[Screen It]

 

"ALIENS IN THE ATTIC"
(2009) (Carter Jenkins, Austin Butler) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Mild Heavy Mild Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy Minor Heavy Minor Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate None Moderate Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Action-Comedy: Siblings and their fellow kid relatives attempt to stop four small but potentially dangerous aliens from getting to the basement of their vacation house and thus signaling a far larger extraterrestrial invasion of Earth.
PLOT:
15-year-old Tom Pearson (CARTER JENKINS) isn't happy about going on vacation with his family. After all, his parents -- Stuart (KEVIN NEALON) and Nina (GILLIAN VIGMAN) -- have just caught him changing his grades online (they're mediocre due to him playing dumb to avoid being picked on as a brainiac), but they failed to notice that his older teen sister, Bethany (ASHLEY TISDALE), has just snuck in the window after a secret date with her smooth operator boyfriend, Ricky (ROBERT HOFFMAN). And then there's the fact that Tom simply isn't as cute and adorable as his 7-year-old sister, Hannah (ASHLEY BOETTCHER).

Even so, Stuart thinks a family outing to a remote, but large vacation home is just what the doctor ordered. So the Pearsons travel there and are met by Tom's mother, Nana Rose (DORIS ROBERTS), his brother Nate (ANDY RICHTER), and his sons, teenager Jake (AUSTIN BUTLER) and 12-year-old twins Art (HENRI YOUNG) and Lee (REGAN YOUNG). That's followed by the surprise appearance of Ricky whose family has a place close by, but he feigns car problems in order to be invited to stay overnight.

But he isn't the only unexpected visitor as four small but resourceful extraterrestrials also arrive there, ending up in the attic during a bad storm. Led by Skip (voice of J.K. SIMMONS), their recon team consists of Tazer (voice of THOMAS HADEN CHURCH), Razor (voice of KARI WAHLGREN) and newcomer Sparks (voice of JOSH PECK), and they need to get into the basement to retrieve something important regarding their intergalactic mission.

The kids stumble upon them and realize they're in a heap of trouble, but after their call to Sheriff Armstrong (TIM MEADOWS) is cut short, they quickly realize they can't tell their parents or grandmother since the aliens have devices that only seem to work on adults but turn such humans into remote-controlled zombies.

With the rest of the invasion pending, the kids do what they can to keep the aliens away from the adults as well as out of the basement.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Younger kids might be interested in the alien invasion, comedy-action angle of the story.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For action violence, some suggestive humor and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • CARTER JENKINS plays a smart 15-year-old who's been under-performing at school in order to stop being picked on by others. Accordingly, he clashes with his dad and doesn't want to go on vacation with the family where he clashes with both Jake and Ricky. He must then contend with the small contingent of aliens in the house and how to stop them from accomplishing their goal.
  • AUSTIN BUTLER plays his cousin who's initially demeaning to him and orders his own younger brothers about, but comes about when they must all battle the aliens.
  • ASHLEY TISDALE plays Tom's older teenage sister who's occasionally seen in a bikini and enjoys being with her boyfriend (with whom she snuck out on a secret date as the story begins). She isn't pleased by the strange ways that Ricky starts acting, unaware that he's literally controlled by others.
  • KEVIN NEALON plays Tom's dad who isn't pleased by his son's grades or recent attitude, but tries to remain cool about that, while
  • GILLIAN VIGMAN plays his wife who's similarly concerned but less directly involved with interacting with him.
  • ASHLEY BOETTCHER plays Tom's younger sister who's frightened by what's occurring until she befriends Sparks and realizes he's not so bad.
  • ROBERT HOFFMAN plays Bethany's boyfriend who puts on the good boy act for her parents (making them think he's in high school when he's in college), but really wants to fool around with her and tries to arrange that.
  • DORIS ROBERTS plays the family matriarch who ends up being controlled by the mind control device and thus battles with Ricky who's in the same state.
  • ANDY RICHTER plays Tom's slightly wild and crazy uncle who brings illegal fireworks to the vacation house and briefly drinks beer.
  • HENRI YOUNG and REGAN YOUNG play his youngest kids, twins who help battle the aliens.
  • TIM MEADOWS plays the local sheriff who investigates what he thinks is a crank call from the house, and later allows Nate to shoot off some illegal fireworks.
  • SKIP is the leader of the alien unit who wants to accomplish their goal.
  • TAZER is one of his subordinates, something of a chauvinist who's often belittling Razor.
  • RAZOR is the lone female in the unit who easily holds her own.
  • SPARKS is the newest member who isn't so sure of the mission and ends up befriending the humans.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a quick summary of the content found in this action-comedy film that's been rated PG. A few minor expletives (as well as some incomplete ones) and various colorful phrases are uttered, while some non-explicit, but sexually related dialogue is present. A teen shows cleavage and is seen several times in her small bikini, while her older boyfriend arranges to be invited to stay in her family's vacation home overnight (but nothing happens).

