CONTAINS WELL SPOILERS, INNIT, BLOOD, BLAP, MARMALADE
Good grief, old chum. Here's a film to rekindle the age-old dilemma of who to side with in a film: the alien invaders or the human victims. And while I don't entirely fit the profile of the average Daily Mail-reading retired Colonel from Cheltenham forever fulminating about young people today, I must confess I found it next to impossible to sympathise much with the muggers, drug dealers and knife-wielding wannabe gangstas: the nominal heroes of Joe Cornish's British SF/horror/yoof film. Partly that's because of what they are - muggers, drug dealers etc - and partly that's because everything they said was incomprehensible with the exception of the swearing.
Essentially Attack The Block is Skyline, except shot on even less money and set in Lambeth in a council tower block: after a gang of hoodie teenagers discover and then kill some kind of alien monster whose arrival had interrupted a knifepoint mugging, the area is quickly invaded by swathes of larger and more vicious monsters, congregating on the council estate and the block of flats where the teens live. What do they want? While the gang hole up in various people's apartments, eventually taking refuge in a marijuana factory run by Nick Frost (the only widely recognisable face in the film), the aliens swarm up the walls and bloodily despatch everyone who encountered the first creature. Could the explanation be their ultimate salvation?
Well, possibly, although it is hard to care. Much of the dialogue is gibberish, to the extent that I wished there were subtitles. Then I gradually started to understand the words but still had no idea what the hell they were talking about as it's all in street patois which will no doubt sound hideously dated in six months' time. And the film's cheerful tolerance and acceptance of drug culture leaves me a little uncomfortable. Obviously I don't get modern youth culture: I'm 47. I also didn't entirely buy one major character's conversion.
Granted, the alien design is superb in its simplicity: gorilla-shaped silhouettes with no features whatsoever except for luminous rows of teeth. The film's action sequences are put together well enough, and it's nice to see a film that doesn't rely on CGI for all its thrills. But that's really all the movie has going for it: it wasn't any fun, it wasn't scary or more than fitfully exciting, and ultimately I simply didn't enjoy it; it's a disappointment. Still, what can you do? Young people today. Tch.