Attack the Block is one of those movies that, despite making something of a critical splash, has been mostly forgotten by the world at large.
That’s a travesty, really, as it’s a unique and wonderful piece of film-making, and it’s well worth revisiting for a number of reasons.
A sci-fi horror/comedy, Attack the Block seamlessly combines aspects of each genre without so much as breaking a sweat. It also features something of a social commentary, which, while not particularly subtle, clearly was just a by-product of the movie’s setting and story.
When a gang of teens in London encounter a hostile alien, they stomp it to death. Eager to show off their kill, they drag it with them to their local drug dealer, confident that they can sell the corpse to the highest bidder. What they didn’t count on, however, was more aliens landing. These new extra-terrestrials are bigger, more vicious, and practically impossible to see, and the boys’ night soon becomes a fight to survive while defending their council estate from the other-worldly creatures.
Attack the Block is cleverly written; what could have easily been a run-of-the-mill horror flick becomes part comedy due to the boys’ attempts to keep cool in the face of certain death, and with the sci-fi elements kept for the most part to a minimum, it manages to steer clear of exclusivity to any particular genre while capturing the essence of all three.
Attack the Block also features a young John Boyega (Star Wars, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Detroit), Jodie Whittaker (Doctor Who, Broadchurch) and Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead). Boyega and Whittaker’s performances are both layered and nuanced enough to make the movie feel both organic and layered, and Frost (along with many of the movie’s supporting cast) add the more comedic elements.
The overall take away from Attack the Block is its atmosphere. It’s a snapshot of life in modern-day London, framed by the unlikely scenario of an alien attack. It’s solid writing, acting and direction all come together to make the entire experience exciting, immersive and visually thrilling, and it comes to a satisfying, logical conclusion.
Summary: Something of a forgotten gem, Attack the Block is still as relevant today as it was a decade ago, and it oozes talent both on-screen and behind the camera. Fans of horror, sci-fi or comedy will all find something to love in this perfectly genre-bending adventure.