This is the story of Willard Stiles who is a social misfit taking care of his ill and fragile but verbally abusive mother Henrietta in a musty old mansion that is also home to a colony of rats. Willard then finds himself constantly humiliated in front of his co-workers and is eventually fired by his cruel and uncaring boss, Mr. Frank Martin, a vicious man whose professional interest in Willard extends to a personal financial one. Written by
Anthony Pereyra <email@example.com>
Glen Morgan's Willard isn't your ordinary mainstream remake! Unlike the bombastic and computerized money-making films like oh, I don't know Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 13 Ghosts and Dawn of the Dead who're merely loud updates of classic horrific tales. Willard is a modest and respectful production that lays the stress on atmosphere and scenery instead of gory effects and good-looking young flesh. Willard is the tale of an extremely introvert middle-aged man (lives with his needy mother, no girlfriend, stuck in a hopeless job) who discover his ability to control and command little rodents rats in particular. By communicating with these rats, he finally discovers what friendship feels like and it also gives him the opportunity to satisfy his deepest feelings of anger and vengeance towards his boss Frank Martin. But the mob of rats slowly turns against Willard as he doesn't treat them alike. Thanks to the depressing scenery (Willard's old house, the morbid factory) and the under-exposure at times, Willard often looks like a 40's chiller! There's a good and constant variation of tension and sadistic humor, with the cat-chase as the absolute highlight to state this. Crispin Glover the man with the most incomprehensible cult following in the film industry is brilliantly cast as Willard. His goofy yet spooky charisma fits his character really well. R. Lee Ermey receives the change to be his old boisterous self again as the dreary factory-owner who's out to destroy Willard life. To conclude the cast, Laura Harding is very charming as the understanding and helpful Cathryn. This film may not show as many bloodshed and eccentric slaughtering as the nowadays public demands, but it surely made an impression on me. Willard is a very atmospheric and often frightening horror storytelling with some adorable fairy-tale aspects and playfully imaginative aspects. Highly recommended. I saw this film at a during a festival-night after a series of gory slashers. The over-enthusiast public didn't appreciate it that much but I trust in the fact that Willard will build up a solid cult reputation.
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