It’s probably fair to note from the off that there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with Aliens In The Attic. I took my young son to see it, and he was fairly entertained, and I’ve got to admit that, as a piece of cinema, it just about held together decently enough. The problem is that it’s a film that’s just impossible to get in any way excited about. Its level of ambition is low, and it’s stamped with competence and nothing more right the way through it.
The story itself is a fairly familiar one, of a family who go off together on a break, with the usual conflict between father and children and stuff like that. Maybe the break will bring everyone together, hey? And what’s this? Big sister has a jackass boyfriend that nobody particularly likes? Perfect. Rope in Grandma from Everybody Loves Raymond, and the job is pretty much done.
The differential that’s thrown in is that in the loft of this big house where they all go off to are aliens that are intent on taking over the world. They’re not very good aliens, looking like cheap modern day clones of gremlins, but they’re aliens nonetheless. Most of them are evil, one at least is nicer, and they have an interest in the house where everyone is staying.
This is then the basis for an hour and a half of decent family entertainment of which it’s hard to remember pretty much anything about. I quizzed my young son, who’s usually a sponge for such things, and he couldn’t tell me much either. He didn’t mind it, but asking him to describe the aliens afterwards, and he was a bit stumped. Which isn’t really like him at all.
There’s one good sequence where the aforementioned boyfriend is controlled by a remote, but even that’s a little overdone, as if they found their funniest gag and told it over and over again. But that aside, Aliens In The Attic is a solid way to make 90 minutes or so disappear in a way that you’ll have trouble recollecting.
As a keeping the kids quiet film it works, but in a world where films such as Up and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs have come out in recent times, it should be nowhere near the top of the to-watch list.
The Blu-ray transfer, to be fair, is good, and matched with a vibrant and active surround sound track. There’s nothing expressly demo worthy about it, but it’s a good, mid-range effort that’s hard to grumble about too much. Stick it next to Up or The Dark Knight, though, and you’ll spot the difference a distance away.
The extras package is passable, with a series of brief featurettes and even briefer introductions to them. They’re aimed primarily at quite a young audience, as is, to be fair, the entirety of the disc. And just like the film, they breeze by, with little stopping around to stick in your head.
The Film:The Disc:
Aliens In The Attic is out now on DVD and Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox, and is available from the Den Of Geek Store.