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STUDIO: 20th Century Fox
RUNNING TIME: 86 minutes
- Introduction to Film with Ashley Tisdale
- The Ashley Encounters
- Deleted Scenes
- Gag Reel
- Behind the Zirkonians
- Meet the Zirkonians
Aliens arrive, and they hide in the attic. Kids in the house try to defend it. Ashley Tisdale struts around in revealing outfits.
Carter Jenkins, Ashley Tisdale, Robert Hoffman, Austin Butler, Henri & Regan Young, Andy Richter, Doris Roberts, Kevin Nealon, and Tim “Courvoisier” Meadows
Thomas Haden Church, Josh Peck, Kari Wahlgren, and J.K. Simmons
Four creatures from outer space crash land their spaceships in an old summer house. The kids in the house decide (for a reason known only to the screenwriters and observant viewers) that they will try to expunge these creatures from the house without alerting their parents or the Po-Po. Some hilarity does ensue, but not in regards to the aliens (who are recognizably Critter-like in facially-constructed appearance). As the aliens try to obtain their goal of finding a buried device that will help in their attempt to take over the world, the kids use their toys, kiddie-weapons, and even the aliens own technology to stop them.
“What do you mean, I look like a Critter…? Oh.”
I watched Aliens in the Attic with my son (8) and daughter (5), who enjoyed the movie. Of course, they laugh whenever I mention my butt, so take for what it’s worth. The movie is set up with all the basics of most evil alien movies: they are plotting to take over the world. In this movie, the children are the Earth’s only hope. In order to make the story progress, the children try to stop the aliens, while keeping their parents in the dark. Although it does keep the movie entertaining, ultimately this is a movie for kids, so you have to watch it with that in mind.
The most amusing part of the movie revolves around this tech that allows the aliens to control the victim with a well placed dart into the back of the neck, Invaders from Mars-style. Then by using a controller and a headset, they take control of the victim. They manipulate and speak through them, basically turning them into a human video game, which leads to the best performance in the movie. Robert Hoffman, primarily a dancer in his filmography, is able to showcase his body contortions and physical discipline, Jim Carrey-style, as he is controlled at first by the aliens, and then the kids. There’s even a Street Fighter-esque scene with Hoffman vs. Doris Roberts, including a Dragon Punch from Roberts.
So, Ashley, you like movies about gladiators?
Sometimes I worry for my kids and their movie diet. Watching this kiddie-fare, my mind was transported back to my youth, where the most memorable science fiction movies I saw weren’t filled with victorious children or played for laughs. Invasion of the Body Snatchers, War of the Worlds, the aforementioned Invaders from Mars, and Day of the Triffids were unforgettable classics that did what they were supposed to do: scare the shit out of me. As I watched Aliens in the Attic with my son, I saw a formulaic, dull, children’s action movie that I found watchable and somewhat entertaining, but in the end lacking.
I couldn’t help but dissect this as I watched it. Every character is a stereotype. See if these main characters sound familiar:
• Intelligent Kid who struggles with being uncool for being too smart
• Tough Kid who makes fun of Smart Kid, until Smart Kid proves himself
• Twin Kids who communicate together as if they have a psychic bond
• Cute Little Kid with sock monkey and wants to tell on everyone
• Hot Teenage Kid who is in puppy love with new boyfriend
• Deceitful Boyfriend Kid who wants to bone Hot Teenage Kid
• Parents who are oblivious to everything going on
• Policeman who is too dumb to realize what’s going on
When you’ve seen enough movies, and the opening of the film introduces these characters, you know you’re going to be in for a monotonous time. And to add to this, the aliens are not interesting in the slightest. They run around advancing the story, but nothing about them is funny, cute, or memorable.
This is what it feels like to watch Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.
Other than the hijinks with the body controller, the movie hits all the same ol’ beats, and leaves you rushing to update your Netflix queue with some of those old classics. Don’t get me wrong, Aliens in the Attic is entertaining enough to watch with an 8-10 year old. Just make sure you supplement your child’s film diet with classic alternatives to go with this feeble snack.
The Richters try to inject some old-fashioned Body Snatcher fright into this film. It doesn’t help.
Aliens in the Attic has the usual assortment of extras: a gag reel, a dossier on the Aliens, and previews. Included in the extras is a fluff piece on Ashley Tisdale, and her experiences on set from her point of view. You can tell how important Tisdale is to the production, as everyone is fawning over her. The movie even starts with a personal introduction from her.