“They’re Coming to Get You, Barbara” – Attack of the Adult Babies (DVD Review)

Rating:

A tense family game sessions ends when the family in question become the subject of an home invasion that is more than it seems, whilst a group of women act as “nurse for some of the most influential men on the planet” who have very dark secrets of their own.  The two groups collide as they fight to escape from a dark cabal that runs the world… and have a penchant for being adult babies.

Dominic Brunt is best known as Paddy in the British series Emmerdale, but outside of that he’s got quite the history of quirky film credits as producer or director.  This is a homage to horror films of the past, specifically a mix of exploitation and Hammer Horror with a thick streak of humour in a script by Joanne Mitchell and Paul Shrimpton.

There’s touches of Inside No 9 and League of Gentlemen to Attack of the Adult Babies that play on the outlandish premise and the characters within it.  It takes swipes at the upper classes and how wealth and power go hand in hand without it dragging down the story that is being told, and what a story it is.

There are many films that try to pay homage or parody old exploitation films, yet miss the mark entirely, Attack of the Adult Babies is spot on for every minute of its 84 minute run time.  It’s never too heavy as a film, or weighed down by its own ambition; this is a film that is entirely committed to the comedy horror genre, and it will certainly put a broad smile on your face when it’s not making you laugh.

The cast is superb right across the board and well led by Kurtis Lowe, as the socially awkward Tim, and Mica Proctor as his step sister, Kim.  Andrew Dunn’s role as the father, George, is wonderfully executed, equally gruff and, at times, hopeless.  Dunn’s character gels so well with his on-screen children – as does Kate Coogan as Sandra – it feels like a proper family unit that the viewer can believe in.

Elsewhere, Nurse Margaret (Sally Dexter) channels the type of strict matriarch that you’d expect in Nazi exploitation films, along with Joanne Mitchell as her disturbed sidekick, Clinton.  Add to this a slew of familiar British faces, and it’s a recipe for success. The performances, throughout, are tongue-in-cheek without it ever being a “knowing wink” to the camera.

The cinematography and location work is yet another strong point to the film, with Geoff Boyle giving the film a truly cinematic feel at times, whilst capturing the intimacy of the characters and some of the most humorous interludes to the action that you’re likely to see on film in this genre (the lift and George attempting to start a bike shouldn’t work, but do!)  There’s as much work put into the visual humour as there is in the laugh-out-loud dialogue.

The scenes of gore are reassuringly over the top and there’s a few reaction shots that, rightfully, will raise more than a chuckle in their execution.  It’s a film that, from the very start (with the silly game of Bing Bong), through to the modern take on the old-school intermission and right to the end, including its rather unexpected head-trip of CGI and animation, knows exactly what it’s setting out to achieve and hits every beat that it needs to in order to make it work.

And, just when you think the film couldn’t get any weirder, it hits you with a curveball ending that will, hopefully, lead to a follow up film.  If nothing else, it’d be great to see the writing team bring together the cast again for another outlandish exploit.

A premise that should have fallen flat during many of its outlandish moments, Attack of the Adult Babies will put a smile on the face of any comedy horror lover.

Dir: Dominic Brunt

Scr:  Joanne Mitchell, Paul Shrimpton

Cast: Kurtis Lowe, Kate Coogan, Sally Dexter, Andrew Dunn, Mica Proctor

Country: United Kingdom

Year: 2017

Runtime: 84 mins

Attack of the Adult Babies is released on 18th June 2018