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Film / Aliens in the Attic

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Aliens in the Attic is a basic "kids save the planet from invasion" movie. The story follows the five Pearson children trying to stop four surprisingly outmatched aliens from taking over the planet. The mind control plugs that are to be the aliens' only weapons don't work on anyone under 18, so they have to defeat an alien invasion without involving their parents or the authorities.

This movie exhibits the following tropes:

  • Adults Are Useless: Hand Waved to an annoying extent. They don't even bother trying to get adult help. Though it's justified, if adults tried to help out, they're liable to being turned by the mind control plug.
  • Alien Invasion
  • Alpha Bitch: Both Bethany and Razer both fall into this category at times. Subverted by Bethany towards the climax of the film however.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The mind control plugs. Also, the molecular expander machine that the aliens came here to get.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The alien's master plan is to dig up a device that makes them two stories tall.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Tazer and Razor.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Tom, Jake, Art, and Lee are all pretty protective of Hannah.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Tom.
  • Butt-Monkey: Ricky. (Not that he doesn't deserve every second of it.)
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  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Only applies to Tom, who gets in trouble for everything everyone else does.
    Mr. Pearson: (to the Sheriff) Look, the kids made a big mistake, and I assure you Tom will be punished.
  • Cassandra Truth: Hannah tells the adults about the aliens right away, but they don't believe her.
  • Competence Zone: The alien Mind-Control Device only works on adults (with an arbitrary cut-off apparently around 18), so it's not even worth telling them anything.
  • Defcon Five: Averted.
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: Six kids and one turncoat is all it takes.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Barring the opening and ending scenes, the entire movie takes place over a single day.
  • Fanservice: Ashley Tisdale wears a bikini twice in this relatively short movie.
  • Groin Attack: Ricky suffers three of these, the last of which he was forced to inflict upon himself.
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  • Hate Sink: Ricky is a Jerkass college student who dates a teenage girl four years younger than him, bullies her family, and breaks up with her for petty reasons. Needless to say, his Butt-Monkey status is entirely deserved.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: The kids manage to use a mind-controlled adult against the invaders because the Mind Control remotes work like game controllers.
  • Jerkass: Ricky, even worse when considering he's actually a college student trying to take advantage of a high schooler.
  • Laborious Laziness: Tom is accused of this when he gets Cs and Ds in his report but manages to hack the school computer system to give himself As and Bs; as his father points out, if he's smart enough to hack the system he's smart enough to get the good grades in the first place. This is justified as Tom was deliberately "dumbing down" to try and fit in with the other kids.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Tom's cousin Jake attempts to just attack the aliens with his paintball gun and various tools taken from the basement, which results in them triggering their anti-gravity weapon before Tom shows up and convinces his cousins to form a clearer plan.
  • Mind-Control Device: Pretty much the only weapon the aliens have. And it uses a video game controller!
  • Not Now, Kiddo: The youngest girl does actually tell the parents, but they assume she's just playing. She also calls the police, which results in the sheriff showing up to berate them for making prank calls.
  • Pac-Man Fever: The kids get affected with a grenade that makes them all float and one of the twins says: "They turned off the gravity like in Halo!" What? Critical Research Failure doesn't begin to describe that.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: It's okay for the main characters to completely humiliate the admittedly Jerkass boyfriend because hey, it's fine if the good guys do it (to be fair, he deliberately sent them into dangerous situations even before the aliens showed up, and most of the time they just rely on the mind control system to use him as a distraction).
  • Puny Earthlings: Inverted: The aliens are barely over a foot tall and only one shows above human intelligence. This doesn't stop them from referring to the humans as such, though.
    • Played straight when Skip and Tazer use the molecule expander.
  • Rule of Cool: Nana versus Ricky: An eighty-year-old woman and the older sister's Jerkass boyfriend have a Matrix-style battle while under the influence of mind control plugs. The pinnacle of this sequence: Nana - AKA Raymond's Mom - beaning Ricky with an honest-to-God Shoryuken.
  • Separated from the Adults: Enforced by the above-mentioned mind control device's odd inability to affect children and teens.
  • Shout-Out: At one point the aliens watch The Mask of Zorro on a TV in the attic.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Hannah often gives these, such as insisting that the contents of a metal box are "definitely not an alien", but justified as she's only six.
  • Swallow the Key: Skip makes a mind-controlled Ricky do this for good measure after locking the basement door to keep the Pearson kids from interfering in their plans.
  • Token Good Teammate: Sparks dislikes the idea of conquering Earth at the start of the invasion, and swiftly comes to sympathise with the humans.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The parents and sheriff. *monumental bizarre explosion in the sky* "Ooh, what a pretty meteor shower!"
  • Two Girls to a Team: Bethany and Hannah are the only girls in the main cast, and Bethany spends half the film unaware of the crisis.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Tazer and Razor.