STAY OUT OF THE F**KING ATTIC (aka STAY OUT OF THE ATTIC, 2020)
Directed by Jerren Lauder.
Written by Jason Scott Goldberg, Jesse Federman, Julie Auerbach, Jerren Lauder.
Starring Ryan Francis, Morgan Alexandria, Bryce Fernelius, Michael Flynn, Brynne Hurlbutt, Avery Pizzuto, Garrett McClellan
When three movers agree to pull an all-nighter for triple the pay, they are already planning on what they’ll spend their money on. But the once they get in the old house and see some of the things the eccentric client has collected, the more things point to him being a refugee from WWII and not one of the good guys. Leaving specific orders not to go into the attic or the basement, of course, the crew eventually find themselves in both and wishing they had never taken the job in the first place.
STAY OUT OF THE F**KING ATTIC swipes a lot from better films like Wes Craven THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS as it features a spooky old house of horrors spiced up with racial and political overtones. Craven’s classic wasn’t necessarily subtle about the race and class issues, as it literally has the community rising up against the Old World thinkers who live in the spooky house and exploit the neighborhood. STAY OUT OF THE F**KING ATTIC isn’t subtle either, as each member of the crew have their class and race issues to deal with. We know this because they seem to find more time to discuss these various issues than actually working and at the rate they were going, even before they discover the horrific experiments in the house, they weren’t going to be getting the job done. Much of the time is spent explaining backstory for the boss Albert (Ryan Francis) whose prison tats indicate that he used to be a Neo-Nazi skinhead, crew #1 Imani (Morgan Alexandria) who spent her time in the clink because of her anger issues, and crew #2 Calos (Bryce Fernelius) a former addict who now saves every penny to put his daughter into college. Each has a story of woe and dreams of riches for the future and while I can appreciate director Jerren Lauder giving each character time to breathe and three-dimensionalize, a lot of it feels like filler to stall before the horror happens. Once the scares do occur, there are a few good ones, but I’d have preferred a little less jawing and maybe a few more monsters in this house of horrors to take on the good guys than what we got.
But the biggest problem seems to be that the filmmaker is so much in love with the characters that he doesn’t want to let any of them die. No one dies in STAY OUT OF THE F**CKING ATTIC, at least none of the good guys. And sorry, this is a horror film, and it’s kind of a thing that some of the innocent have to die. And these movers aren’t even innocent. Even the former Nazi makes it to the final reel. Sure the monsters get kakked and of course the Nazi running it all is put down, but having the credits roll even before what looks to be a big fight scene is definitely a big let down when it comes to a horror movie.
This is definitely a low budgeter. The size of the cast, the amount of yapping time, and the limited amount of monsters indicate that. STAY OUT OF THE F**KING ATTIC offers up a lot of potential—a house of horrors filled with failed Nazi experiments, but delivers only a fraction of all of that. I would have preferred the filmmakers waited a bit and maybe saved a few more pennies in order to have the script match the potential or at least adjust the script to not hint at such big scares and deliver so few.