Aliens in the Attic

Aliens in the Attic contains two movies. In the first one, Kevin Nealon takes his family on vacation and wanders around in a permanently befuddled haze reciting baffling, so bad it’s good dialogue like this: “I heard there’s supposed to be a meteor shower. Better get some hats on or our hair will catch fire!” I don’t know that means, but I’d like to get it on a t-shirt. In the second movie, aliens invade Kevin Nealon’s summer home, but he never notices. His kids however do and they spend the bulk of the film waging a secret war against badly CGI’d, terribly written, knee-high extraterrestrials. I loved the first movie. The second one, not so much.

It’s not the kids that are the problem really, they’re a decent enough cast full of generic Disney leftovers, stereotypes and of course, mischievous twins. Ashley Tisdale is the most well-known of the group after her stint as part of the High School Musical craze, but for whatever reason (I think they’re trying to hide her skin cancer, cover the girl up and get her away from the tanning booth.) Tisdale is barely in the film. She’s only a MacGuffin, there to provide an annoying asshole boyfriend for her brother Tom (Carter Jenkins) to interact with.

Tom is the movie’s real lead, a standard geek who acts and looks nothing like a geek (Remember when geeks wore pocket protectors? I miss that.). He’s smart and so he gets to work designing potato guns and marshalling his cousins into a pitched battle against slapstick invaders. The aliens are really bad and it’s made only worse by the film’s decision to have them speak English. They never stop talking, spouting inane pieces of dialogue which serve no purpose other than to insure there’s no place in the movie where something or someone isn’t talking. There comes a point where it’s nearly unbearable, but then Aliens in the Attic comes up with a hilarious gimmick.

The aliens have a device which allows them to turn adult humans into the equivalent of remote control robots. Tisdale’s annoying boyfriend is quickly implanted and his controller accidentally handed over to the kids who, predictably, use it to humiliate him. The douchey boyfriend is played by Robert Hoffman, who, despite a history in horrible movies seems to have an incredible gift for physical comedy. It’s almost worth putting up with the awful aliens to watch him slap, smack, dance, and cannonball himself into a variety of embarrassing situations as the kids torture and abuse his body. Combine his gifted slapstick with Nealon’s bizarre, meandering Aliens in the Attic performance is almost, mind you only almost, worth seeing. Should you be forced into taking your kids to the theater it is, at the least, a better option than the weekend’s other big family movie G-Force.