Extraterrestrial Fun

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 Aliens in the Attic

"Aliens in the Attic" is one of those hard-to-pin-down children's movies. It definitely does not qualify as a classic but borrows enough from them to remain interesting for kids below seven. Older kids who've been exposed to real sci-fi and Harry Potter however, would hardly find the movie credible.

The story begins when siblings and cousins are thrown together on a family vacation and come in close contact with four extraterrestrials, who harbour ambitions of destroying mankind.  A war ensues upstairs and the kids are called to defend their families and Planet Earth since the aliens can control only the adults and not the children.

Fortunately for the human race, the extraterrestrial are rather slow and unintelligent and they are quickly out-witted by the smart kids. Much of the comedy derives from a mind-control device that the aliens use on Bethany's (Ashley Tisdale) unpopular boyfriend, Ricky (Robert Hoffman). The kids get control over this device and make him attack himself!

 

Later, Grandma comes under the device's power and achieves super-human power. Ricky and Grandma engage in a matrix-style war, one of the movie's many pop-culture references. The kids finally win the war and make a friend of the harmless Zirkonian alien, Sparks who sides up with them and attacks the others. Predictably, the parents remain oblivious to the battle that has gone on upstairs, assuming that the children are just playing.

Starring better known faces like Ashley Tisdale as Bethany, the movie could have been entertaining to the tweens and teens had the screenplay been a little more sophisticated.  As is, "Aliens in the Attic" seems to be a hotchpotch of formulas that worked previously, borrowing heavily from better loved 80's children’s movies like Gremlins, Goonies and Monster Squad with an amusing dose of Home-Alone style violence.

Entertaining, funny and far-fetched in turn, "Aliens in the Attic" is one of those movies that you'll enjoy if you go without too many expectations. It's definitely healthy, clean fun if you're willing to forego credibility and just want to spend time together as a family.

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