“Attack the Block” is one part ghetto film and one part sic-fi alien film; but don’t let that fool you as to the quality of the film… Where most films in the ghetto horror genre fail, i.e. Leprechaun in the Hood, “Attack the Block” shines.
The story takes place in a South London assisted living area know to the kids as the block. One night, as stereotypical youths do in most films, a group of teenaged boys gather around a nurse, Sam (Jodie Whittaker), to intimidate and steal her money. During the robbery something falls from the sky landing on a nearby car. The boys, Moses (John Boyega), Pest (Alex Esmail), Dennis (Franz Drameh), Jerome (Leeon Jones), Biggz (Simon Howard) investigate and loot the car.
During their looting Moses is attacked by a creature that runs off into the night. Wanting to prove how macho he is, Moses chases after the creature and his gang follows close behind. Once they trap the small creature in a building Moses runs inside and kills it. As they head back home to show off the alien they just killed they noticed hundreds more fall from the sky all around the block.
As the alien invasion moves closer and closer the boys begin to devise a plain of survival, but things go awry when one of their own is killed. Shaken, but not out of the game the boys regroup and fight back against the incoming alien menace.
“Attack the Block” lands in your living room via a, surprisingly clear, 1080p High-Def transfer. Being that this is a Sony release I expected nothing but the best, however I knew this was a low budget film that was being distributed by Sony; not one that Sony has backed since it’s inception. Knowing how horrific low-budget horror films can be I expected the worst but was extremely surprised with what was given.
The film was shot at night so there are a lot of deep blacks; the fact that they are really pure and inky really help the film shine. An over abundance of grain or particles could have killed this transfer but everything from the cinematography, to editing, to final blu-ray transfer appears to have been executed under an extremely meticulous eye. I really enjoyed the sickly looking coating that everything in the film got, there were almost no vibrant colors throughout; everything felt drab and added to the look and feel of the low-income area the characters inhabited.
While the film isn’t a Michael Bay movie with a thousand explosions a minute there is some great attention to sound given for the effects and music that we are given. This blu-ray packs Sony’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack which definitely does justice to everything from the blood-curdling screams of the aliens to the bangs of the fireworks the gang sets off to lure them where they need to be.
The dialogue is always clear, assuming you can understand past the accents, and the music is perfectly balanced to match the mood of the scene, whether it’s pounding with an action scene or floating somewhere in the background during the tense moments. The attention to audio could have been given a bit more oomph, however what we are given is certainly nothing to scoff at.
FINALLY Sony gives us a film with special features worthy of blu-rays capacity. I was beginning to think they didn’t have it in them to release a film with special features worthy of the geek lingering inside me; then this little gem falls into my lap. Everyone is definitely worth a watch; check them out below:
- Behind the Scenes Documentary
- Creature Feature – Special Effects
- Meet the Gang – Cast
- Unfilmed Action – Unfilmed Sequences from the Movie
- That’s a Rap – Fun with the Cast on Set
- Audio Commentaries with Writer/Director Joe Cornish and Actors John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Simon Howard, and Leeon Jones
- Senior Commentary with Writer/Director Joe Cornish and Actors Jodie Whittaker, Luke Treadaway, and Nick Frost
- Executive Producer Commentary with Writer/Director Joe Cornish and Executive Producer Edgar Wright
- Theatrical Trailers
- Previews: Additional Sony titles
No matter what kind of horror film it is I’m usually the geek in line waiting to see it and this film is no excepting. I first heard about it at Comic Con and immediately knew it was a film I wanted to see. From the first two minute clip I watched I was hooked. This film was a definite welcome from the United States laden alien invasion films that we’ve all grown accustom to. Much like “District 9” brought it’s own unique flavor to the genre this film definitely doesn’t disappoint in bringing a new feel to something old.
I enjoyed every second of this film, from the writing and acting to the amazing technical feats this low-budget film crew accomplished. If you’re a fan of the genre this is certainly a film i’d recommend you buy; I’d even go as far as to say it’s worth a blind buy! And if you’ve ever read any of my other reviews you know that’s a rare thing to hear me say! Enjoy!