Alien invasion is nothing new to the average cinema viewer. With the average extraterrestrial attack we expect a star studded screen of combat heroes coming to the rescue of our vulnerable planet. Peter Mullen recently got to the heart of social divisions within the UK with his film Neds (2010) but this month we shall see what happens when the aliens make the mistake of taking on the estates. A comical thriller set in the East of London Attack the Block is the story of a group of ne’er-do-wells (the film opens with us witnessing a mugging undertaken by the group) who find themselves the prey of furry, jaw-glowing, jet black, lolloping creatures who have fallen from the sky. The film is captivating drawing the audience ever closer to the young group’s personalities and situation, even creating comic relief with their inter-group banter and friendship with almost overly caricatured drug dealer Ron (Nick Frost) and his bewildered customer who is determined his biology degree will come in handy one day. Alongside its comedy, and moments of jumpy fear, the film makes a bold statement about the social situations in the United Kingdom and the youth generation who feel trapped into an unwelcoming future of crime. Moses (John Boyega), the leader of the group, even goes as far as to openly state that he wouldn’t be surprised if the aliens had been sent by the state as yet another attempt to wipe out the young black working class, after all, he continues, they’ve tried drugs and guns, how much worse can aliens be? More complex than is perhaps to be expected at first glance, this film has a lot to offer above and beyond the standard alien invasion film and is well worth a trip to the cinema this month.
Lucy Neville