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Willard (2003)

Cast: Crispin Glover, Crispin Glover, R. Lee Ermey, more...
Director: Glen Morgan, Glen Morgan
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: New Line Home Video
Genre: Horror, Killer Critters, Quest, Revenge
Running Time: 100 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish
    see additional details...

A young man uses his vermin pals to exact revenge upon the people who've domineered his life in this remake of the 1971 cult classic. Starring Crispin Glover in the role originated by Bruce Davison, Willard concerns the mundane, repressed existence of the twentysomething title character, who lives at home with his nagging mother (Jackie Burroughs) and works at a shipping company for a stern, authoritarian supervisor (R. Lee Ermey). When Willard becomes fascinated with a gaggle of rats living in his decrepit home, they become both his friends and his aggressors, as he sics them upon anyone who crosses his path. But one rat, Ben, isn't so amenable to Willard's orders, and a horrifying test of wills begins. Willard was brought to the screen for the second time by writer/director Glen Morgan and producer James Wong, who previously worked together on episodes of The X-Files as well as the features Final Destination and The One. ~ Michael Hastings, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Test Audiences Suck by Brujaria October 13, 2003 - 11:11 AM PDT
15 out of 15 members found this review helpful
After a seemingly never ending barrage of utterly horrible Hollywood remakes of past cult favorites, this comes as quite a pleasant surprise.
Easily one of the best remakes in years, this homage to Hitchcock is a great little gem that got completely mishandled by New Line Cinema.
Perfectly cast, expertly acted, beautifully shot and intricately detailed this combines an inventively Bernard Herrmann-esque score with Hichcockian camera-work and sickly pale and dark lighting to create an atmospheric, highly enjoyable film.
The only thing is that while watching it, I felt that there was something missing and the ending felt tacked on.
When I got to the extras (of which there are plenty on this disc), I saw why. New Line ran it for test audiences repeatedly and each time it ranked lower and lower as more cuts were made. Finally they ended up with a brief PG-13 rated version with a "happy" ending to appeal to the teenage audiences. They hated it. So New Line decided to market the film directly to them. Smart, huh? Smart like a fish.
On the disc is a HUGE amount of deleted scenes and the original ending plus a feature-length documentary detailing the production, all of which makes one realize how compromised the final product was.
As it is, it's still a great little movie, but with all that footage restored it would have been a minor classic and worthy of a full 10, instead of the 9 I gave it.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.19)
149 Votes
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