    Violence includes action-based fighting and shooting of others with non-lethal weapons (alien vs. alien, alien vs. human, and human vs. human when one or both of the latter is under a spell of sorts) with property damage occurring. Those scenes and moments of potential peril might be unsettling and/or suspenseful for the youngest of viewers, but probably few if any others. Slapstick style material (including that presumably involving bodily injury) also occurs.

    That fighting (some of it exaggerated martial arts) and other behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate, while various bad attitudes are present, some of which lead to some mild tense family material. There's brief alcohol content, while some crude humor is also present.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned about flashing lights, there's some of that late in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • As Stuart and Nina head out, Nate says they could use some beer and chips.
  • While drinking a beer, Nate says he thinks they need to keep Nana out of the Pinot Grigio.
  • Stuart, Nina and Nana Rose hold what appear to be glasses of wine.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • After Tom states next time Hannah sits on the hump in the backseat of the family vehicle, she reminds him that she barfs in the middle.
  • Skip states that if they don't succeed on this mission, they'll all be shoveling manure back at some other place.
  • Controlled by the remote control device (with Tom speaking for his voice), Ricky asks Stuart and Nina if they can pick up some adult diapers for him, adding that his are almost full (and then waves his hand back and forth for the supposed smell before asking to make sure they're super-absorbent).
  • Sparks has a slight cut on his arm after getting caught in one of Hannah's toys.
  • Some green goo drips down onto one of the twins' shoulder.
  • An alien emerges from the toilet and spits out some water while sneaking up on Nana.
  • We see Nana's wet and somewhat slimy dentures stuck on Jake's arm after she bites him there.
  • Ricky states he's bleeding, and we see what might be a little on the bridge of his nose.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The aliens obviously have bad attitudes for serving as the advance team for an invasion of Earth.
  • Tom changes his grades online, but is caught by his parents who just so happen to be looking at them at the time.
  • Bethany sneaks in through a window after a secret car date with Ricky.
  • About Ricky, Tom tells Bethany, "Your boy-toy is a complete idiot."
  • Tom has a bad attitude about going on the family vacation, and his dad isn't happy about that (but plays it fairly cool).
  • Nate has brought illegal fireworks to the vacation home. Later, Sheriff Armstrong catches him with those, but lets him shoot them off.
  • Jake orders his younger siblings around and commandeers the bedroom that Tom had already chosen.
  • Ricky pretends to be a wholesome and good guy while around Bethany's parents, but little do they know that he's playing them as fools, especially since he's a senior in college and not high school like they think.
  • Jake encourages Tom "don't be a wuss all your life" and gives him a paint gun with which to shoot Ricky from a distance.
  • Ricky imitates Stuart behind his back while the dad chastises Tom for his earlier actions.
  • Tazer is a chauvinist, always putting down Razor, saying things such as "Decent technique...for a female."
  • Ricky makes disparaging remarks about Tom and his relatives, and then tells Bethany that he should have stayed home and "hooked up" with another girl who's "smoking hot."
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be unsettling, suspenseful and/or scary to younger viewers but probably few if any others.
  • Despite their small size, the somewhat monstrous appearances of the aliens (including sharp teeth) might be unsettling for some younger viewers.
  • During a thunderstorm, Tom finds the roof patio mounted satellite dish fried and torn apart (from the aliens landing there, not directly seen). He then hears noises and slowly walks along that elevated patio (during the daylight) only to have Jake startle him. The two of them then see a huge, looming shadow only to realize it's from a small alien standing there.
