MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -1

In this horror thriller, Willard Stiles (Crispin Glover) is a social outcast, haunted by the ghost of his dead father and trapped between the nagging of his aging mother (Jackie Burroughs) and the constant pressure of his domineering boss, Mr. Martin (R. Lee Ermey). The socially inept Willard is friendless, frightened and suicidal, seeking security anywhere he can find it. He is also bitter toward Mr. Martin, who aggressively belittles Willard, pressuring him to quit his job and even hiring a sympathetic temp (Laura Elena Harring) to take over for him. In the moment of his deepest distress, Willard discovers faithful friends in the rats found in his basement. He also finds that he is able to train the rats to do whatever he pleases. But when Willard finally cracks and strikes out against his oppressors, his faithful rats become a grotesque army of destruction and death.

Willard is a bizarre, twisted remake of the1971 horror film that will, if nothing else, keep your jaw dropped and your stare fixed on the movie screen. While the plot is predictable, Crispin Glover brings Willard to life, revealing a sense of his psychology. The film drags at times, making critics long for more concise storytelling and fewer gross rat encounters. But for a horror film, it demonstrated a remarkable blend of cinematic artistry and creepiness. Though fairly clean, the film is still objectionable. When Willard's bitterness turns to vengeance and murderous rage, the audience is encouraged to empathize with him as Mr. Martin gets what he deserves. In addition, the film thrives on innumerable stomach-turning visuals. All in all, Willard is a dark, disturbing film. Unless you want nightmares about rats or yearn to see a houseful of crawling, climbing rodents, you would do well to stay away.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty
New Line Cinema

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: several (6) times mild 3, moderate 3.

Obscene Language: few (3) times F-word 1, S-word 2.

Profanity: few (2) times regular (J 1, JC 1) .

Violence: several times moderate (rats chew car tires, rats attack and kill cat, man beats rat, rats attack and kill man, rat bites mans face, rat caught in mouse trap and dismembered, woman found dead on stairs with rats crawling on her).

Sex: none.

Nudity: none.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: few times mild (man looks at pictures on computer and makes suggestive comments).

Drugs: few times mild (alcohol use).

Other: portrayal of premeditated murder; main character goes insane; many disturbing images with swarms of rats, dead bodies, etc.

Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: teens and adults

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