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Aliens on the block

OUT NOW! ATTACK THE BLOCK sees angry aliens make funny with teenagers as well as the British welfare system.

Fans of the Roger Corman class of 1970s exploitation horror films will love this stylish revamp of the genre.

A group of very angry, very furry aliens invade earth – or rather, a London housing estate – and it is up to a group of teenaged “hoodies” to save the day, armed with ninja swords, firecrackers, super soakers and the thickest South London vernacular imaginable.

It isn’t exactly clear why the aliens are only attacking this one specific group of teenagers while the rest of the world is oblivious to the fact that there even are aliens. When an explanation is eventually supplied, it is more of an ironic acknowledgement of this convenient plot hole than an attempt to patch it up.

The very clever script provides many genuine laughs, and the shameless political incorrectness saves the film from slipping into kitsch territory like others with similar premises (think Red Dawn).

Jabs at the British social welfare system are actually quite prophetic when seen in light of the recent London riots. No British housing estate has ever received such a cool makeover. And the film knows not to overstay its welcome: the alien invasion is thwarted in 88 minutes.

Attack the Block | D: Joe Cornish (UK 2011) with Nick Frost, Jodie Whittaker, and John Boyega. Starts September 22