Willard (2003)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi  |  14 March 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 14,890 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 213 user | 127 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

A young man with an unusual connection to rats uses them at his own sociopathic will.



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Complete credited cast:
Cathryn (as Laura Elena Harring)
Mrs. Stiles
Ashlyn Gere ...
Ms. Leach (as Kimberly Patton)
William S. Taylor ...
Mr. Garter
Edward Horn ...
Gus Lynch ...
George Foxx
Laara Sadiq ...
Janice Mantis
Detective Boxer
Officer Salmon


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 <hypersonic91@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rat | revenge | work | at work | vermin | See All (90) »


This Spring Stand Up And Bite Back See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for terror/violence, some sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

14 March 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Vingança de Willard  »

Box Office


$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,010,593 (USA) (14 March 2003)


$107,689 (Hong Kong) (16 May 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Over five-hundred rats were used and subject to extensive training before being put on the set. The rats were set into categories for the actions they would perform. See more »


The same box of Christmas ornaments appears both in the Stileses' master bedroom closet and in the office storeroom. See more »


[first lines]
Willard's Mother: Willard! There are rats in the basement!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Second Unit Chef Dave Carlson's credit is listed as: Cater to the Stars...DAVID CARLSON See more »


Featured in The Year of the Rat (2003) See more »


Written by Walter Scharf and Don Black
Performed by Jackson 5
Courtesy of Motown Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

Genre expectations tainted most viewers
25 March 2004 | by (Ohio, USA) – See all my reviews

People who hated this movie went to see it with the preconceived notion that rats would be doing a lot bloodier leg work for Willard. What they got was a movie wherein Crispin Glover kisses his best rattie friend and slowly ambles toward insanity.

Willard has flaws, and plenty of them, but they rarely detract from what is, at heart, a psychological parable and subtle love story. Crispin Glover's performance is one of his most genuinely human and believable, evoking ugly emotions rarely seen in Hollywood, while still retaining a manic kind of dignity.

You can hardly fault New Line for marketing Willard as a horror flick, since that is what would inevitably sell better. But Willard is really more of a movie for people who genuinely like rats, not those who fear them. It's a movie for people who find greater horror in failure and abuse and solitude than buckets of blood and gore. Willard is the kind of movie that aims to make you uncomfortable, but not truly horrified. It uses few of the common elements of the horror movie, including graphic violence, deformity, fear of the unknown, and sudden, unexpected movement or loud noises to propel you from your seat. It is slow moving and subtle, and often uses crude humor to detract from the more creepy moments. It shows itself as a juvenile in those moments, a child who has put on his father's suit and is masquerading as a serious adult. It is much like the character of Willard, in that sense, and the coincidence is almost admirable.

The movie is unquestionably more subtle, evocative, and well-crafted than its predecessor; it is also more faithful to the original novel, Ratman's Notebooks, than the version starring Bruce Davison. It's a dubious honor, some might say.

Willard deserves no prizes, but it is well-made to be what it is... not a horror movie, nor a drama, nor a thriller. It's an intimate little movie about a boy and his rat, and it is all the better for it.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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unlike Williard, Do not hold rats by the tail! robin-285
This movie really disturbed me DramaCutie54
anyone else upset.... meganchughes
Worth renting?! keepit_simple
Willards Mom friggen_crap
Rat movies in general bhmllr
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