|Joe Cornish director|
A gang of teenagers from South London have to defend their block from an alien invasion.
Adam Buxton, long time comedy partner of Joe Cornish has an uncredited cameo in the film as the narrator of a nature documentary.
We should call the police.
14 More Quotes
You'd be better off calling the Ghostbusters love.
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Attack the Block is the 2011 British sci-fi action comedy film directed by British comedian Joe Cornish. Starring a mostly unknown cast, the film is set in a South London tower block and sees a group of teenagers having to defend their turf when an alien invasion attacks.
The film's opening, where Jodie Whittaker's character Sam is mugged, is based on a real incident that happened to director Joe Cornish in October 2001. Although he notes it was less intimidating than what is presented in the film, it struck Cornish how young the kids relieving him of his mobile phone and wallet were.
Cornish spent months researching in order to perfect the dialogue and make it as credible as possible. He held workshops with children in South London to pick up the jargon and then, after a few drafts, handed it over to the young cast so they could have input as their character's background were slightly similar to their own.
Returning home, nurse Sam (Jodie Whittaker) is mugged in Kennington by a gang of teenagers: Dennis (Franz Drameh), Pest (Alex Esmail), Biggz (Simon Howard), Jerome (Leeon Jones), and leader Moses (John Boyega). The attack is interrupted when an object falls from the sky into a nearby car, giving Sam the chance to escape. Moses searches the car for valuables but is attacked by a small creature with slashes across the face to give him the prominent scars that are featured throughout the film. Together, the gang manages to kill the alien creature. Hoping to gain fame and profit they take it to drug dealer Ron (Nick Frost) to gain advice.
Moses asks Ron's black gangsta boss, Hi-Hatz (Jumayn Hunter), for permission to keep the creature in their fortified "weed room" while he decides how to proceed. More objects begin to fall from the sky. Eager to fight more of the creatures, the gang arm themselves and go to the nearest crash site. They find the new aliens to be much larger, bearing huge claws and multiple rows of bio-luminescent fangs. While running from the aliens, the gang are intercepted by the police and Moses is arrested, identified as a mugger by Sam who is accompanying the police. The aliens kill the police and attack the van, leaving Sam and Moses trapped inside. Dennis manages to reach the vehicle and drive the van away. While fleeing, Dennis crashes the van into Hi-Hatz's car. Sam runs away while the rest of Moses' gang catch up and they confront Hi-Hatz. Enraged about his car, Hi-Hatz threatens them with a gun, refusing to believe their story of aliens. However, his henchman is suddenly attacked by one, distracting Hi-Hatz and allowing the gang to escape.
The gang attempts to return to the Block, their apartment building, but are ambushed by the aliens, forcing Biggz to hide in a rubbish container and resulting in Pest's leg being mauled. While carrying Pest into the building they see Sam and discover she lives there. They force their way into her home and convince the nurse to treat Pest's leg. An alien bursts into her home and Moses manages to kill it. Sam reasons it is safer to stay with the gang than on her own and joins them. The gang move to the apartment of neighbourhood girls believing their security gate will keep them safe. The aliens instead attack from outside, smashing through the window and killing Dennis. As one alien is about to kill Moses, Sam manages to stab it through the head, saving him.
However, The girls notice that the aliens were coming straight for Moses and kick the gang out, believing them to be the focus of the creatures. Outside the apartment they are attacked by Hi-Hatz and more henchmen. The gang manages to escape while an alien pursues Hi-Hatz and his henchmen into an elevator. The elevator opens with Hi-Hatz drenched in blood and has somehow managed to kill the alien, though his henchmen perish, and continues his search for Moses. Attempting to make their way to Ron's weed room, the gang again encounter aliens. They use fireworks as distractions to get by but Jerome becomes lost in the smoke and is killed by an alien. Entering Ron's apartment they find that Hi-Hatz is already there. Hi-Hatz prepares to shoot Moses but hordes of aliens smash through the window and kill him. Moses, Pest and Sam, joined by Ron's weed customer Brewis (Luke Treadaway), retreat into the weed room while Ron hides in the apartment.
Still trapped in the bin by an awaiting alien, Biggz is saved by Probs and Mayhem, two children, using a water-gun filled with petrol and a flame to torch the creature. In the weed room, Brewis notices a luminescent liquid on Moses' jacket under the ultraviolet light. Brewis theorizes that the alien Moses killed was a female, and left a pheromone on him that the aliens have been tracking. The gang form a plan for Sam, who has not been stained with the pheromone, to go to Moses apartment and turn on the gas oven. Before she leaves, Moses forces Pest to return the ring they stole from her, feeling guilty for having mugged her. Sam successfully avoids the aliens, turns on the gas and leaves the Block. Moses, with the dead female alien strapped to his back, fireworks in mouth, and samurai sword at hand, rushes out of the weed room with the aliens in chase and into his apartment. There he throws the female into the kitchen and the males follow. Using a firework, Moses ignites the gas-filled room and leaps out of the window. The explosion destroys all the aliens.
Moses is shown to have survived, clinging to a flag from the side of the building. In the aftermath, Moses, Pest, Brewis and Ron are arrested, considered responsible for the deaths around the Block including the two policemen that had earlier arrested Moses. In the back of the police van, Moses and Pest hear the residents of the Block cheering for Moses, causing Moses to smile.
Attack the Block was filmed in March 2010, for eleven weeks.
Big Talk was the production company responsible for the success of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead. "I came to Nira and Jim with three or four ideas, and this was the one that everybody leapt on," says Cornish. Recognising the potential in the idea, Big Talk took advantage of a slate deal it had recently struck with the UK Film Council and Film4 to fund the development of a series of British-set comedies. Attack The Block fit in perfectly with their plans. "What stood out was the idea of a genre film in which the protagonists are London council estate teenagers," says producer, Jim Wilson "but which subverted the stereotypes of that world and those characters."
Since most of the film was going to be set at night, Cornish needed a Director of Photography who was comfortable with darkness. He was watching TV one night and happened upon a Virgin Mobile advert that saw its protagonist drop into a game of Halo. "It was brilliant," says Cornish. "It was all at night and it was legible. It wasn't grainy. We investigated it online, found out the name of the guy who shot it and gave him a call."
It turned out that the advert was shot by Tom Townend, who, like Cornish, was new to feature films. "I met lots of DOP's but no one was as good as Tom - his work was never grainy or shaky-cam or bleak. All those things that British films so often are."
Attack The Block takes place in the fictional Wyndham House in South London, which is actually a composite of multiple London locations, mostly Heygate Estate.
The original music score is composed by Steve Price, Felix Buxton, and Simon Ratcliffe. The last track, "The Ends" played during the end credits is a song from Basement Jaxx. He turned for inspiration to the minimalist electronic-infused music of John Carpenter. "It's got orchestral elements and percussive contemporary urban elements," he says of the score. "We listened to a lot of John Carpenter's stuff. The brilliant thing about his stuff is it's percussive but you stay absorbed in the story."
Attack the Block received widespread critical acclaim from Rotten Tomatoes at 90%. Scott Wampler of The Examiner rated it A+ and likened it to other debuts such as Neil Blomkamp's District 9 and Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs. Matt Patches of Cinemablend described it as "one of the best action movies of the year". Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun Times said: "An entertaining thriller in the tradition of 1970s B-action films, with an unknown cast, energetic special effects and great energy." Mark Kermode of BBC Radio 5 "wanted it to be funnier" and "needed to be scarier".
Trailer: Attack The Block
When aliens invade, who you gonna call? Chavs, that's who.
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