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Willard (2003)

PG-13 105 minutes

Directed by Glen Morgan
Written by Glen Morgan, Gilbert Ralston

 · Crispin Glover
 · R. Lee Ermey

Review by Zac

Willard Stiles (Crispin Glover) is a friend-less, picked-on loser who lives in a huge, run-down house with his sickly mother.  Everyday is practically the same for Willard: Wake up, take care of mom, go to work, be harassed by the boss, return home, listen to mom complain, and sleep.  Until one day, when his senile old mother claims there are rats in the basement, and demands that Willard get rid of them.  But poor Willard just doesn't have the heart, for he befriends one rat, Socrates.  Willard, along with Socrates and Ben, the giant "leader" rat, teaches all the rats in his basement to do his bidding.  He uses them to get revenge on those who mistreat him, until he is done with the rats.  Ben is not happy.




I was thoroughly entertained by Willard, down to a sharp point.  I truthfully couldn't tell when a rat was computer rendered or a living, breathing rodent.  Though some of the effects were a tad bit overdone, such as a large sum of rats piling out of an elevator, and an end sequence in which Willard bashes Ben to supposed death, , yet overall the popcorn of Willard was fairly outstanding.

One of my favorite parts of the film was the few cameos made.  For instance, although he never see a live representation of Willard's father on screen, there hangs a giant portrait of him over the fireplace in the Stiles' house.  This portrait is of none other than (original Willard star) Bruce Davidson.  Also, in one scene, a cat bumps a television remote-control, which turns the T.V. onto an 'Easy Listening' channel, and playing on this station is the classic Michael Jackson song, "Ben", which I believe was the theme to the original Willard's sequel, Ben.  Also, if you stay long enough for the credits, Crispin Glover sings his version of "Ben" (you can see a music video of his version on the movie's official website.)




I was not disappointed by Willard.  I wasn't expecting Willard to be a very good film when I walked in the theater, but I was happily treated to a, not-so-scary film, but rather a dark drama with a small bit of comedy.

The filmakers did a wonderful job on Willard, but many questions were left unanswered.  For instance, not much time was spent explaining how Willard got his rats to do his will, among other things.

However, I am not one to complain.  Any viewer truly feels bad for Willard, after seeing a few day-in-the-life-of.  He arrives to work, only to see a woman sitting at his desk, then turns around and is being screamed at and degrated by his boss.  When he returns home, he is only reminded of his loneliness and bad life by his sickly mother who, among other things, insists on calling him Clark, for "it is a stronger name than Willard".

Crispin Glover did an EXCELLENT job playing Willard, capturing both his creepy aura and his sullen, loneliness perfectly.



Like rats? Go see Willard.  Like seeing movies about guys who have nothing to live for, so they go psycho and try to kill everyone that makes them mad? See Willard.  Want to be scared stiff? Don't go see Willard.

Although Willard is a great movie in my opinion, I feel the advertising was trying to appeal to the wrong audience, and this could be the movie's downfall.  Most of the ads I saw were catered to those seeking a good scary movie, and I feel they will be horribly disappointed.  However, if you just want to see a dark, dramatic movie, or just have $8 to blow, go see Willard

592 Words Published: 17 March 2003

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