Aliens in the Attic parents guide

Aliens in the Attic Parent Guide

With the potential of being a painful adolescent movie, this little romp has the courage to embrace its campiness and rise slightly above the usual tide of mediocrity.

Overall B-

What's a good vacation without a few surprises? But if the Pearson family thought the arrival of Bethany's (Ashley Tisdale) boyfriend (Robert Hoffman) was unexpected, just wait until they meet the uninvited guests lurking in the attic of their holiday home! These alien visitors may be small, but they have big plans for world domination.

Release date July 31, 2009

Violence C+
Sexual Content B
Profanity C+
Substance Use A-

Why is Aliens in the Attic rated PG? The MPAA rated Aliens in the Attic PG for action violence, some suggestive humor and language.

Run Time: 90 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Tom Pearson (Carter Jenkins) isn’t thrilled about spending most of his summer in rural Michigan, being held captive on a family vacation with his two sisters, teenaged Bethany (Ashley Tisdale) and younger Hannah (Ashley Boettcher). Ignoring the attitude, Mom and Dad (Gillian Vigman and Kevin Nealon) do their best to keep things upbeat during the cramped ride to their rented accommodations: a sprawling old mansion. Before they are even unpacked, the other Pearson’s show up—cousin Jake (Austin Butler) and younger twins Art and Lee (Henri and Regan Young). Then, with a flurry of spinning wheels and dirt, Bethany’s boyfriend Ricky (Robert Hoffman) unexpectedly arrives with a carefully concealed plan to schmooze her parents into letting him stay overnight.

While the gang stakes out their claims for beds and activities, Bethany immediately dons a tiny bikini and happily lures the hormonally charged Ricky toward the swimming pool with more sensuality than necessary. In turn, Tom and Jake hide in the bushes with a paintball gun aimed at Ricky’s private parts. Unfortunately, the resulting hits only gain the scheming, older boy even more sympathy from the trusting adults and more opportunities for him to secretly harass the teenaged boys.

When Grandma Pearson (Doris Roberts) announces the satellite television is on the blink, the shenanigans move to the rooftop. Locked out by Ricky, Tom and Jake discover the dish is in multiple pieces. No sooner do they wonder how that happened when they meet what the audience paid to see—four little green aliens. During a skirmish on the roof, the pair is shot with small darts from the creatures’ weapons, but they don’t seem to be harmed.

Ricky, who comes out to see what is taking so long, isn’t so lucky. After being hit in the back of the neck, the aliens take over his mind and body using a video game-like controller. Now manipulating the humanoid to carry out their commands, the Pearsons have an even bigger battle on their hands. Although the kids manage to lock their unwanted visitors in the attic—they know this won’t be the end of the battle.

The ensuing action will deliver much of what you would expect within this genre. Along with goofy slapstick violence, there are still more kicks and injuries to the groin. Tom, who already lied to his parents about his school performance, also convinces the others to keep the adults in the dark (in order to protect them), and fight the aliens by themselves. This decision results in continuing deceptions and cover-ups.

Yet, with the potential of being a painful adolescent movie, this little romp has the courage to embrace its campiness and rise slightly above the usual tide of mediocrity. The tiny aliens are vulnerable themselves, making things a bit more interesting. And while I tire of seeing silly battle scenes, actor Robert Hoffman delivers a very skilled performance while under the spell of the alien device. With a flip of a switch he freezes in place or is forced to put his body into a number of contortions. As well, the script offers a few funny moments.

Parents will likely appreciate that Tom’s father isn’t the typical, stupid movie parent. He confronts his son about his dishonesty in the early scenes, and continues to question the kids’ behavior. These positives help to outweigh some of the noted negatives, however we would have liked these aliens a whole lot more without these unnecessary additions.

Starring Ashley Tisdale, Robert Hoffman, Doris Roberts. Running time: 90 minutes. Theatrical release July 31, 2009. Updated

Aliens in the Attic
Rating & Content Info

Why is Aliens in the Attic rated PG? Aliens in the Attic is rated PG by the MPAA for action violence, some suggestive humor and language.

In this comedic tale about small, but nasty aliens intent on world domination, the creatures use technology, weapons and violent means to subdue the humans they encounter. Death threats are uttered. Children and teens go head-to-head with the aggressors by engaging in hand-to-hand confrontations, kicks, hits, punches and martial arts style maneuvers. A potato gun, paintball guns and firecrackers are used as weapons. Hits to the crotch and groin injuries are repeatedly used to generate humor. A character’s dentures fall out when trying to bite another. A dart is shot into the neck of various individuals, causing them to go into a zombie-like state where they lose the ability to act for themselves. Remote controls are then use to activate their bodies and use them for fighting or other purposes. Some characters abuse the affected person by taking advantage of this power. A sequence in the closing credits shows this device being used for vengeful purposes. Children routinely lie to their parents and attempt to manipulate them for their own personal gain. They later justify these courses of action by believing it will protect the adults from danger. Mild name-calling, chauvinistic remarks about females, disrespectful attitudes toward parents and derogatory names for police officers are heard. A profane phrase is spoken, but cuts off before the swear word is uttered. Sexual innuendo is abundant both verbally (including the use of a crude anatomical term) and in physical gestures. It is implied that a young adult has sexual intentions in his relationship with his high school-aged girlfriend. A female teen is seen in a bikini and makes lustful expressions when her male companion strips off his shirt to expose his bare chest. Frequent product placements are seen, including a brand of beer (a man also says they need to buy some more beer).

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More parents' guide for Aliens in the Attic after the break...

Aliens in the Attic Parents' Guide

What are the two different strategies Tom and his cousin Jake have for tackling the aliens? Is one better than the other? How are these varying viewpoints a reflection of the personal pastimes of each of the teens?

Throughout the movie, Tom struggles with his self-image. How does he respond to the expectations of his peers and cousins? What negative stereotypes does he war with? What does he learn about himself during his battle with the space creatures? How does it affect the relationship he has with his father?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Aliens in the Attic movie is November 3, 2009. Here are some details…

Release Date: 3 November 2009

Aliens in the Attic land on Blu-ray and DVD with the following bonus extras in tow:

-Introduction To Film With Ashley Tisdale

- The Ashley Encounters

- Deleted Scenes

- Gag Reel

- Behind The Zirkonians

- Meet The Zirkonians

Aliens in the Attic on Blu-ray also includes a digital copy of the movie.   

Related home video titles:

Pint-sized troublemakers also infest the new home of the Grace family in The Spiderwick Chronicles. A group of siblings do their best to hide the arrival of their unexpected guest in ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (also available in a 20th Anniversary Edition).