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What Is It? is a bewildering, unnerving, surreal, blackly comic film from the visionary mind of Crispin Glover that tells the inner and outer struggles of a young man facing villains and demons on multiple planes.
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Andrew William Mariano Jr.
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>
Before you let the advertising fool you, understand that "Willard" isn't exactly your normal horror flick. I know that the marketing people tried to put all the scary bits into the trailer and such, but I urge you to reconsider your views on it.
The movie itself is more of an in-depth character study. It follows the events that lead one man into the pits of insanity, taking you along for the ride. Forget "Psycho," (Which was an awesome film in its own right) though the movie does have Norman Bates/Hitchcock elements. We're taken from lonely, shy, and sad, to hollering, glaring, weeping, and finally, silent. Only one man was tailor-made for this role...and that man was Mr. Glover.
Through every blink, every wide-eyed stare, the audience is drawn into the character. We believe in his connection with the rats, and marvel at his ability to train them. And when he gets even with Mr. Martin, we celebrate.
And I loved the undoubted sexual frustration that Willard is feeling. It's more apparent in one of the deleted scenes on the DVD. But the writer didn't succumb to this frustration; he let it build.
All of this combines to form one of the greatest character movies I have ever seen, and probably will ever see. I must say that this is one movie I will not soon forget...
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