Review: ‘Stay Out of the Attic’ Is a Clever Rotten House Movie But With a Disjointed Foundation

There’s always a house. The one home in the neighborhood or at its edge that just looms over the rest. Be it bad history or appearance, it’s one to be avoided at all costs. Unless you’re paid to go in.  This is the situation Second Chance Movers find themselves in. A trio of ex-cons led by Schillinger (Ryan Francis) and his associates Carlos (Bryce Fernelius) and Imani (Morgan Alexandria) have been hired by the elderly Vern (Michael Flynn, The Outpost) to move him out that night. He’s even throwing in thousands of dollars in bonuses. But he has one specific rule… stay out of the attic. Needless to say, they do the opposite of that. Soon however, the trio find themselves drawn there and discover all manner of grisly clues to their employer’s true identity…

Stay Out of the Attic or by it’s other more vulgar title Stay Out of the F*****g Attic! has a real 70’s vibe to it for a number of reasons. Not the least of which being the Nazisploitation aspects of the story. Which isn’t really a spoiler, it’s made rather clear in the trailer and becomes a plot point soon enough. The summery promises booby traps, Nazi experiments, and monsters galore… but it sadly doesn’t quite live up to the hype. There is one girl who’s being experimented on who takes some focus and Vern does have a ghoulish experimental pet of sorts that he sends out on our three protagonists… but that’s pretty much it. And there’s a couple of messed up and Nazi aligned traps but they’re few, far between, and not so impressive.  The story is fairly typical, with some rather unsurprising twists and turns. It’s a bad house run by a Nazi. That’s basically it.

The real highlights are the performances. The three leads make for a unique dynamic as ex-cons from different backgrounds and pasts who you can genuinely believe to be fire forged friends in a deadly situation. It’s easy to empathize with each of their plights and the dialogue between them is some of the most memorable in the entire film. You do not want to see them die, a hard thing to pull off for a horror movie. And Michael Flynn does an excellent job as the fascist owner of the house with his own insidious past and goals. Every scene he’s in just oozes menace that he attempts to hide behind a razor thin veneer of affability.  But you can just tell that guy has some horrific intentions on his mind. The gore is well done, with a few scenes that made me cringe in my seat. Particularly the Nazi malpractice experiments that lead to a lot of eye gouging and bloodletting.

While Stay Out of the Attic isn’t breaking new ground, it’s still a pretty entertaining and brutal horror drama with some memorable characters and performances. If that fits your bill, you’ll fit right at home here even for just an overnight stay…

Stay Out of the Attic is now available to stream on Shudder

Image via IMDB