Review: Attack the Block (2011, Optimum Releasing)




Category: Horror-Comedy, Sci-Fi
Directed by:
Joe Cornish

Written by: Joe Cornish
Starring: Jodie Whittaker, John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Leeon Jones, Franz Dramah, Nick Frost
Music: Stephen Price
Cinematography: Thomas Townend

I saw a little write up on this in HorrorHound and sounded interesting so I decided to give it a watch. Well, I actually watched it awhile ago but had to re-watch it for a review. My memory is pretty awful. This directorial debut of English comedian Joe Cornish follows a gang of thug lyfe youths in South London who, along with their drug dealer and one of their victims, fight off an alien invasion. A simple sci-fi premise mixed with some horror attributes and well placed humor.

The cast is solid with pretty good acting all around. The only person I recognized is Nick Frost of Shaun of the Dead and Spaced fame who plays a pot dealer, how surprising. The main cast of kids is fairly unlikeable but over time there’s some character development and they sort of redeem themselves. The script provides believable dialogue for the kids, it’s not too cheesy or cliché. The humor is balanced well with the tense action and horror oriented scenes.

This movie appears to have a pretty decent budget due to the mainstream cinema appearance. It’s well shot and the special effects look great. While not gratuitous, the gore that does show up on screen is dope. The creatures were shot with guys in suits with special effects added later on to add to their otherworldly appearance which I believe makes them more convincing. Much better than watching people battle off waves of lame CGI critters. The soundtrack features lots of UK EDM and a couple ska reggae tracks thrown in there. There’s nothing notable about the actual score except those typical string crescendo effects that occur during tense moments.

Overall this is an entertaining watch, although not the most original concept. No one reinvented the wheel here. Not dissing the movie though, there are plenty of films out there that use a familiar concept  to produce to a solid flick. It might be a little “mainstream” for some hardcore horror fans, but I enjoyed watching it.





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