They Came from the Attic

they-came-from-the-attic-re They Came from the Attic  (2009)    DiGi Distribution/Horror    RT: 73 minutes    No MPAA rating (language and violence)    Director: Jason Mills    Screenplay: Jason Mills    Music: Casey Chadwick    Cinematography: Andy Hodgson    Release date: October 29, 2009 (Canada)    Cast: Nicola Elbro, Leon Bourikos, Robert L. Duncan, Marina Seretis, Dick Pugh, Monique Van de Plas, Greg Russell Tiderington, Hazuki Kambie, Nathan Dashwood, Julian LeBlanc, John Struthers, Chris Waters, Krista Fowler.

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 To start, I LOVE the title! They Came from the Attic has a great ring to it. It’s a sweet nod to the grindhouse flicks of the 70s and 80s. I could easily see this title on a 42nd Street marquee with a couple of other horror cheapies. A lot has changed since those days. Low-budget movies aren’t what they used to be. Technology is different. Instead of cheap-looking practical effects, we get cheap-looking digital effects. I think it’s a step down. It takes something away from the experience. One thing hasn’t changed though. Like its predecessors, the title is better than the actual movie. Not that They Came from the Attic is a bad movie. On the contrary, it’s pretty good.

 they came from the atticThe story is one we’ve heard many time before. A family moves into an old house where something bad happened years before. Not that the Hoopers don’t have enough problems of their own. Their son Ben (Bourikos) became mute after witnessing the death of his twin brother. Teenage daughter Jennifer (Elbro) resents her parents (Duncan and Seretis) because they move around so much trying to find help for Ben. They constantly accuse her of being a liar. Naturally, their new next door neighbors are weird; they could be kin to the family in 1988’s American Gothic. The son Jack (Tiderington) is a pervert who leers at Jennifer like he’s never seen a girl before.

 As indicated by the title, there’s something in the attic. Sadly, it takes too long for They Came from the Attic to reveal what the “they” is. Even sadder, we already know what the “they” is. It’s shown in the menu on the DVD when you select PLAY. Monsters are hiding in the attic. They claim a few victims until it comes down to Jennifer protecting her little brother.

 As a cheap horror flick, They Came from the Attic is quite enjoyable but far from perfect. The special effects are fine for a low-budget movie. The acting, which ranges from wooden to overacting, is just okay. It’s fairly amateurish on all levels. It definitely could have used a lot more gore. Story only takes a cheap horror movie so far. It needs a generous amount of the red stuff to get fans of the genre interested. I’d say that They Came from the Attic, while flawed, is worth at least one viewing. Try to imagine yourself in a grungy theater surrounded by lowlifes who might or might not try to kill you where you sit. It’s more fun that way. 

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