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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Review: Stay Out Of The F**ing Attic

Director: Jerren Lauder 

Screenplay: Jason Scott Goldberg, Jesse Federman, Jerren Lauder, and Julie Auerbach

Year: 2021

Three ex-convicts work for a moving company where they try to mend their ways and have a second chance. Their most recent work involves moving an older adult from an old victorian house, who offers them a good sum of money so that they finish the job overnight. As they do the work, the ex-convicts start finding things at the house that seem to hold ties with genetic experiments from the Nazi army. 

I have to admit that this movie’s promotional poster, which exhibits a generic font art, and its peculiar name created a conflict in me about what to expect from this new Shudder original. On the one hand, it seems to show that you are in front of a low-budget movie desperate for attention, and on the other, it seems you are in front of a brilliant flick. Well, in the end, is neither one nor the other. 

“Stay Away From The F**king Attic” is not a brilliant movie, and it will not be groundbreaking in the horror genre, but it sure is fun. Three ex-convicts trapped inside an old house at the mercy of an older man whose medical and scientific work seems to be tied to the Nazis is certainly an interesting and full of potential concept. To a certain extent, it reminded me of “The Owners”, with which it holds mani similarities, but with a less charismatic villain and more entertaining overall.

The first half of the movie leans more on the slower side, and it’s better enjoyed if you don’t know what it is about, something I already spoiled in the first lines of this review. The first scenes from the debut movie of the director Jerren Lauder and writers Jason Scott Goldberg, Jesse Federman, Jerren Lauder, and Julie Auerbach (“Babysitter Must Die”), shows the protagonist trio of  Schill (Ryan Francis; “Hook”), Imani (Morgan Alexandria), and Carlos (Bryce Fernelius) and their actual condition as they start Vern’s (Michel Flynn; “The Hollow Point”) move. The chemistry among the trio is excellent from the get-go, and it’s what helps keeping the viewer interested as the plot establishes, as well and Vern’s intimidating presence, who gives bad news vibes since the first time we see him. 

While the ex-convicts pack and carry stuff out of the house, they start uncovering stranger and stranger things that put them on high alert and concurrently raise the movie’s tension and suspense. Once it is revealed who Vern really is and the secrets the house holds, the rhythm changes instantly, and the tension shift to pure body horror. Deformed humanoids, syringes, eyes, and other mutilated body parts, “Stay Out Off The F**king Attic” effectively transforms all the tension it builds up during the first half into full brutality, which works thanks to the great chemistry established among the characters that make us interested in them.

“Stay Out Off The F**king Attic” is not a profound or groundbreaking movie in the horror genre, but it is fun, particularly for fans of body horror and gore, and one that will certainly put on the map the group of young filmmakers involved in it. The key for it to work falls in the actors’ shoulders in how they interpret their characters and the chemistry among them that, besides a great job from the cast, also reflects great direction. Additionally, the gore is one of its best assets, with raw body horror scenes that showcase a masterful use of practical special effects.

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