Attack The Block (Sci-Fi/Comedy/Horror) [Movie/Reviews]


Year: 2011
Genre: Action/Disaster
Director: Joe Cornish
Source: Blu-Ray

Trainee nurse Sam is walking home to her flat in a South London tower block when she’s robbed by a gang of masked, hooded youths. She’s saved when the gang are distracted by a bright meteorite, which falls from the sky and hits a nearby parked car. Sam flees, just before the gang have to fight off a small alien creature that leaps from the wreckage.

While Sam and the police hunt for the gang, a second wave of meteors fall. Confident of victory against such feeble invaders, the gang grab weapons, mountain bikes and set out to defend their turf. But this time, the creatures are bigger. Much bigger. Sam suddenly realises that the bunch of no-hope kids who attacked her are about to become her best and only hope to survive.

You could put this movie in the Sci-Fi, Comedy, Coming-of-Age or the Horror category, but to me this is just a perfect movie and I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s fun, it has some scares, it’s fast paced and even do the kids that the movie is about, are obnoxious little shits, you get to like them. A really original script and it seems strange to me that it took the director, Joe Cornish 8 years before he made another movie. The lovely Jodie Whittaker (as Sam) is just amazing and the always funny Nick Frost kills it.

The film was shot on different locations around London, England, UK.

Writer/director Joe Cornish was inspired to make this film after actually being mugged in real-life one night (much in the same way Sam was as portrayed in the film). He noticed his five young assailants were as scared as he was, and started researching their lives.

He also interviewed various kids in youth groups in order to find out what kind of weapons they would use if an alien invasion occurred. When asked one of the girls, “What would you think of this creature if you found it?” The girl said, “I wouldn’t touch it, don’t want to get chlamydia.” That quote went straight into script; many lines were taken directly from research.

The film-makers only used CG effects when absolutely necessary, and to enhance practical effects for the creatures rather than replace them completely. Even the smaller female alien that appears before the credits was a petite woman in a creature suit. A puppet-type head was used for some of the attack shots wherein Moses is suddenly bitten. The creature’s head was a carefully constructed mask that had no eyes, and even the glowing mouthful of large, carnivorous teeth were achieved by animatronics (including twelve “servos”) rather than added in post. The film-makers admit that it did help save money, but also had an unexpected benefit. The actors, rather than reacting to something that wasn’t there, admitted that they were genuinely and unexpectedly frightened by the look and movements of creatures actually present (especially during chase sequences when a creature/creatures would pursue them at full speed). Nearly every actor said they felt especially intimidated– many surprisingly so– by the physical presence in a way they would not have if the creatures had been added digitally later. The same went for the majority of the settings; the director said it added authenticity and atmosphere to shoot on a set rather in front of a green screen.

The blu-ray version I watched was the UK label Optimum Releasings blu ray, and the picture and sound quality is absolutly perfect.

Bonus Features 

  • Commentaries:”Junior” audio commentary with director Joe Cornish and cast members John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Simon Howard, and Leeon Jones
  • “Senior” audio commentary with director Joe Cornish and cast members Jodie Whittaker, Luke Treadaway, and Nick Frost
    “Executive Producer” audio commentary with director Joe Cornish and Edgar Wright
  • Extras:”Behind the Block” documentary (61:23)
    “Creature Feature” featurette (20:09)
    “Meet the Gang” featurette (4:08)
    “Unfilmed Action” featurette (4:59)
    “That’s a Rap” featurette (2:23)
    Theatrical trailer (2:06)
    Teaser trailer (1:00)
    Start-up trailers
    – “Brighton Rock” (2:29)
    – “Source Code” (2:22)
    – “Submarine” (1:53)
  • Subtitles:English HoH
  • Aspect Ratio:2.40:1
  • Picture Format:1080p 24fps AVC MPEG-4
  • Soundtrack(s):English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
    English LPCM 2.0 Stereo
    English Audio Descriptive Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
  • Case type:Keep Case
  • Notes:Single-disc reissue without the DVD copy.


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