Last night I went to see the film "Attack The Block" at the Arclight in Hollywood. ATB is a (relatively) low-budget horror/comedy/adventure film, so I was very interested to see how it dealt with the inherent challenges that come with mixing genres. The challenges may be great, but when you pull off a horror/comedy, the rewards are great indeed. (See: Love in the Time of Monsters!)
Overall, it dealt with those challenges very well. The basic premise is that aliens attack a public housing complex in South London, and it's up to the locals (mainly a teenage gang) to figure out how to survive the night. A little bit Goonies, a little bit Evil Dead with a little West Side Story thrown in, it's not perfect, but it's a fine night's entertainment. Coming from a low budget producer's perspective, I was impressed how they used the apartment complex throughout the film, and that they had NON-CGI creatures. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to see "real" aliens running around. They even managed to milk potheads for some laughs, which I normally find to be pretty tired comedy-wise.
The movie was Executive Produced by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim) and he was there to do a Q & A after the film. Although different in style to his films, ATB shared their experimental aspect, as well as the clear love of movies (especially ones from the 80's). Instead of pointing out every scene with a "hey, I'm aping (fill in the 80's movie) in this scene," the movie took a more subtle tact, and I appreciated it. In a very hollywood twist, Jon Favreau (Director of Iron Man) wandered in after the movie and told everybody not only how much he liked it, but to make sure and go buy a ticket for Cowboys & Aliens as well! It was pretty funny, and from the reviews, it sounds like C&A needs all the help it can get...
I would recommend ATB to anyone who enjoys watching something familiar, but unique and interesting in its own right. This movie will surprise you (see, also: Love in the Time of Monsters!) Sorry, couldn't help it. 🙂
Here's the trailer: