31 Horror Films #2 Attack the Block 2011 Dir. Joe Cornish

Attack the Block 2011 Dir. Joe Cornish

The Brits have been purveyors of horror since Mary Shelly wrote “Frankenstein”, their additions to the genre have been noticeable with entries from Hammer films, as well as the slew of British directors who crafted Universal horror films. However, they’re stake in modern horror has been more pronounced since the release of Shaun of the Dead in 2005. Because of the success of Shaun, American horror fans have taken more notice of our European cousin’s work in the art of terror, but also, they’ve cranked out some really compelling horror films, not the least of which is the refreshing sci-fi horror film, Attack the Block

Attack the Blockfollows a group of young British thugs as they cause trouble in and around their tenement block in Brixton. While mugging a local nurse, a meteorite lands on a nearby car. The robbery is interrupted and the boys discover that the meteor was actually an alien creature which they then track and kill. In an effort to gain fame and fortune they take the alien corpse to their local drug dealer in their apartment block, to get advice as to what to do with it. Unfortunately more of the creatures begin to fall to earth…a larger and more aggressive variety. It’s up to the young hoodlums to protect their apartment block from the hordes of ravening aliens.

If we’re talking about this film, I have to talk about the aliens, because with a never ending glut of vampire and zombie films I am always on the lookout for new monsters and Attack the Block does not disappoint. The creatures are furry, black “gorilla-dogs” that have no eyes. This simplicity in creature design lets us imagine more than what the filmmaker’s actually show. This is old fashioned horror at it’s best, utilizing the Jaws Alien less is more character philosophy.

Attack the Blockis fun, pure and simple. It has moments of genuine tension made possible by the likeable characters. The plot is simple, and the creature effects understated and effective. (They actually reminded me a little of Rick Baker’s work in American Werewolf in London.) If you’re in the mood for a horror film that’s a little more action packed, humorous and exciting, Attack the Block should fit the bill.

Watch the trailer HERE