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Willard (2003)

3.9 out of 5 stars 161 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Willard (DVD)

Life has become one big trap for 32-year-old Willard Stiles. Haunted by the ghost of his dead father, psychologically suffocated by his mother and ridiculed by his co-workers, Willard makes an eerie discovery: he shares a powerful bond with the rats that dwell in his basement. Suddenly, Willard has friends -- hundreds of them! But a storm is brewing, and when tragedy strikes, an unstoppable tide of hungry, merciless rats rampage, seeking vengeance for their friend Willard. Starring Crispin Glover ("Back to the Future," "Charlie's Angels"), Golden Globe-nominee R. Lee Ermey ("Seven," "Full Metal Jacket"), Laura Elena Harring ("Mulholland Dr.," "The Punisher"), and Jackie Burroughs ("Heavy Metal," "Lost and Delirious").

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Special Features

Audio Commentary: Director Glen Morgan, producer James Wong, Crispin Glover and R. Lee Ermey Deleted Scenes: 12 Deleted Scenes Documentaries: "Year of the Rat" - Behind-the-scenes Documentary on the making of Willard "Rat People-Friend or Foe?" Documentary Music Video: Crispin Hellion Glover's "Ben" w/optional commentary TV Spot: Three TV spotsAudio Commentary: Director Glen Morgan, producer James Wong, Crispin Glover and R. Lee Ermey Deleted Scenes: 12 Deleted Scenes Documentaries: "Year of the Rat" - Behind-the-scenes Documentary on the making of Willard "Rat People-Friend or Foe?" Documentary Music Video: Crispin Hellion Glover's "Ben" w/optional commentary TV Spot: Three TV spotsAudio Commentary: Director Glen Morgan, producer James Wong, Crispin Glover and R. Lee Ermey Deleted Scenes: 12 Deleted Scenes Documentaries: "Year of the Rat" - Behind-the-scenes Documentary on the making of Willard "Rat People-Friend or Foe?" Documentary Music Video: Crispin Hellion Glover's "Ben" w/optional commentary TV Spot: Three TV spotsAudio Commentary: Director Glen Morgan, producer James Wong, Crispin Glover and R. Lee Ermey Deleted Scenes: 12 Deleted Scenes Documentaries: "Year of the Rat" - Behind-the-scenes Documentary on the making of Willard "Rat People-Friend or Foe?" Documentary Music Video: Crispin Hellion Glover's "Ben" w/optional commentary TV Spot: Three TV spotsAudio Commentary: Director Glen Morgan, producer James Wong, Crispin Glover and R. Lee Ermey Deleted Scenes: 12 Deleted Scenes Documentaries: "Year of the Rat" - Behind-the-scenes Documentary on the making of Willard "Rat People-Friend or Foe?" Documentary Music Video: Crispin Hellion Glover's "Ben" w/optional commentary TV Spot: Three TV spotsAudio Commentary: Director Glen Morgan, producer James Wong, Crispin Glover and R. Lee Ermey Deleted Scenes: 12 Deleted Scenes Documentaries: "Year of the Rat" - Behind-the-scenes Documentary on the making of Willard "Rat People-Friend or Foe?" Documentary Music Video: Crispin Hellion Glover's "Ben" w/optional commentary TV Spot: Three TV spotsAudio Commentary: Director Glen Morgan, producer James Wong, Crispin Glover and R. Lee Ermey Deleted Scenes: 12 Deleted Scenes Documentaries: "Year of the Rat" - Behind-the-scenes Documentary on the making of Willard "Rat People-Friend or Foe?" Documentary Music Video: Crispin Hellion Glover's "Ben" w/optional commentary TV Spot: Three TV spotsAudio Commentary: Director Glen Morgan, producer James Wong, Crispin Glover and R. Lee Ermey Deleted Scenes: 12 Deleted Scenes Documentaries: "Year of the Rat" - Behind-the-scenes Documentary on the making of Willard "Rat People-Friend or Foe?" Documentary Music Video: Crispin Hellion Glover's "Ben" w/optional commentary TV Spot: Three TV spotsAudio Commentary: Director Glen Morgan, producer James Wong, Crispin Glover and R. Lee Ermey Deleted Scenes: 12 Deleted Scenes Documentaries: "Year of the Rat" - Behind-the-scenes Documentary on the making of Willard "Rat People-Friend or Foe?" Documentary Music Video: Crispin Hellion Glover's "Ben" w/optional commentary TV Spot: Three TV spots

Product Details

  • Actors: Crispin Glover, R. Lee Ermey, Laura Elena Harring, Jackie Burroughs
  • Directors: Glen Morgan
  • Writers: Glen Morgan
  • Producers: Glen Morgan, James Wong, Bill Carraro, Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2007
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AZT78
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,384 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Willard (2003)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

