- Actors: Bruce Davison, Elsa Lanchester, Ernest Borgnine
- Directors: Daniel Mann
- Classification: 15
- Run Time: 95 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B001QOMPHU
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 499,527 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Willard [VHS] 
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Big hit in its day, this horror oddity still causes a shiver up the spine as an oddball young office worker befriends a legion of wild rats and uses them to do his dirty work. Good acting, tight direction and a good script help to keep this chiller fresh.
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Rat-themed movies too often go for pure gore or totally silly stories. "Willard" does neither.
Bruce Davison, Elsa Lanchester, Ernest Borgnine and Sondra Locke give good performances as one might expect from actors of their competence and standing.
The rats, trained by Moe and Nora Di Sesso, are not exaggerated nor are they computer-generated. They are the domestic variety of course, and any viewers who have pet rats will find Socrates, Ben and their many friends and family far more adorable than frightening.
Unlike too many "horror" movies with rats or other animals, this movie is under-stated rather than trying to be "in-your-face". To all appearances Willard is a normal, reasonably good-looking young man who has found himself in a frustrating and angering situation. Everything else on the surface seems normal as well. His mother is both dependent and whiny, but not weird. The house that plays an important part in the story is huge, old and somewhat decrepit, but it is not haunted or filled with outrageous decor. The other characters are also within the bounds of normal, even the somewhat overbearing neighbor Charlotte who tries to befriend Willard.
Willard, pretty much friendless, feckless and believing himself to be a failure, nevertheless finds success in training the rats that show up on his property. Except for his feelings for Socrates he is, however, often ambivalent about the rest of the rats and especially about Ben. Why this is we never exactly find out, but his ambivalence towards Ben is the fateful turn that leads to the climax of the story. I shan't dwell on the details of the story since I am assuming that most people interested in the movie are already familiar with them.
It is good to find a DVD version of this classic movie and I am hoping that eventually a more clear "remastered" version will become available.