FearTASTIC Vault O’FUN #57
Attack the Block (2011)
Starring:John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker, Alex Esmail, Nick Frost
Alright folks, I know we’re tip toeing around Sci-Fi / Action territory here but the fact of the matter is, this flick has a bunch of monsters (that happen to be from space) chasing around a group of folks they want DEAD. So yeah, I would say that this is worthy of the FearTASTIC Vault!
Now that we cleared up THAT detail, this is the kind of movie where you find yourself cheering throughout the movie because this ensemble cast garners that much attention and you find yourself invested in the characters. I’ve always been a fan of flicks in the horror genre that focus on young groups of friends because you can’t help but identify with the characters and you inadvertently start to peg yourself with the character dynamics of the group ensemble. What’s fascinating about this film is the tone of the entire movie where common street “thugs” are pitted against alien monsters.
The flick follows a street gang that stumbles onto a crash site from the sky. After disposing of a strange creature they encounter, they realize that it may have triggered the arrival of even a bigger threat. Now they must fight on the streets they own against monstrous creatures that may be more that they can handle. There are plenty of moments in the movie where you definitely believe that these thugs are no angels themselves. Although the leader Moses (John Boyega of NEW Star Warstrilogy fame) seems to have a fair grip on his morals which trickles to the rest of the group, it seems this gang is more about making profit for survival than chaos. The aliens that terrorize the city have a fun look about them as large, hairy, gorilla-like creatures with neon sharp teeth. It was enjoyable to know that they were aliens but acted like monsters, not unlike other Sci Fi flicks that teeter the line in horror territory (i.e. Aliens, Pitch Black, etc.).
The best scenes would have to be the gang gearing up to fight the creatures using various street weapons such as guns, swords, etc. which made for some epic fight scenes with the creatures that were intense and even garnered some genuine scares at times. This movie doesn’t skimp on the comedy though, as many action sequences and suspenseful scares that are in this flick, the British wit is not lost in this movie and you find yourself laughing a lot of the time which makes you even more invested in the characters as the flick progresses.Nick Frost puts delivers a solid performance and his kind of wit fits in perfectly with the tone of the movie and in a way, his involvement almost feels like they got the nod of approval from the British Horror/Comedy legend, Shaun of the Dead.
There’s a familiar tone to this movie that centers around the idea of the macabre and bizarre entering the impoverished/crime driven “ghettos” which ironically most people in the real world find scary. It’s always interesting to see the point of view of folks who live a life that’s surrounded by danger in fear finding themselves in a situation of unfamiliar threats. Movies such as this one and others like it (i.e. The People Under the Stairs, Def by Temptation, etc.) bring a unique view to the horror realm and it’s always fun to watch folks that are more readily to fight back since they’ve been preparing for a fight most of their lives.
The gang itself has a nice collection of archetypes but it’s really John Boyega as the leader Moses that steals the show. His presence just screams leadership throughout the flick and his intensity shines when the moments get tense. You instantly get the sense that this he is the guy you’d have to convince if a decision is to be made and you know you’re in for a fight if you threaten his people. Jodi Whittaker as the nurse, Sam, who the gang tries to mug in the beginning of the flick puts in a strong performance as well. No surprise that these two would have great careers in front of them with Boyega rockin’ the new Star Warsflicks and Whittaker taking on the Doctor Who as the first female Doctor!
Check out this flick for some Horror/SciFi/Action/Comedy fun and appreciate how unique this flick is on all fronts and see how Boyega turned into the star he is today!
Life is FAR more interesting when we take interest in things that scare us.