one conglomerate where people do science), they are blind, and have glow in the dark teeth! Yeah, aliens FTW!
I wonder if glow in the dark teeth keep you awake at night?
So, redemption. You know it’s coming, you know you want it. You’ll get it but you’ll have to wade through quite a few torn up bodies and a sea of blood to get there. Also a room full of marijuana which is locked up like Fort Knox. The story turns out to be quite clever, there aren’t any major twists but the giveaway makes the movie a lot more enjoyable and some things that hadn’t made sense before make a lot more sense.
The action is pretty constant with a couple of scenes early on that take their time to build you up to the inevitable gore with such tension that it is almost mean. The chase is on from pretty early on and it only lets up for moments of relief.
I loved this film it was just the right mix of horror, suspense and sci-fi. It was like Alien but set in London and with way more action! So more like Aliens but with the underprepared crew of the Nostromo running around rather than the soldiers toting huge guns.