Tom Pearson (Carter Jenkins) is 15, and his life is not looking good. He is sick of being called a ‘brainiac’ and ‘mathlete’ and has spent the last term of school purposely failing his classes. He is being forced to go on a family vacation with his parents, Stuart (Kevin Nealon) and Nina (Gillian Vigman), his older sister Bethany (Ashley Tisdale), and his little sister Hannah (Ashley Boettcher). They are going to an ancient lake house in the country. Here they will be joined by his Nana Rose (Doris Roberts), Uncle Nate (Andy Richter), his cousin Jake (Austin Butler), and Jake’s twin brothers Art (Henri Young) and Lee (Regan Young). Bethany’s smooth-operating boyfriend Ricky (Robert Hoffman) also arrives and gets himself invited to stay the night after arranging for his car to break down.
That night during a storm, four aliens arrive and start attacking the children. The children learn that the aliens want an extraterrestrial machine that is buried beneath the house. They will stop at nothing to get it, because they are planning to invade the world and enslave the human race. The aliens use a mind-controlling device to turn their victims into zombie-type aliens. Their first victim is Ricky. The kids must protect their parents and save themselves and all humankind. To do this, they decide to launch a war against the alien invaders.
Alien invasion; sibling rivalry
This movie includes some violence. For example:
- Tom accidentally shoots Ricky with paint gun pellets. Several hit Ricky directly in the crotch.
- Ricky slaps Tom on the back of the head as he passes.
- The aliens shoot a mind-controlling dart at the back of Ricky’s head. Using a remote control, the aliens make Ricky go after Tom and Jake. There is a scuffle and then Ricky falls off the roof and gets tangled in the lattice.
- While the kids are trying to escape from the attic, the aliens fire darts at them. Both Jake and Tom are hit, but they are not affected. As the kids slam the trap door to the attic, some of the aliens’ nails get chopped off.
- One alien elbows another, and two alien heads get knocked together.
- An alien grabs a rat and eats it whole.
- Jake fires paintballs at the aliens.
- Tom shoots the aliens with a potato gun and then with a fire extinguisher.
- The twins use the mind control remote on Ricky, making him swing around and flip to the ground, slam into his own car, and slap himself repeatedly in the face.
- Bethany slaps Ricky in the face.
- Jake throws fire crackers into the vent shafts to drive the aliens back. The aliens flee the explosions. One says that his butt is on fire.
- An alien shoots a mind control dart into Nana’s neck. Nana then knocks down a door and attacks Jake, biting his arm with such force that her dentures are left there.
- The aliens fire a potato gun at the kids.
- An alien shoots a mind control dart at the sheriff. Jake hits the alien with a rake and he misses the shot.
- The aliens shoot Jake with a potato gun, tie him up, gag him and drag him down some stairs.
- Controlled by the remote control, Ricky shoves Tom and tries to hit the twins. He then battles a remote-controlled Nana, who blocks his punches and uses her cane. They both do some martial arts moves that result in walls and furniture being smashed. Eventually Nana does a flipping leap. She sends Ricky flying down a hall and through a door.
- Bethany battles an alien with a tennis racquet.
- Tom tries to shoot a mind control device into the neck of an alien that is at least 20 times his normal size. Meanwhile another gigantic alien is preparing to attack Tom. The two huge aliens end up battling each other, including punching, elbowing, hitting and kicking.
- A bird grabs and flies off with an alien.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, this movie contains some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five. For example:
- The appearance of the aliens is scary. They have bulging faces and sharp teeth.
- The aliens are determined to attack and harm the children.
In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, this movie contains some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example, Jake is taken hostage by the aliens and is bound and gagged in the basement. The aliens later dump him in a hole where the others find him after a suspenseful trek through the darkness.
Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.
This movie contains some sexual references. For example:
- Ricky tells Bethany to ‘give papa some sugar’.
- Bethany’s parents warn her that there will be no ‘fooling around’ when Ricky is allowed to spend the night.
- After Tom shoots Ricky in the crotch with paint pellets, Ricky suggestively says that Bethany is just aching to be his (Ricky’s) private nurse.
- Ricky tells Bethany that he should have stayed home and hooked up with another girl who is ‘smoking hot’.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
This movie contains some use of substances. For example:
- When Stuart and Nina are heading out the door, Uncle Nate says that they need some beer and chips.
- The adults hold what appear to be glasses of wine.
Nudity and sexual activity
This movie contains some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- There is a photo of a shirtless Ricky on Bethany’s mobile phone.
- Bethany sunbathes in a very skimpy bikini.
- Bethany wears very short shorts and a top that shows her midriff.
- The aliens watch a scene from The Mask of Zorro, where Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones spar with swords. He slits her dress and exposes much of her thigh before she disarms him and they kiss passionately.
- Ricky removes his shirt while Bethany watches with breathless anticipation. She then rubs suntan lotion all over his torso.
This movie contains some coarse language and name-calling.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Aliens in the Attic is an adventure comedy that will appeal to a wide range of children. It is, however, better suited to teen audiences and anyone who enjoys mindless entertainment.
The main messages from this movie are to be true to yourself. The movie also suggests that you shouldn’t judge people – or aliens – on first impressions alone.
Values in this movie that you might wish to reinforce with your children include:
- creativity and teamwork when solving problems
- persistence and responsibility when it comes to finishing a task, even if it appears hopeless
- tolerance and understanding for those who are different from yourself.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about issues such as:
- lying to get what you want
- not doing your best because you’re worried about what other people will think
- judging someone by their appearance and not by who they are
- taking matters into your own hands and not discussing serious situations with your parents or others who could help.