THE ATTIC (2013)
Directed by Josh Stolberg
A husband, wife and their three children move into the house of their dreams but they soon realise that there’s a price for their bliss. With a history of tragedy attached to the house, the Gates family have no idea what is living in the house with them.
THE ATTIC is a modern indie horror thriller from director Josh Stolberg who also wrote Piranha 3D. Centred around a family and their home, the viewer expects the scares to play out like most other films these days, such as Insidious. However, The Attic takes a different approach and reveals the big bad early on in the film, leaving the tension to mount up by guessing what the antagonist might do to the family. There’s plenty of jump moments but it’s the grisly attacks that will have you wincing, especially those that the camera refuses to pan away from.
The characters of the film are your pretty average but likable family. There’s the stay at home mother, Susan, who lets her daughter Kayla bring her boyfriend Derek around without dad’s permission. Father Tim works for the bank and is pretty uptight having forked out every single penny for their dream house. Their eldest son Shane is a typical teenage lad who loves paintballing and skateboarding, and who’s daily missions are to insult his siblings and father at every opportune moment and try to sleep with the babysitter. Taylor is the youngest son, roughly 6 years old, who’s well behaved and the cutest of the bunch. Finally, the aforementioned Kayla is the eldest of the three siblings. Aged 20, she’s home from college to help with the move into the new home. These characters and their conversations make this a somewhat entertaining horror-thriller during the quieter moments, with the banter between Kayla and Shane fully representing that teenage sibling bickering.
Rather than verging on the supernatural, which you may be tricked into believing is an aspect at the beginning of the movie, the film is a blend of home invasion, horror and thriller. There’s even a tragic edge to the whole movie, which will have you sympathising with the antagonist though this wears off each time a horrific death occurs, of which there are plenty. Horror fans will be pleased to know that the deaths are rather inventive and use the environment rather than your traditional horrors that stick with knives or similar weapons. One of the freakier death scenes involves a vacuum cleaner…! I’ll say no more. 😉
The standout of the movie has to be Steven Weber as Aldon Webber, the sinister attic lurker. He’s verging on being sympathetic yet is utterly ruthless when faced with someone who could reveal his crimes or stand in his way. One minute he’s fearing for the safety of young Taylor Gates, the next he’s killing someone with their own car window. He pretty much carries the film with his creepy character.
Inspired by a true story, THE ATTIC is nothing original or revolutionary, with slow pacing at times, but has plenty of shocking scenes to get your horror jaws into.