Movie #320 2020: Attack the Block (2011)

We’re almost done with Halloween. I promise. But first, a movie that is without doubt one of the better fantasy horrors reviewed here this year.

Attack the Block is the very British feature film debut from Joe Cornish, who’s only previously foray into movie directing was a behind the scenes look at Hot Fuzz. Of course, since this movie, Cornish has gone on to write screenplays for blockbusters such as Ant-Man and The Kid Who Would Be King, but boy, this is a corker of a debut. Set in an pretty grim council estate in South London, a group of young boys team up with other residents to take on a gang of aliens who have invaded their hometown.

There was certainly a massive risk with making this movie in that it was greatly in danger of being corny and stupid due to its subject matter. But somehow a movie about an invasion of dog aliens manages to be pretty good! That’s right, I said dog aliens. In fact, they’re more like huge gorilla werewolf aliens with glowing eyes, which sounds even worse, but it ends up being very original and strangely believable.

What a charming, funny, and mature performance from this group of 5 young lads. Of course John Boyega shines, and one can only assume that this is one reason for him getting noticed for a variety of his roles since. The other 4 boys are equally as good though, and each one of them brings something unique to their character, which is some good going – it’s not easy to stand out when Boyega is around.

Perhaps the best thing about this is the realistic and entertaining script. Setting it in London with a “normal” bunch of people at the forefront gives it originality and peaks interest. I was certainly invested the entire way through and again, that sense of realism was in danger of being lost with the subject matter being so other-worldly, so it’s great to see a script that stands up to the challenge.

Exciting, interesting, funny, action-packed. Need I say more? Definitely worth the watch, and thankfully it saved me from average Halloween movies this year, so I’m forever in debt.

Not exactly a Hollywood blockbuster, but it’s a really good, low budget, British film that is entirely worth the watch… even when it’s not Halloween!

Attack the Block is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video in the UK.

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