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Aliens in the Attic
AliensInTheAttic.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Schultz
Produced by Barry Josephson
Screenplay by
  • Mark Burton
  • Adam F. Goldberg
Story by Mark Burton
Starring
Music by John Debney
Cinematography Don Burgess
Editing by John Pace
Studio
  • Regency Enterprises
  • Josephson Entertainment
  • Dune Entertainment
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) July 31, 2009 (2009-07-31) (United States)
Running time 86 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $45 million
Money made $57.9 million

Aliens in the Attic is a 2009 American live-action/animated comic science fiction family film directed by John Schultz and starring Carter Jenkins, Austin Butler, Ashley Tisdale, Gillian Vigman, Andy Richter, Doris Roberts, Robert Hoffman, Kevin Nealon, Tim Meadows, Henri Young, Regan Young, Josh Peck, J. K. Simmons, Kari Wahlgren and Thomas Haden Church. The plot revolves around the children in the Pearson family having to defend their vacation house against a group of aliens planning an invasion of Earth until one of the aliens betrays them and joins the Pearson children in battle.

Produced by Regency Enterprises, Aliens in the Attic was released by 20th Century Fox on July 31, 2009 and received mixed reviews from film critics but was not successful at the box office.

Plot

A meteor shower rockets through open space. Four glowing pods are seen hiding behind the meteor shower. Suddenly the meteor shower makes a hard right and heads towards the distant planet Earth.

In a Chicago suburb, Stuart Pearson (Kevin Nealon) and his wife Nina (Gillian Vigman) head a family that includes 7-year-old Hannah (Ashley Boettcher), 17-year-old hormonal Bethany (Ashley Tisdale), who has just come back from a secret outing with her boyfriend Ricky Dillman (Robert Hoffman), and 15-year-old techno-geek Tom (Carter Jenkins), whose high school grades are low. After arguing with Tom over hacking into his school's website to change his grades, Stuart decides the family needs some good and old-fashioned togetherness and takes them to a holiday home. Joining them is Nathan "Nate" Pearson (Andy Richter), his 14-year-old show off son Jake (Austin Butler), identical 12-year-old gaming nerd twins Art (Henri Young) and Lee (Regan Young), and Nana Rose (Doris Roberts). Ricky also arrives unexpectedly and talks his way into staying overnight, by giving them the impression that his car has broken down (he secretly took out one of the plugs) so he can spend time with Bethany.

As the family settles in, dark storm clouds swirl around the house and the four glowing pods land on the roof. A crew of little aliens emerges, made up of Skip (J. K. Simmons), the nasty, tough commander, Tazer (Thomas Haden Church), an ugly muscle-bound soldier armed to the teeth, Razor (Kari Wahlgren), a lethal, violent female soldier, and Sparks (Josh Peck), the four-armed engineer, who is the only non-threatening member. Since the aliens crashed into the satellite dish, Ricky and Tom are sent to fix it. In the attic, Ricky then reveals to Tom that he lied about his car breaking down, and being 18; Ricky is actually in college and four years older than Bethany. Ricky sends Tom to fix the satellite dish by himself, but it is beyond repair. Investigating further, Tom and Jake (who unexpectedly shows up) discover the aliens. Ricky is shot by Tazer with a dart-like "mind control plug", allowing the aliens to control him via a remote. The aliens, called "Zirkonians", lay claim to the planet and make Ricky attack the boys, but Tom and Jake manage to escape with Hannah and the twins' help. Tazer shoots them with mind control plugs but they fall off harmlessly; the devices do not work on kids.

The kids decide to protect the adults by keeping the aliens' existence a secret. Tom creates a potato gun and they repel the first alien attack from the attic. In the process, they obtain Ricky's controller and turn him against the aliens. The kids try to call 911, but Sheriff Doug Armstrong (Tim Meadows) doesn't believe them and sternly scolds them, thinking it was a false alarm.

The kids orchestrate a scheme to get the adults out of the house and then ambush the aliens as they try to reach the basement via the air vents, causing the gentle Sparks to become separated. He meets Hannah and they become friends. Unlike his alien cohorts, Sparks hates battle and just wants to return to his family. He helps the kids by making weapons for them and revealing his teammates are after a machine buried under the basement for many years that will allow the Zirkonians to invade the planet. The kids forgot about their grandmother, and the aliens mind control her, which gives her superhuman strength and agility, but they obtain her controller, and she defeats Ricky (now back under alien control) in a scene reminiscent of a fighting video game. However, the aliens manage to capture Jake and Sparks, whom they need to complete their mission.

The kids finally reveal to Bethany the events that are taking place. The five of them rescue Jake in the basement. Ricky then insults Tom and the others and breaks up with Bethany because she always talks about feelings and family. The children attack the aliens and rescue Sparks, but Skip succeeds in using the enlarging machine, growing to 30 feet tall, and calls the Zirkonian invasion ships. They defeat him and shrink him again. Tazer and Razor (who have fallen in love) flee, while Skip is sucked into the machine, which was damaged in the process and explodes. Sparks calls off the invasion and returns home after saying goodbye. Tom and Stuart reconcile and the rest of the vacation goes back to normal, except the kids have grown closer during their adventure. In the distance, Skip, who has been shrunk to an even smaller size than before, appears bent on revenge, but meets his demise when a crow grabs him.

Cast

  • Carter Jenkins as Thomas "Tom" Pearson
  • Austin Butler as Jake Pearson
  • Ashley Tisdale as Bethany Pearson
  • Ashley Boettcher as Hannah Pearson
  • Robert Hoffman as Richard "Ricky" Dillman
  • Henri Young as Art Pearson
  • Regan Young as Lee Pearson
  • Kevin Nealon as Stuart "Stu" Pearson
  • Gillian Vigman as Nina Pearson
  • Andy Richter as Nate Pearson
  • Doris Roberts as Nana Rose Pearson
  • Tim Meadows as Sheriff Doug Armstrong
  • Malese Jow as Julie
  • Megan Parker as Brooke
  • Maggie VandenBerghe as Annie Filkins

Voice cast

Awards and nominations

  • 2009 Teen Choice Awards
    • Movie Star: Female – Ashley Tisdale (Nomination)
  • 2010 Young Artist Awards
    • Young Ensemble Cast: Megan Parker, Henri Young, Regan Young, Austin Robert Butler, Carter Jenkins (Nomination)

Video game

A video game based on the film was released on August 4, 2009, developed by Revistronic and published by Playlogic. The game features the storyline of the film and is available for Wii, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS and Microsoft Windows. The game also offers players two different gameplay perspectives depending upon which video game platform players choose. The game allows the player to play as Tom, Hannah, Jake, Art, Lee, Bethany or Sparks, Skip, Tazer and Razor across 15 levels.

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