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A lonely unsociable man named Willard discovers a colony of rats who have established their nest in his basement. He hides his finding from his dying mother. Both mother and child have trouble recovering from the death of Willardís father.

When Willard goes back to his sales position in the business founded by his father, he discovers a new employee sitting in his chair. His boss, an egocentric and avaricious man, harshly lets him know of his poor sales performance and humiliates him in front of the personnel.

Willard quickly abandons his hunt for rats. He baptizes a white-haired rat Socrates and the biggest one of the group Ben. Willard is surprised to discover his incredible affinity with these mammals: he can command them! Willard has, for once in his life, something that no one can take away. His thirst for revenge greatens and his boss will feel his wrath.





It is hard to hope for anything more than a generic horror movie when it features a colony of insects or small animals. It is a big achievement for Willard to break the clichť and implement subtlety and psychology.

The realization is impeccable, the roles are a bit caricaturized but are very well played. The soundtrack gives the film an old style even though the action takes place in the present. It is ideal because Willard practically has to live his fatherís life, taking care of his sick mother in a decrepit home. I have rarely seen an actor as powerful as Crispin Glover (Willard) whether it be to bury his hatred with sorrow or to explode with rage and sobs.

Then, there are the rats. Willard assigns a distinctive identity to the colonyís two extremes: the little white rat (Socrates) and the big dark one (Ben). Willard sees the miniature world he created for himself become reality. While he gives all his love to Socrates, Ben observes them with his deep eyes. Socrates and Ben seem to be the only ones who can lead the colony but Willard knows they donít have the same goals. Willard doesnít like Ben and this summarizes half of the filmís plot.

It isnít a violent film and the story doesnít take grandiose proportions. Some will be bored but will have to admit to having a certain interest. From start to finish, Willard reveals many surprises.

Final Thoughts

Buy Me!

Memorables aspects
- Willard and his rats in the elevator.

Memorables characters
- Willard (Crispin Glover)

Released in: 2003

Movie type: Horror - Thriller - Fantasy - Drama

Films in similar category:
Chasing Sleep
Kiss the Girls
Along Came a Spider

My evaluation
The users (11742 votes)

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( 2004-04-29 )  

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