Stay Out of the F**king Attic
by George Wolf
Big, old, empty houses are creepy, right? Lots of dark, musty spaces to get the imagination conjuring up all manner of nasty things that might be lurking.
There are some nasty things lurking in Shudder’s Stay Out of the F**king Attic, but the way they’re conjured leans more toward laborious and silly.
Shillinger (Ryan Francis), Imani (Morgan Alexandria) and Carlos (Bryce Fernelius) are three ex-cons working for the Second Chance moving company. When they show up to move the elderly Vern (Michael Flynn) out of his mansion, he surprises them with a hard-to-resist offer.
If the three will work through the night to get the job done by morning, Vern will reward them with a nice chunk of cash. Two things, though: stay out of the attic and the basement.
Bet they don’t.
The use of the edited F**king in the title suggests a mischievous, knowing tone that got off the bus in a totally different zip code than director/co-writer Jerren Lauder. That’s too bad, because this film is in serious need of lightening up.
Almost every element – from performances to dialog to cheesy score to practical creature effects – lands as stilted and overly staged. Though Flynn does make an effective villain and one particular creature ain’t half bad, even the brisk 80-minute run of Lauder’s feature debut seems like an overstayed welcome.
As our Second Chance movers uncover secrets about Vern (and each other), Lauder leans on body horror closeups and weak jump scares on the way to a big reveal that is bigly ridiculous.
Shudder’s been on an impressive run of originals lately, which makes this misfire a little surprising. Here’s hoping Lauder’s second chance will be a bit more worthy of the investment.