Rats (2003)

DVD Cover (Twentieth Century Fox)
Genres / Traits: Horror, Natural Horror, Rats
The Brookedale Psychiatric Hospital is a crumbling institution which barely has enough money to remain open. Formerly a prison, it sits atop a warren of tunnels and sewage system viaducts. But Brookdale has a secret - a secret known by only one person. There's something living in the tunnels - something that's developed a taste for human blood... --TMDb
Tibor Takács Tibor Takács
Sara Downing Sara Downing
Amy Parks Amy Parks
Bailey Chase Bailey Chase
Michael Zelniker Michael Zelniker
Sean Cullen Sean Cullen

3.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: May 20, 2007
It's always a bit of a risk when you take those cheap horror movies you never heard of out of the library. You can pretty much guarantee iffy special effects, subpar acting, and a thin story line. Still, every now and then one comes up that will surprise you and actually winds up being a decent movie. However, most of them, this one included, end up being a waste of time.

We start off in a sewer, where a pair of electricians or plumbers or whatever are trying to find their way through the tunnels. You really can't find out what it is they're trying to do because the sound guy was too busy playing his Game Boy instead of doing his job. Anyway, they come across a tunnel that someone has sealed in with concrete, and since its in the way, they knock a huge hole in it with a wrench. They're dead in under two minutes, compliments of the huge ass rat they released and we're under way. Cut to a woman named Samantha being admitted into a psychiatric ward, and she's introduced to the staff and resident nutjobs, including the seemingly well-meaning Dr. Winslow and the creepy janitor, Ernst. Of course, the rats from the sewer end up there with her, and they spend the first portion of the movie moving through the air ducts, eating the psychos one by one. All the while, our pal Ernst is cleaning up after them. Samantha sees this and being she was working undercover for some newspaper all along, researching the recent privatization of the hospital (or something. It's not really explained and the little explanation they did give is lost due to the shitty sound) she gets a message to her partner outside the hospital. Part of this message is tapes revealing that Ernst can actually talk to the rats telepathically. And so, we're left with all of our remaining people running around trying to escape the hospital from our giant rat and its carnivorous army. Throw in a couple more twists, including an actual motive for the rats, and an explosion, just for good measure, and there's our movie.

Like most movies that fall into this category, by the end of it you're sitting there thinking to yourself "Now, how can I get that hour and a half of my life back." Sorry man, it's gone. The plot barely goes anywhere until the last twenty minutes or so, and by that point you really just don't care anymore. The obligatory CGI rats looked atrocious. While I usually have no trouble buying into obviously cheap effects and bad CGI, this was over my limit. The problem was solely in the layering. Where our characters were supposed to be covered in rats, they just looked like they were there, hovering in mid air, not touching the actors. They didn't even put enough effort to make sure the rats were lined up with whatever body part they were supposed to be hanging on. And of course, the acting left much to be desired, although I'm pretty sure this was more due to apathy than talent. Ron Perlman, cast here as Dr. Winslow, is normally pretty damned good. His roles in Blade II and Alien: Resurrection were high points of both movies. However, here you could practically hear him plotting all the evil things he was going to do to his agent for this one. Michael Zelniker was also really stale as Ernst, trying way to hard to hit that on-the-verge-of-snapping type psycho.

Now, with that said, this movie isn't a total loss. Me and my uncle did have a great time MST3King this piece. Plus, Sara Downing, the chick who played Samantha, was pretty hot. I'll give it a point for each of those, so 2/10.
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