Willard Stiles is a young man who doesn’t really have anything of his own. He has an ill mother who has never allowed him to do anything himself. He has a job that he doesn’t like and a boss who wants him fired, the only problem is that Willard’s father created the business and Willard is exempt from being fired, but that won’t stop his boss from trying to ruin Willard’s life. Willard’s mother complains about there being rats in the basement, so Willard sets up traps. When he finally catches a rat, he can’t bare to see the rat suffer so he helps the rat. He names the rat Socrates. Socrates becomes Willard’s new best friend, and only friend for that matter. Soon Willard starts meeting more and more rats who will do anything he tells them, including a rat that’s much bigger than any of the other rats and much angrier. This rat is named Ben. When Willard finally snaps, he and his new friends prepare to take out Willard’s pain on everyone who wronged him.
The movie opens with us being introduced to Willard. Willard appears to be a middle aged man who is living in the shadow of his overbearing mother, much like Norman Bates in the movie Psycho. Willard is continuing to show up late for work each day because he is taking care of his mother. His boss wants to fire him, but can’t because Willard’s father started the business and as long as either his father or mother were still alive, he cannot be fired. One night, Willard’s mother complains of hearing rats in the basement, so over the course of the next few days, Willard tries to find a way to get rid of the rats. He finally finds a sticky rat trap and lays them onto the basement floor. He catches one rat and can’t stand to see it hurting, so he removes the sticky trap and discovers the rat to like him. He names the rat Socrates. Soon, more and more rats are joining Willard, and when something happens that makes Willard finally snap, he sends out his army of rats to do his bidding.
I really was looking forward to seeing this one before its release. Well, now I finally got the chance. Crispin Glover is really what makes this film work. His portrayal of Willard is excellent as he brings the character alive. He truly can make Willard have that touch of insanity that I believe no other actor could have brought out in this film. As I wrote this review, I was debating with myself on just how much I liked it. Well, the more I think about this film, the more I like it. I give Willard a 7 out of 10.