If you were expecting a "cool, killer animal" film, do not see this movie. If you were expecting a carbon copy of the original horror cult classic, do not see this film. The new "Willard" is not a bloody, slasher movie, despite how the trailers make it out to be. "Willard" is an intelligent, psychological thriller/drama about a lonely man (played excellently by my new favorite actor, Crispin Glover [another film he was great in was "Bartleby",...) who befriends a little white rat named Socrates, only to find that not only can he communicate with the rat, but the rat can send his communications off to the hundreds of other rats living in Willard's basement. He soon develops a great friendship with Socrates, and uses the rats for revenge. One of the other rats is a humongus fellow named Ben who desperately wants to be part of Willard's and Socrates' friendship, but Willard shuns Ben, and only uses him when he needs him. Well, I don't want to go into too much detail, but a sort of love triangle evolves with Willard, Socrates, and Ben. There is also a thing going on with Willard's mother, who lives with him, and Willard's horrible boss. Willard's and Socrate's relationship is truly endearing, creating a beautiful film. This film is perfect if you love rats, hate them, or just like Crispin Glover, as he really shines here. It is enhanced with very cool cinematography (with very little CGI- Ben is somewhere around nine pounds and he is a *real* rat), and good music. A must see!
Comment 29 of 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape
It appears that Crispin Glover is carving a niche for himself on the silver screen, playing slightly creepy, social misfits ("Back to the Future", "Bartleby"). In this re-make of the 1971 film of the same name that starred Bruce Davidson, Crispin Glover plays the title role, that of Willard Stiles.
Willard is a lonely young man who lives in a huge mansion from days gone by with his decaying, elderly mother (Jackie Burroughs). He works in the industrial plant that used to belong to his father, before it was stolen out from under him by Mr. Martin (R. Lee Ermey), the man who is now Willard's boss. Cruelly tormented at work by Mr. Martin and beset at home by his overbearing mother whom he loves in an obsessive Norman Bates type of way, Willard is just plain weird.
When he discovers that his home is plagued by rats, instead of exterminating them, he befriends one of them, a white rat whom he names Socrates, who is in command of the horde of rats that reside in the basement. His second in command is a huge brown rat whom Willard names Ben but whom he does not like. The horde of rats seem to live to do Willard's bidding. All that changes when the lovable Socrates meets a cruel and untimely end. That event totally unhinges both Willard and Ben, and therein lies the tale.
Directed by X Files graduate Glen Morgan, with superlative production values, the film has an inside joke that X File fans, such as myself, will appreciate. Look for the orange cat, appropriately named Scully after red head Gillian Anderson, who plays the role of the same name in the X Files series. Moreover, links to the original "Willard" film, upon which this one is predicated, abound in the film.
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Comment 24 of 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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"Willard," with Crispin Glover in the title role, was a more creepy, atmospheric film than a general horror film. At no time while watching it did I really ever feel scared, which disappointed me. I wanted, you know, to jump at least once, and you'd figure that'd be par for the course in a film filled with so many rats. But it didn't happen, for it turns out that the "Willard" remake doesn't aspire to be that kind of horror movie. It's more "Edward Scissorhands" and "Psycho" than "Urban Legend," thank God.
The constantly underrated, creepy Crispin Glover is absolutely perfect in the title role, reminiscent of Anthony Perkins, as a browbeaten man who turns to friendship with rats in order to find acceptance and later exact revenge on those who've wronged him. The film, on the whole, is macabre in its costuming, set design and even its opening credits. The production value is noticeably high.
The supporting cast is very strong, including Jackie Burroughs as Willard's half-decomposed, senile mother and Laura Elena Harring as the girl who tries to care for Willard. Still, R. Lee Ermey steals every scene he's in as Willard's belligerent, evil boss. His demise, fittingly, is the visual and emotional climax of the film.
The ending of the movie pays homage to "Psycho," and the original "Willard," which I've not seen, gets its due by featuring Bruce Davison in portraits as Willard's father. Davison, of course, was the original Willard.
"Willard" is creepy fun, and it left me impressed.
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Format: DVD
As soon as I saw the trailer for Willard I got chills of excitement. Seeing Crispin Glover taking on this role was genius as it seemed to be the perfect vessel for his eccentric talent, though I also knew the film would not draw a large audience. The best ones never do. I was surprised to hear Glover was far from the first choice. It seems like a natural selection.

Having grown up in the 70's seeing the original film on late night TV, the primary selling point to me for this remake was Glover. I never found the rat-lover story exceptionally intriguing but with this casting it put such an excitement in me. I couldn't wait.

The weekend Willard opened shortly followed a personal trauma that left me in a lingering black mood and I hoped this film would remind me that I wasn't completely alone in the world, that there are others that enjoy and create the same things that appeal to me. I walked in the theater that afternoon to the absolute perfect setting. I was the only one there. I anxiously sat waiting for the film to start, hoping no one else would come in to bother me. The lights dimmed and the movie started with me the sole viewer. From the second the music started and the credits rolled I got a chill that remained for the duration of the film. What an amazing experience this was. Glover was, as anticipated, absolutely brilliant. The bits of wicked humor just added to my assumption that this film will not appeal to the average dullard going to see the latest Adam Sandler trash. When the mother decided to start calling Willard 'Clark' I about died. I didn't expect laughs from this film but, thankfully, the laughs I got were witty and intelligent.
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Where is the original 1971 film?
I agree. It is a SLAP IN THE FACE to the fans to have the remake, but not the original, of this film available on DVD.
Sep 7, 2009 by Paul Anderson |  See all 2 posts
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Willard (2003)
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