  • The kids hear a sound coming from behind a curtain covered window and slowly go there, only to reveal the zombie version of Ricky hanging there.
  • The kids slowly make their way through the basement and find a large hole dug in the basement floor.
  • Some younger viewers might worry upon hearing that a larger alien invasion is coming. That's especially true when the spaceships are seen arriving (but Sparks manages to convince them to leave).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Futuristic Alien weapons (used to fire mind control darts into necks)/Potato guns/Paint guns: Carried and/or used to fire at others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Although it's his original intention, Tom ends up accidentally shooting Ricky repeatedly with paint gun pellets, including to the clothed crotch (we later see him holding a bag of ice there). Stuart chastises Tom for that, saying that the paint gun is a gateway gun.
  • The aliens briefly watching footage from "The Mask of Zorro" and see the characters played by Catherine Zeta-Jones and Antonio Banderas spar with swords before suddenly passionately kissing.
  • We see Hannah's bubble blower that's shaped like a futuristic handgun.
  • An alien held in a box eyes Sheriff Armstrong's holstered handgun.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Hooked up," "She's smoking hot," several incomplete "What the..?" "Are you crazy?" "Screwing around" (nonsexual), "Worked her tail off," "Your boy-toy is a complete idiot," "(So) lame," "Give poppa some sugar" (a kiss), what sounded like "What a gas pipe" (said about an adult/parent), "Don't be a wuss all your life," "Shut up," "Ladies first" (said to a guy), "Total creep show," "Dude," "Hey frog face," "Creepy," "Midget Martians," "You idiot," "You incompetent piece of..." "The tool's in college," "Sucker," "Oh crud," "Bring it, meat-sack," "Buttocks on fire," "You giant idiot," "Shut up, you little..." "Hope this works Einstein," "Brainiac," "Happy Fourth of July, space maggots," "Sayonara suckers," "Buggers," "He's a freaking alien," "Awesome," "Planet fruitcake," "This four-armed freak," "A geek alien," "Buenas noches, gringos," "This sucks," "Sweet," "Oh crap," "It's the po-po" (police), "Is there any job you two can't screw up?" "You're going down, punk," "You've been punked," "Step aside, hormonal female," "Well, man up and deal with it," "This vacation sucks," "This is so not happening," an incomplete "Get off my planet you little green son of a..." "Earth maggots," "You're gonna need a bigger potato," "You messed with the wrong math geek" and "You're all right for a space maggot."
  • All of the fighting, action and other stunts might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • Tom uses a potato gun he created to fire potatoes at the aliens (and vice-versa) in various scenes.
  • Tom changes his grades online, but is caught by his parents who just so happen to be looking at them at the time.
  • Bethany sneaks in through a window after a secret car date with Ricky.
  • Bethany wears a midriff-revealing top.
  • Nate does some sliding fishtail driving upon arriving at the vacation house.
  • Ricky purposefully disables his car so that Bethany's dad will invite him to stay at the vacation house overnight (albeit in the den, and Stuart tells his daughter, "No fooling around").
  • Ricky imitates Stuart behind his back while the dad chastises Tom for his earlier actions.
  • Ricky slaps Tom on the back of the head in passing.
  • Ricky reaches out to shake Tom's hand but then yanks that back, stating "Firecracker, too slow."
  • Despite there being a thunderstorm outside, no one has a problem with Tom going up on the roof to try to fix the satellite dish.
  • Skip bangs the heads of two of his subordinates together.
  • Skip belches after eating a rat. Later, Sparks belches after eating a bunch of hot dogs.
  • Jake throws fireworks into the house's vent shafts to drive the aliens away, and the latter flee from the various small explosions.
  • The kids mix Mentos with Coke in 2-liter bottles and throw those at the aliens, distracting them.
  • Controlled by the remote control device, Ricky does all sorts of exaggerated dancing, gives himself a wedgie, eats some flowers, drinks water from the vase, and then lands crotch-first on a hand railing.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • There's sudden movement at the bottom of a hole (but it's just Jake).
