Josh Stolberg (Kids in America) took to the director’s chair for this, a horror film called The Attic (aka Crawlspace). Stolberg is no stranger to the horror genre having written the films/screenplay’s to titles such as Piranha 3D, Piranha 3DD and Sorority Row. Here, Stolberg created a tale of someone hiding in the attic of a house, a type of film that has been done plenty of times in the past, though, to my knowledge, not much recently.
We meet the Gates family who buy their dream home and, like all horror films like this, begins with them being happy and looking forward to the future. Oh, big mistake Gates family, big mistake. Tim and Susan, along with their children Kayla, Shane and Taylor, movie into the house, but behind the happiness and joy exists a sinister tale. Well, of course there does, this is a bloody horror film after all. As the family try to enjoy their new residence they begin to encounter things that aren’t, shall we say… copasetic. We find that inside the families new house is the previous owner (Steven Weber), and he isn’t too over-the-moon about these strangers taking over his “turf”. Enter fear, danger and, erm, horror.
It’s not a necessarily fresh or brand-new concept, but I do enjoy “stalking secret tenant” or “hider in the attic” films, so I enjoyed plenty of what this had to offer. The characters, for the most-part, are well written and their chemistry is decent, though I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing. The cast do a great job, and the writing is very good, but there isn’t enough “horror” here, I did feel like some scenes didn’t go far enough on upping the tension and fear. Weber, as previous owner and the villain of the story, Aldon, does a decent job in the role. The scenes with him involved are the strongest in the film in many ways, in my view. Raleigh Holmes, as Kayla, does a good job too, especially when one considers that this is her feature film debut. She is likeable and her dialogue feels natural and not as corny as I had predicted prior to watching this. With the remainder of the cast including the likes of Lori Loughlin as Susan, Sterling Beaumon as Shane, and Jonathan Silverman as Tim, it’s a group who make the film better than it otherwise may have been.
The horror elements are fun, though could have been better at times, though with the low budget it is understandable that these things have their limits. We have some inventive and enjoyable death scenes that I found entertaining and well thought-out. I did find myself questioning the credibility of the story at times, and sometimes the villain doesn’t quite feel villainous enough. But for a low-budget horror film this exceeded my expectations. A good set-up, cool death-scenes and well written dialogue and characters, the film is worth checking out. Sure, it isn’t perfect and it does, at times, feel stale and a little silly, but overall I enjoyed my time with it, and would probably revisit it again in the future.
101 Films, in the UK, put the DVD out, and that’s a good thing indeed. 101 are putting out a mixture of titles, and this is one of the ones that should have your attention. It might camouflage itself among the rest of the crop but, as far as low-budget horror films that are doing the rounds, this is one of the good ones.