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"WILLARD"
(2003) (Crispin Glover, R. Lee Ermey) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Moderate Heavy *Moderate Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor Mild Extreme None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate None Moderate Moderate Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Horror: A loner learns that he can control an army of rats and sets out to use them to right the wrongs in his life.
PLOT:
Willard Stiles (CRISPIN GLOVER) is a single and socially maladroit man. When not working for Frank Martin (R. LEE ERMEY) in the company his deceased father founded decades earlier, he spends his time caring for his frail and elderly mother, Mrs. Stiles (JACKIE BURROUGHS), with whom he still lives in their immense house.

When Willard learns that their basement is infested with rats, he sets out to exterminate them, but has a change of heart when he rescues a little white rat he names Socrates. For unknown reasons, the rat and his kind understand Willard and follow his verbal commands. After Mr. Martin belittles and berates him one more time, Willard gets the idea to use his army of rodents to make his boss pay for his meanness.

Seeing that his coworkers and new temp Cathryn (LAURA ELENA HARRING) enjoyed his prank, Willard revels in the anonymity of his newfound power. Yet, as the rat population in his house grows exponentially, things start to get out of control. That's particularly true when one large rat, Ben, begins to struggle with Socrates over leadership of the pack.

From that point on, and as Willard's employment, familial and residential well-being change or are endangered, it's only a matter of time before he utilizes his army in ways no one could have imagined.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of someone in the cast, rodents or camp-like horror films, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For terror/violence, some sexual content and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • CRISPIN GLOVER plays a socially maladroit adult man who still lives with and cares for his mother. When his overbearing boss is mean to him one too many times, he commands his army of rats to take care of the problem.
  • R. LEE ERMEY plays Willard's boss who constantly berates and belittles Willard. He also uses profanity, drinks and visits porn sites from work late at night.
  • LAURA ELENA HARRING plays a temp who befriends Willard and briefly uses some profanity.
  • JACKIE BURROUGHS plays Willard's elderly and frail mother.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this horror film that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while various other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Some non-explicit, sexually related dialogue is present, while a man visits a porn site and we see several views of scantily clad women (one has blurred out areas across parts of her body).

    Many scenes feature swarms of rats inside a house and/or pursuing and attacking a cat and several people, while others feature humans attempting (and occasionally succeeding) at killing rats. Some of that has bloody results, and those scenes and others may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to some viewers, particularly ones who are afraid of rats.

