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on June 24, 2005
Peter Weller is a man on his way up fast in the business world. He has personally renovated a NY brownstone and is up for an important position at work. But then two things happen. First his wife and son go off to Vermont to visit her family. Second, a very large rat moves in. What follows is a sort of modern-day retelling of THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA (complete with clips from the movie).

As Peter becomes aware of the rat and begins to try and deal with it, he slowly becomes obsessed with freeing his home of the unwanted invader. Obsession grows and Weller sinks deeper and deeper. Work begins to suffer and his secretary and boss begin to worry about him. But whatever the hardship, Weller, like the Old Man, will not let up for a moment. I found the ending of the movie to be quite satisfying with the final lines very neatly tying the whole tale up neatly.

Some may think of this as horror, some suspense, and some tragedy. There are definitely elements of all three involved but any such label would bee to simple for what this movie really is. This is not a very well-known film but it deserves more exposure.
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on September 18, 2007
When I was little I had a fear of rats and this movie made it even worse.It terrified me.I still watched it over and over though.Many years later I finally saw it again and it still scared me though I found out is wasn't so much about the rat but about this mans obsession with destroying it.
It starts when his wife and young son go on vacation to visit her parents.Soon after Peter starts encountering the rat.He tries to work and the rat is thumping against the ceiling.He tries setting rat poison and rat traps all to no avail.One night the rat comes out of the toilet while he was peeing.Another night after taking in a stray cat he finds it ripped up and killed.He goes to the basment and finds a nest of little rats only to be attacked.The attack scenes are pretty good and actually kind of chilling.The rat completely took over his life.One of my favorite scenes is at the business dinner when Peter starts to spew off all these random facts about rats.The final scene in which he completely destroys his house trying to kill this rat is awesome and shows just how obsessed he has become.
Overall this is a solid flick.It delivers a few nice scares,the music is eery and the setting is also cool.Peter Weller also gives a great and believable performance.Give this movie a chance and you will enjoy this.
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on September 4, 2003
I saw this on video back in the 80's, mostly because Peter Weller was in it, and he was (and still is) one of my favorite actors. He plays an NYC businessman who becomes obsessed with a really big and mean rat that's invaded the dreamhouse/brownstone he's personally restored. The filmmakers definitely had aspirations beyond just making a rat movie (at one point, Weller pounds on the ceiling with a copy of "Moby Dick"), but just as a rat movie, it succeeds beautifully: Increasingly scary and gory rat action, something the new version of "Willard" pretty much forgot to include. There's also a rat expert onhand, without which no good rat movie can do without - really two, if you count Weller's character, who starts spewing rat facts at inappropriate times at the movie goes on. (One of the great bits of dialogue goes something like this: "You're thinking of [the rat] maybe 10% of the time...but he's thinking of you 100% of the time..." Because he's a RAT, and rats is rats.) What really puts the movie over, aside from some pretty effective direction, is Weller's great performance as the businessman, who slowly starts to lose his grip the more he becomes obsessed with evicting the rat from his home. I'd rank it as one of the best performances in a horror film, up there with Jeff Goldblum in "The Fly." So, if you're into rat movies, it'd be hard to top this one for your viewing pleasure.
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on September 14, 2000
This movie is one of the most underated horror films that I have ever seen. Beautiful use of the long take and voyeuristic photography. It's very "Roman Polanski esque". Weller is perfect as the upscale New Yorker who becomes obsessed with a rodent invading his beautiful apartment. If you ever lived in a large city, this movie is a must see.
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on August 16, 2003
I'm a big horror buff. Now i have known about this one since it's theatrical release, but this little gem has managed to evade me for a viewing all these years! Thanks to DVD. I finally got to peep it out. I wasn't expecting much. But when the credits rolled I felt all warm and fuzzy for laying out the dough on this title!
Most the other reviewers here applaud Weller's performance. And I must say it's maybe even the strongest one I've seen from him.
He plays the family guy, whose wife (Shannon Tweed in her screen debut) takes the kid and goes off to vacation at her parent's. Weller's character can not go because he's trying to get a deal through at work that could give him a big promotion. Soon after his wife and kid leave, a pretty big damned rat infiltrates Weller's brownstone abode which he has obsessively renovated painstakingly by hand. Basically Weller is a neat freak! And when the rat begins to vandalize the house as rodent's do... He begins to go nutty and obsessive on how to get rid of it... And soon it's a battle of life and death over which one will be king of the castle!
While others associate this film to the likes of Ben and mayhaps even Food of the Gods. I found this film to be rather original! Probably mostly in part to superior characterizations which make the tale work damn good.
The ladies will most likely freak out on this one though. Let's just say the big rat get's quite brazen at times trying to take over the house as his territory! If you think you get it bad enough to keep the seat down! Well then... Don't let 'em see this one!
I think it's a pretty safe bet that well rounded horror afficandos will be pleased with purchasing this one. All others should try to give it the ole' rental first.
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on May 8, 2001
An urban "Moby Dick"! Suspenseful yet humorous with some purposely overblown rat scenes. (ONE rat, not "hordes.") The film is not a scary rat flick, (though it has some fright moments)--it's a psychological thriller about a man being drawn into obsession.
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on June 26, 2016
Movie made me afraid of Rats back in the day. Still get the creeps watching it today. It wasn't the fact of the size Rat in this film it was about all the rat information that they gave on it while the film is going on making you think just how dangerous these creatures are and of course see this huge Rat doesn't help the senses either.
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on July 12, 2011
Let's paint a portrait of our protagonist. Peter Weller plays a proud father and husband who is an all-round nice guy. He says good morning to the newspaper stand lady every morning on his walk to his cushy corporate job. He has a stunning home which was apparently professionally decorated with all accoutrements indicating affluence. He's also up for a big promotion and, if he gets it, he won't have to struggle paying the mortgage on his gorgeous, recently renovated home. You know, white people problems.
So this movie is essentially about a rat that drives this man insane while his wife and child are out of town. It starts out with the use of almost humorous ominous shadows. When they start showing parts of the rat it is always wet and somewhat slimy looking as if it just took a bath in raw sewage. The rat-cam shots also offer a charming "rodent's eye-view" of things.