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film, but it's tinged with some playfulness rather than the usual type heard in a standard suspense or horror film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song playing in Ricky's car has lyrics about being the "love doctor" and "let me make you feel better."
  • PROFANITY
  • The film contains two terms that sometimes have more objectionable meanings ("hook up" and "tool"), while there's also at least 1 buggers, 1 crap, 1 incomplete S.O.B., 4 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use of "Swear to God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see a photo of Ricky shirtless on Bethany's mobile device.
  • We see Bethany sunbathing in a fairly small bikini.
  • A song playing in Ricky's car has lyrics about being the "love doctor" and "let me make you feel better."
  • Ricky playfully tells Bethany to "give poppa some sugar" (kiss him).
  • Ricky purposefully disables his car so that Bethany's dad will invite him to stay at the vacation house overnight (albeit in the den, and Stuart tells his daughter, "No fooling around").
  • Ricky removes his shirt outside, leaving Bethany breathless with anticipation, and he gets her to put suntan lotion on his bare back. From a distance, Jake encourages Tom to shoot Ricky with a paint gun. But as they see the couple about to kiss and Jake comments on them getting to second base (which doesn't occur), Tom accidentally shoots the paint gun that blasts Ricky with paint pellets, including to his clothed crotch. We later see him holding a bag of ice on his clothed crotch, and he later suggestively states that Tom's older sis is just itching to be his (Ricky's) private nurse.
  • The aliens briefly watching footage from "The Mask of Zorro" and see the characters played by Catherine Zeta-Jones and Antonio Banderas spar with swords before suddenly passionately kissing.
  • We see Bethany in her bikini and Ricky in his swim trunks out on a pier. He wants to kiss and picks her up, but his remote control is activated and he tosses her into the water before jumping in on the other side.
  • Bethany shows some cleavage.
  • Ricky makes disparaging remarks about Tom and his relatives, and then tells Bethany that he should have stayed home and "hooked up" with another girl who's "smoking hot."
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Tom has a bad attitude about going on the family vacation, and his dad isn't happy about that or Tom changing his grades online (but plays it fairly cool). There are a few other contentious exchanges between them regarding Tom's behavior (such as turning up the rental house's heat in July to try to ward off the aliens, but Tom doesn't let his father know what's going on - for his dad's safety and that of the other adults).
  • Jake mentions his parents being divorced.
  • Tom states he got bad grades on purpose because he was tired of being picked on for being a brainiac. His dad replies being that worked for him, but Tom replies he doesn't want to be like him and instead wants to be cool.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Whether extraterrestrial life exists anywhere else in the universe.
  • Despite there being a thunderstorm outside, no one has a problem with Tom going up on the roof to try to fix the satellite dish.
  • Tazer is a chauvinist, always putting down Razor, saying things such as "Decent technique...for a female."
  • Tom states he got bad grades on purpose because he was tired of being picked on for being a brainiac. His dad replies being that worked for him, but Tom replies he doesn't want to be like him and instead wants to be cool.
  • The comment that there are advantages to being smart.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Although it's his original intention, Tom ends up accidentally shooting Ricky repeatedly with paint gun pellets, including to the clothed crotch (we later see Ricky holding a bag of ice there).
  • Ricky slaps Tom on the back of the head in passing.
