Aliens in the Attic a.k.a. “They Came from Upstairs,” “De kom fra rommet,” “Pequenos Invasores,” “Ullakkojengi,” “Пришельцы на чердаке”
Reviewed by: David Criswell, Ph.D.
Sci-Fi, Adventure, Fantasy, Comedy, Kids
1 hr. 26 min.
Year of Release:
July 31, 2009 (wide—3,100 theaters)
DVD: November 3, 2009
“They came from upstairs.”
“Aliens in the Attic” is the newest film presumably aimed at children. Now, we should delight that Hollywood is making “family” films again, but, at the same time, we might pause and wonder whether or not our children should be taking candy from strangers—especially if those strangers are from Hollywood. Don’t get me wrong, “Aliens in the Attic” is a film that will appeal more to children than adults, but if that is the case, then we might wonder why all the potty humor and violence were necessary. By Hollywood standards, the film is not bad, but by parent standards, it is a sign of our generation.
One of the movie’s main characters is basically a sex pervert who is always trying to get closer to the family’s daughter. He is apparently a college age kid trying to consort with a teenage girl. There are numerous innuendos and gestures, but, since he is supposed to be the punching bag later in the film, we are not supposed to like him.
Language is not a major problem, although there is some. The worst, however, is the English cuss word “bug--r.” Most Americans are not familiar with this word or its meaning, so it is considered harmless by us, but it is actually more a more vulgar than word than the F-word—implying much more. There are also several scenes where someone is hit in the crotch and screams in pain while grabbing his crotch.
Next, the parents in this movie are notoriously stupid. That is part of the joke, but some parents may be concerned that it is part of the Hollywood effort to belittle the traditional nuclear family.
Finally, of course, is the violence. There is little blood, but much slapstick violence throughout.
Now, as to the movie itself… it is a good concept, but not particularly well executed. If it is aimed at children, it should have been more child friendly. If it is aimed at adults, it should have been better developed. The story involves a family that takes a vacation to a summer home. The teenage kids soon find something crashes on their room. The parents, of course, have no idea what is going on, even though their children are fighting four tiny aliens for the survival of the human race. Sound good? Well, sort of. Some parts of the film were entertaining, but this film is no “Gremlins.” The similarities will be obvious, and this is admittedly less violent than that film, but it is also inferior to it. I suspect that children will enjoy it, and from the reaction of the audience, the young ones did, but I worry how young the people really are? Are our children growing up too fast these days?
Perhaps I have been a little to harsh on “Aliens in the Attic,” for the child in me wanted to enjoy the film, but somehow the movie never held up. The most interesting characters in the film were the mechanic alien and the little girl, both of whom had rather small roles. The teenagers were too much like brats, at times, and the parents were but caricatures. Without people that you really care about, the film just doesn’t work as well as it should.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.