After calling in a work order on some burst pipes, Weller's eccentric plumber has no difficulty diagnosing that a rat was the cause. Weller sets out some traps which, when he checks them, look like a cartoon surfboard after a shark attack. This is no ordinary rat, but a super-rat! Weller accordingly ups his game from the categorical, antiquated mouse trap to devices which more closely resemble mini-bear traps and tiny Spanish Inquisition purification devices. He also gets into some clearly obsessive, unhealthy research, during which he finds some encyclopedia identifying that the scientific name for rats means "of unknown origin". Is this true? Don't know. Don't care. It works for me. Weller also finds some of the most vilifying articles and photos of "rat attacks" that one could imagine. With his newfound off-putting trivia Weller horrifies an entire dinner party ranting about disease.

Back to the battle on the home front, Weller's traps have been failing. He moves on to poison, which he purchases from another oddly fanatical anti-rat enthusiast. Then it's back to the plumber for an awkward strategy session. Both this vendor and his plumber, whom you would no sooner trust to watch your kids than a homeless crackhead, appear multiple times attesting to how evil, methodical and ferocious rats are.

This rat accomplishes a few unreasonable acts of sabotage. I won't explain how, but the rat actually prevents an exterminator from doing his job and even jeopardizes one of Weller's big accounts at work. Of course, it didn't do this before cutting the phone lines and the electricity. My lord, it's like an Al-Queda-trained rat with an MBA. Rather than simply calling the exterminator back, Weller using some sound problem-solving skills and recruits a stray cat. If it works in cartoons...right? This does not work out well for the cat. The rat even traps Weller with a rat trap.

Oh, did I forget to mention that there are numerous battle scenes between Weller and this wily rodent? The rat-attack scenes are precious. Imagine a rabid terrier assaulting a mailman--just tearing at his ankles...or in Gremlins when they were leaping onto people's backs. That's about the flavor of it. The ingenuity of some of the attacks is naturally ridiculous and always result the in destruction of a lot of expensive things. Realizing that it's time to step up his game again Weller goes all Gangs of New York and engineers a needlessly elaborate weapon. He even has a brief training montage which includes some Rocky¬-esque sweaty ab work.

In the end, Weller does emerge victorious--I guess. He smashes the rat while it's hiding in a doll house which unsubtly looks exactly like Weller's house. I'll bet the director was just so proud of this clever symbolism: that he had to destroy his house to destroy the rat. How deep.

Was this plot reasonable?
Absolutely not!
Did Weller handle this situation the right way?
Absolutely not!
Did I like this silly movie any less for these faults?
Absolutely not!
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on March 3, 2003
the movie had some week points , but the man's obsession with the rat, was very real. a must see ,i am looking to buy it on dvd ,thanks chris
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 16, 2003
I'm a big horror buff. Now i have known about this one since it's theatrical release, but this little gem has managed to evade me for a viewing all these years! Thanks to DVD. I finally got to peep it out. I wasn't expecting much. But when the credits rolled I felt all warm and fuzzy for laying out the dough on this title!
Most the other reviewers here applaud Weller's performance. And I must say it's maybe even the strongest one I've seen from him.
He plays the family guy, whose wife (Shannon Tweed in her screen debut) takes the kid and goes off to vacation at her parent's. Weller's character can not go because he's trying to get a deal through at work that could give him a big promotion. Soon after his wife and kid leave, a pretty big damned rat infiltrates Weller's brownstone abode which he has obsessively renovated painstakingly by hand. Basically Weller is a neat freak! And when the rat begins to vandalize the house as rodent's do... He begins to go nutty and obsessive on how to get rid of it... And soon it's a battle of life and death over which one will be king of the castle!
While others associate this film to the likes of Ben and mayhaps even Food of the Gods. I found this film to be rather original! Probably mostly in part to superior characterizations which make the tale work damn good.
The ladies will most likely freak out on this one though. Let's just say the big rat get's quite brazen at times trying to take over the house as his territory! If you think you get it bad enough to keep the seat down! Well then... Don't let 'em see this one!
I think it's a pretty safe bet that well rounded horror afficandos will be pleased with purchasing this one. All others should try to give it the ole' rental first.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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