    Various characters have bad attitudes, a man drinks and some tense family material is present in the form of taking care of an elderly parent and then a later related death. If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Martin drinks some liquor.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • During the opening credits, we see what looks like an animated pool of rat blood.
  • We see rat droppings in the basement.
  • Willard's mother wants to know what he's doing in the bathroom for so long (he's freeing Socrates from adhesive paper). He says he's going potty and she keeps pestering him about that, wondering if it's loose or hard (presumably his bowel movement) and that she wants to see (since she's still his mother).
  • The camera briefly focuses on Mrs. Stiles discolored feet and toes.
  • Willard's mother has a mental and physical fit and appears to vomit on him (the camera is on him and we see something splatter on him).
  • A large glob of phlegm comes from Willard's nose as he cries.
  • We see a cat urinate on the floor.
  • Martin uses a pole to repeatedly jab and kill a rat (we don't see the contact, but do see blood splatter onto him as well as be on the dead rat and the pole). We also see a small, out of focus pool of blood around the rat.
  • A rat is trapped in a large mousetrap and we then see that it apparently gnawed off its own foot (we see the bloody foot still left in the trap).
  • Some blood squirts out when a rat bites Willard on the face.
  • We see the silhouette of Willard apparently killing a rat (with some blood on the window).
  • Willard has some dried cuts on his face.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Willard's boss, Mr. Martin, repeatedly berates and belittles Willard about his life and work ethic (and we see that Willard is chronically late to work). We also hear him belittle his wife in one scene (calling her "stupid"). In turn, Willard commands his army of rats to attack his boss.
  • Everyone at works makes fun (behind his back) of the fact that someone (actually Willard's rats) flattened their boss' tires.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Those who are afraid of and/or detest rats probably won't like many scenes in the film (where many rats - sometimes hundreds - are present, cover everything, and even come out of the toilet in one scene). In addition, scenes listed under "Violence" might also be unsettling, tense or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • Those who don't like violence to animals probably won't like scenes where rats are captured or at least threatened with various pest control devices (such as when Socrates is stuck on sticky paper and Willard starts to go after him with a three-pronged garden rake but then has a change of heart). There's also a scene where a rat is bludgeoned to death, and another where a cat is trapped in a house and tries to get away from a swarm of rats (only to fall into them after a several minute sequence). Willard also drops a noisy and troublesome small dog into his bag of rats (we hear it whimper and Willard lets it go with no apparent harm to it).
  • Willard tries to get his rats out of Martin's garage and back into his bags before running off as an angry Martin approaches.
  • Willard finds his mother lying face first down the basement steps (with rats crawling over her). Ben briefly bites at her bare foot.
  • Upset about how things have unfolded, Willard takes a knife and presses its blade into his wrist (but stops when Socrates intervenes).
  • Martin uses a pole to repeatedly jab and kill a rat (we don't see the contact, but do see blood splatter onto him as well as be on the dead rat and the pole).
  • A large number of rats assemble in a man's mostly dark office.
  • Willard repeatedly pokes a bad man with a pole who then uses something to hit Willard and briefly knock him down. A rat then jumps on the bad man and bites him. He's then trapped in an elevator and Willard keeps poking him with the pole. Many rats then pour into the elevator and attack the man (with bloody results and sounds of his screams).
  • Willard tries to avoid hordes of rats that come after him in his house.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Swiss Army Knife: Nearly used by Willard to cut his own wrist.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Tell them to get the f*ck out of my office," "Piece of sh*t," "Dog sh*t," "Thumbs up your asses," "Screw up," "What the hell /was that/is going on?" "Pissed off," "Pissed his pants," "You can shove it up your ass," "Why in the hell are you still here?" "Jeez," "Idiot," "Wild ass" and "Nuts" (crazy).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • The sudden sound of a mousetrap snapping might startle some viewers.
  • A sudden sound from inside a fireplace might startle some viewers.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 3 "s" words, 9 hells, 4 asses (1 used with "hole"), 3 damns and 1 use each of "G-damn," "By God," "God," "Jesus Christ," "Oh Jesus" and "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Willard's mother wants to know what he's doing in the bathroom for so long (he's freeing Socrates from adhesive paper with cooking oil). When he finally comes out, she notices the oil on his hand. He states that it's soap, but she knows what it is and tells him that he's too old for that (masturbation) and that he should find himself a girl.
  • We briefly see a poster/photo of a shapely woman in a small bikini.
  • Martin visits porn sites on his work computer late at night (such as "Peekaboo.com" - and clicks on a link for "My wife nude"). We then see some brief shots of a woman with blurred out sections across her chest and crotch areas. He then clicks on more links, we see several shots of partially unclothed women (some panty and cleavage shots), and he makes sounds that show he likes what he sees.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We see that Willard's father died in 1995 (the urn of ashes is on the mantel) and must later deal with his elderly mother's death.
  • Before that, she has a mental and physical fit upon believing he's trying to move her from the house.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Rats.
  • Revenge.
  • Mean bosses.
  • Attempted or contemplated suicide.
  • Death of one's parents.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Rats chew through the bottom of a garage door and then flatten a car's tires.
  • Willard kicks his bed sheets to make Ben fly off them to the floor.
  • A cat is apparently killed by a swarm of rats after falling into them.
  • Willard tries to hit Ben with a poker or cane but misses.
  • Martin uses a pole to repeatedly jab and kill a rat (we don't see the contact, but do see blood splatter onto him as well as be on the dead rat and the pole).
  • Willard repeatedly pokes a bad man with a pole who then uses something to hit Willard and briefly knock him down. A rat then jumps on the bad man and bites him. He's then trapped in an elevator and Willard keeps poking him with the pole. Many rats then pour into the elevator and attack the man (with bloody results and sounds of his screams). We later hear that they killed him.
  • Willard gases and then burns the bodies of many rats (during the gassing we hear the rats squealing, etc.).
  • A rat is trapped in a large mousetrap and we then see that it apparently gnawed off its own foot (we see the bloody foot still left in the trap).
  • Some blood squirts out when a rat bites Willard on the face and he then falls into a mass of swarming rats.
  • We see the silhouette of Willard apparently killing a rat (with some blood on the window).



  • Reviewed March 11, 2003 / Posted March 14, 2003

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