Monday, March 08, 2021

Stay Out of the F**king Attic, on Shudder

Take it from me, moving a collection of LPs is no picnic. However, your still better of schlepping vinyl than boxing up a creepy old house like this one. The owner is paying a hefty bonus to have all the work done by morning, but the weird noises and his sinister belongings will be quite a distraction in Jerren Lauder’s Stay Out of the F**king Attic, which premieres this Thursday on Shudder.

Schillinger is an ex-con, who sort of made good with his Second Chance Moving service. He gets enough work to employ Imani, his sort of girlfriend, and his newest hire, Carlos. Vern, who looks like a somewhat shorter Angus Scrimm, contracted their services, but he has strange requirements. All his junk has to be out by morning, but they don’t have to worry about the attic and basement. In fact, they are supposed to stay the asterisk out.

The old weirdo waves around enough cash for the three movers to agree to his terms. Unfortunately, as the box up his clutter, they start noticing an unsettling pattern. It seems like Vern has some sort of National Socialist fetish. Mengele in particular seems to hold a peculiar fascination for him. Schillinger can pick up on it better than his employees, because of his Neo-Nazi prison affiliation, which he now deeply regrets.

Let’s be frank, exploiting Mengele and his crimes against humanity for grubby horror movie thrills is a dubious proposition. We tried to give the film sufficient latitude to proves its good intentions, but when one of the characters gets caught in a Zyklon-B death trap, we have to throw the bad taste penalty flag. Honestly, in an era when Gina Carano gets canceled for a not-particularly-well-thought-out social media post discussing divisive Nazi tactics (which didn’t really say what you maybe think it did), a film like this is asking for far worse. Yet, people of good conscious should not wish to see Lauder canceled any more than Carano.

That said, watching
Attic just makes you feel gross. It is a real shame too, because there is some really enjoyable chemistry that develops during the first act between Ryan Francis, Morgan Alexandria, and Bryce Fernelius, as Schillinger, Imani, and Carlos. If they were just moving boxes in a conventionally haunted house this could have been a pleasantly enjoyable horror movie. Unfortunately, it just goes to places that are well beyond entertaining exploitation.

This is a bad film that embraces lurid shock value at the expense of taste and good citizenship. (The mere suggestion that a monster like Mengele could still be alive could be painful to the family members of his victims.) However, everyone involved in its making should have the opportunity to do better in future films. Nonetheless, there is no earthly reason for you to inflict this flick on yourself. Not recommended,
Stay Out of the F**king Attic starts streaming this Thursday (3/11), on Shudder.