Aliens in the Attic (U)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner13/08/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 86 mins

Watchable family sci-fi comedy with at least one hilarious and rather brilliant set-piece, but there's never really any sense of danger or jeopardy so it's not quite as exciting as it should have been.

What's it all about?
Directed by John Schultz, Aliens in the Attic stars Carter Jenkins as Tom, a grouchy teenager who's fed up with being a maths geek and is deliberately getting low grades so he can appear cooler. Tom's disappointed parents (Kevin Nealon and Gillian Vigman) drag him and his sisters, teenaged Bethany (Ashley Tisdale) and six-year-old Hannah (Ashley Boettcher), off to an isolated lake house for a family fishing holiday, along with their uncle (Andy Richter), grandmother (Doris Roberts), cousins (Austin Butler and twins Regan and Henry Young) and Bethany's obnoxious older boyfriend (Robert Hoffman).

However, shortly after their arrival, the kids discover four pint-sized aliens (voiced by Thomas Haden Church, JK Simmons, Kari Wahlgren and Josh Peck) hiding in their attic and plotting a full-scale invasion. Using a variety of weird gizmos stolen from the aliens, the kids set out to thwart the invasion, whilst attempting to shield their parents from the truth.

The Good
The performances are good and the squabbling between the various kids is believable without being too mean-spirited; a nice touch is that the aliens bicker amongst each other just as much as the kids do. In addition, the effects are good and the various alien gadgets are imaginatively used, especially the drone darts, which allow for the film's best set-piece: a remote-controlled ninja Nana (Roberts) having a Matrix-style fight with the also remote-controlled Hoffman.

The film is also sharply paced and the various skirmishes are well-staged, even if it does get a little ridiculous that all this mayhem is going on in the house without the parents noticing.

The Bad
The main problem with the film is that the aliens themselves aren't really scary enough, so there's never any sense of danger or jeopardy. Also, ninja Nana set-piece aside, it's not as funny as it could have been either.

Worth seeing?
Aliens in the Attic is a watchable family adventure but its relentlessly family-friendly approach means that it's more likely to appeal to kids than adults.

Film Trailer

Aliens in the Attic (U)
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Content updated: 15/12/2018 02:54

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