If it's crap ... We'll tell you
The next great alien invasion is occurring, and who is there to stop them? A bunch of South London teenagers armed with fireworks and blunt instruments. This is ATTACK THE BLOCK, the best British horror-comedy since SHAUN OF THE DEAD.
As said above, the basic premise is meteors contain aliens that look like a cross between a gorilla and a Xenomorph start landing around a South London council estate. A group of teenage hooligans come across one and manage to kill it, but the much stronger ones soon arrive as they have to fight to survive. Also thrown in is a woman who was mugged the same night by the teens, a wimpy stoner, and Nick Frost as a drug dealer. The plot is fun and doesn't take it too seriously, but has a lot more depth than its brethren, SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ. The jokes are spread well and there are some genuinely shocking moments, including a good dose of gore.
The acting from all is great. Other than Nick Frost, who doesn't get that much to do, the entire cast is full of unknowns and I'm sure that some will get some more work thanks to this. There has been some worry, mainly from the American distributors, that the South London dialect will be hard for some to understand, but everything that is important was crystal clear to me. When this comes out to the American public, I don't think there is any need for subtitles.
The special effects are mostly practical and don't stand out, and the creature design is minimal but works to great effect. The visuals are very dark and grungy, which fits the setting. Particular praise has to go to the music, which perfectly combines sci-fi and hip-hop.
Overall, ATTACK THE BLOCK is one of the best of the year so far. First time director and good friend of Edgar Wright (who acts as an executive producer) Joe Cornish nails the tone and balances the comedy and horror effectively. But mainly, it doesn't fall into the main trap PAUL did and rely too much on obvious pop culture references and parodies the sci-fi genre as a whole instead of particular films. If you live in the UK, check out this film right now. When it reaches your turf, Americans, check it out as well. It isn't quite the instant classic SHAUN OF THE DEAD was, but it comes pretty close.
RATING: HIGH FULL PRICE! or 9/10