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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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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this movie has a sound and intelligent performance. It also creatively displays the facts of a realistic side of human nature when pushed to the limits all enraged, -A... Read morePublished 11 days ago by anna m. Rodriguez
I recently picked up a pair of rats as pets and was looking around for movies featuring rats. I came across Willard as a remake of a near impossible to find film release in 1971... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Sam Fredericks
The delivery time over a holiday weekend was amazing. Even with memorial day I still had delivery in 2 days. Movie and quality was first rate.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Creepy to the end. And if you love rats like I do, the rat actors are fantastic!Published 2 months ago by Bends Jon
This is a remake of an older movie and I love how Crispen Glover just captures this guy's personality. I love the rats and the part that they play through the movie. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Heather
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