Nikon F60, with manual lens.
Attack The Block is a film by Joe Cornish about a group of teenagers from a London housing project who’s residence is overrun by alien monsters. The group fight to protect their beloved block from the invaders in this sci-fi adventure. The movie stars John Boyega as Moses & Jodie Whitaker as Sam.
I’ve been reading some interesting things about this movie. The movie’s inspiration apparently came after Joe Cornish was mugged by a group of thugs when he was younger which led him to investigate London’s gang culture, and as to why “a young person would find themselves in a position where they thought robbing someone was a reasonable thing to do.” he says in a interview with Entertainment Weekly.
Some say it is controversial with a hidden racist agenda. But I disagree. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, this post will contain spoilers. I do highly recommend this film not just for the comedy, but the overall message it is trying to deliver.
The movie starts off with a white woman, Sam, getting robbed by the group of thugs of mostly black kids when a unidentified falling object hits a car allowing for her escape. The group then focuses their attention on the aftermath. After inspecting the scene, Moses is attacked by a monster from the wreckage and the group set off to exact revenge. The group has a bunch of fun killing the monster, which they don’t know exactly what it is, then drag their ‘trophy’ through the streets of their neighborhood. They then head to the Penthouse of their block where they store it in the neighborhood drug dealer’s weed room, where Moses is offered a job as a runner for Hi Hatz. At this point in the movie, more unidentified falling objects begin to fall from the sky and the group set out to collect more ‘trophies’.
When they encounter another one of the monsters from outer space, they realize that they are much larger, and a lot more dangerous than the previous one they had killed. These monsters have no eyes, and only bright white teeth, so they only act within instinct. Now they are afraid, and put in the same situation as the helpless lady they robbed in the beginning of the movie. This scene is the realization that these kids are not as hardcore as they thought they were. The monsters go on a killing spree in the neighborhood, and the group understands that no one will believe that these monsters exist, so they will be blamed for all the crime that has taken place.
Everyone who the group of kids come in contact with gets attacked by these monsters. Sam, who turns out to be a recently graduated Nurse, helps the group after they forced their way into her apartment and demand that she help them. Sam doesn’t trust the the kids, but she feels she would be safer with them.
One of the most important scenes in this movie is when The group, including Sam, hide out in an apartment with a group of girls where Moses gets an “everything has consequences” lesson. Moses realizes that he must take responsibility for his actions and heads back to the Penthouse’s weed room to get the original monster they had killed which turned out to be a female of the alien monsters. The black light in the weed room reveals the alien’s pheromones were all over his clothing and the aliens were just following the trail. that’s how they were able to track the group. Sam was able to get passed the monsters because there were no pheromones on her. With her help, she was able to setup a trap where Moses could lead the aliens to get rid of them once and for all.
At the end of the movie, Moses gets arrested and is put into the back of the cruiser while the large crowd of local residents chant his name. Sam told the police Moses and his crew were actually protecting her. He becomes the hero and makes up for the wrongs he had done.
Out of all of the crew, Moses was the only one with no parents at home, but he felt he was able to lead his crew because they looked up to him. Getting that job from the neighborhood drug dealer was a step up to something greater in his eyes until Hi Hatz blamed him for the death of his best friend. I believe the monsters in this film symbolized the real threat, and how easily someone like Moses can be mistaken for one by the decision he makes. It really had nothing to do with race, although it is a storyline that is all too familiar in “black” neighborhoods, but mostly any poor neighborhoods when a young person doesn’t have the support system of a loving family and community.