  • An alien fires an electronic, mind control dart into the back of Ricky's neck, turning him into a remote-controlled zombie robot. Controlled by the aliens, he then comes after Tom and Jake and grabs them. They then elbow him and flee as the alien fires at them. Ricky then comes crashing through some lattice at them but ends up flipping over a railing and off the roof (he's later seen hanging upside down alongside the house, unhurt). Tom then throws some roof furniture that hits three aliens and he and Jake beg the younger kids to let them back into the attic. They do and then all scramble back down the attic access stairs, with darts hitting both older boys, but that has no effect on them. They all then struggle to push that access closed and back into the ceiling, with some of Razor's nails being clipped off in the process.
  • Razor elbows Tazer.
  • One alien is shocked backwards (slapstick style).
  • The aliens briefly watching footage from "The Mask of Zorro" and see the characters played by Catherine Zeta-Jones and Antonio Banderas spar with swords before suddenly passionately kissing.
  • Skip bangs the heads of two of his subordinates together.
  • An alien grabs a rat and nearly eats it, but then throws it over to Skip who does eat it in one gulp.
  • Tom and Jake fall from the side of the house and land hard on the ground (but are okay).
  • Tom fires paintballs up through the ceiling attic access, but the aliens turn on anti-gravity device that causes the kids to float but allows the aliens (with their gravity boots on) to walk along the floor. Tom ends up shooting them with a fire extinguisher to stop their advance, but the canister goes dry. The device is then smashed and the kids all land hard on the floor (except for Hannah who has a soft landing). Tom then hits the aliens with the fire extinguisher itself, while Jake fires paintballs at them.
  • The twins use the mind control remote to move Ricky about, including having him hit a swing hard and then flip to the ground, slam into his own car hard enough to dent the door, and then repeatedly slap himself in the face (played for laughs).
  • Bethany slaps Ricky when she thinks he's being disrespectful.
  • Jake throws fireworks into the house's vent shafts to drive the aliens away, and the latter flee from the various small explosions.
  • An alien shoots an electronic mind control dart into the back of Nana's neck.
  • Controlled by the remote control device, Nana knocks a door down, tosses Tom aside, and bites onto Jake's arm, leaving her dentures there he pulls his arm away. She then ends up slipping on a skateboard and lands on the floor.
  • The aliens fire a potato gun at the kids while fleeing.
  • An alien nearly shoots Sheriff Armstrong with a mind control dart, but Jake throws a rake that distracts the alien, causing his shot to miss the mark and bounce off the sheriff's badge instead.
  • Aliens shoot Jake with a potato gun and we next see them dragging and somewhat bouncing him down some steps while bound and gagged.
  • Controlled by the remote control device, Ricky shoves Tom back, tries to hit the twins with something, and then battles Nana who's also remote controlled. She blocks his punches and kicks with her cane, followed by flipping him with that, etc. The battle then continues, with all sorts of "floating" martial arts moves that cause property damage (fists through walls, smashed furniture, etc.) until Nana kicks and hits Ricky quite hard, followed by kicking him down a long hallway and through a door.
  • Skip throws Sparks into a hole dug in the basement floor.
  • One of the twins ends up falling into a hole (but is okay).
  • The kids mix Mentos with Coke in 2-liter bottles and throw those at the aliens, distracting them. Tom then shoots Skip back into a device, unaware that it will turn the latter into a towering version of him.
  • Razor and Bethany battle, sharp fingernails vs. tennis racket.
  • As Tom prepares to shoot Skip who's now enormous, Tazer goes through the same process and also ends up huge. Tom manages to shoot a mind control dart into Skip, resulting in him battling Tazer, including some punching, elbowing, kicking and a knee to Tazer's crotch.
  • A bird grabs and flies off with one alien.
  • Controlled by the remote control device, Ricky lands crotch-first on a hand railing.



  • Reviewed July 31, 2009 / Posted July 31, 2009

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [Animal Crackers] [Most Wanted] [Radioactive] [The Rental]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2020 Screen It, Inc.