Dir: Glen Morgan
Starring: Crispin Glover, R. Lee Ermey, Jackie Burroughs, Laura Elena Harring

This remake of the 70's horror film has the same general theme: browbeaten office worker Willard (Glover in this case), still lives with his mother, uses rats for revenge until they turn on him. Can't argue with the technical aspects here, which mix real beasts, CGI and animatronics seamlessly, to occasionally startling effect. The main problem is Willard, who remains unsympathetic throughout; it's not as if the guy had no options, he chooses to stay at home and be anti-social. And hey, killing your boss is extreme; it's not something I've ever contemplated. [Well, only once, and he deserved it.] Compare and contrast the hero of Braindead to see how they could have given him a human face. It's not really Glover's fault, since his performance is effective and very creepy - it's just not the stuff of which central characters are made.

They try and broaden the film out with Cathryn (Harring), a co-worker in Willard's office, but her role doesn't come to fruition: she's never put in peril or able to connect with Willard, and is left flailing around. There are a couple of nice homages to the original - Michael Jackson's theme-song crops up in the middle, for a cat (named Scully; Morgan wrote many X Files eps) in peril sequence, and the photo of Willard's father is Bruce Davison, who was Willard first time round. However, it's PG-13 rating may show reluctance to unleash the potential horror which certainly lurks within. Instead, it only gets to peek out on odd occasions, before scurrying back to safer, more comfortable territory. After producing several movies directed by partner James Wong, the roles are reversed here; don't give up the day job, Glen.


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