This is the story of Willard Stiles who is a social misfit taking care of his ill and fragile but verbally abusive mother Henrietta in a musty old mansion that is also home to a colony of rats. Willard then finds himself constantly humiliated in front of his co-workers and is eventually fired by his cruel and uncaring boss, Mr. Frank Martin, a vicious man whose professional interest in Willard extends to a personal financial one.
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Willard misses the boat coming and going, leaving Glover to his own devices. Which is always fun to watch, of course, if never a particularly good idea.
A rare gem, a character study of considerable subtlety aside from being a helluva fun time.
Why this film bombed is a mystery that can only be answered by theaudiences who singularly failed to go see it. From Crispin Glover'saffecting performance to Glen Morgan's superlative direction, there isnot a single nuance of the finished product that is not perfect,horrifying, enthralling or hilarious. Indeed frequently it is somehowall four. Its Tim Burton directing Psycho style (and with many morehomages in between) makes it as fantastical as it is thrilling as it isgruesome. This is already a cult classic that is never likely to leaveour midnight-movie conscience. It has many lines and moments you willlong remember.
I don't often bother to write reviews on films and nearly didn't withthis one; the reason being that half way I turned it off as it was oneof the most pathetic attempts at a movie I have ever seen (and I haveonly ever done that with one other movie!), and it would be unfair toreview a movie that I hadn't watched all the way through. I checkedIMDb and the reviews were OK, so I turned it back on thinking that therest of the movie was going to redeem the first hour. Unfortunately Iwas wrong. It is the most boring, predictable, ridiculous and patheticmovie I haver ever had the misfortune to have to sit through. I reallydon't see what some people saw in this movie - cult classic? You arejoking....? Well, each to their own! I will, one day, wish that I couldhave that 100 minutes back, even if it is only to defrost the fridge! Ibelieve that this is someones version of horror! Really? There is morehorror in a nursery rhyme. The story is unbelievably poor, the actingis OTT to the point of amateur, and the best bit of the movie is theend (and I don't mean the the ending!). SAVE YOUR MONEY, WATCH SOMETHINGELSE, ANYTHING ELSE!!!!!
I went in to this movie with low expectations from all the bad press ithadbeen getting. I guess all the people who didn't like Willard are the sameones who praised the piece of puppy pooh which is Tears of The Sun.CrispinGlover gives a powerful performance that carries this film and also helpsthe viewer to believe in his love for his, little friends. It was notperfect, by any means, but it was better then I had expected which is morethen I can say for most of the movies I've seen this year. LONG LIVE THERATS. 7 out of 10.
This review is from: Willard (DVD) This is the fourth time I have bought this product from different purveyors and each time the wide-screen version refuses to load. Guess I will have to watch it in full screen. For only $5 it isn't worth returning, again.
Willard didn't get much promotion and didn't do anything in the theaters yet I watched it hoping it would be good. I knew the history of the Ben legend and I also was interested in seeing Willard. I was disappointed beyond belief. I prepared myself to be frightened and not bored out of my mind. The film is slow-paced and is SUPPOSED to be a horror but the only scary thing is the weird dialogue. I have never been a fan of films with truly dark sets and it peeved me off that Willard was so dark you couldn't see half the sets. Crispin Glover was good in the title role. I would say he was a great actor but he acts this strange in everything so I can't say any talent was truly involved. Let's be real, would they have gotten Crispin if it weren't for his natural ability to scare the heck out of everyone who sees him? Emery was good as Willard's boss and I wish he could have stuck around. The lead woman was unnoticable and a little romance could have been thrown in to excite the audience a little bit. The rats sequences were more comedic than scary. This is a big disappointment even if your hopes aren't up. Watch it if you love big rats and scary men in black suits, skip this if you don't and be happy you still have your sanity.
The original Willard (when it was released in 1971) was a sleeper at the boxoffice, it must have shocked everyone! I cannot even begin to imagine thestudio executives words when they originally saw the script to this (what agreat story a boy and his rat!). Ernest Borgnine said that his only careerregret was taking a straight salary for this film and not a share of theprofits, Willard was such a big hit he lamented that he could have made alot more money. Crispin Glover is probably best remembered for his role as"the creepy thin man" in the Charlie's Angels films, his myterious characterdoesn't say a word in either one. He is a fine actor who can conveywierdness and menace and at the same time make you feel sorry for him. He isso good at using facial expressions and body language that I think he wouldhave made a great silent film actor! He is a much more creepy Willard thenBruce Davison was in the original. He still has the same problems with hismother, he is sort of like Norman Bates in Psycho. He still lives in thesame creepy house and has the same go-nowhere job where everyone dumps onhim. The only thing that is different in this film is....R. Lee ErmeyHOORAH!!!!He dominates every role he plays. He is like a roaring lion in aroomful of kittens. I feel sorry for ANYONE who acts with him because hewill blow you right off the screen. This man is probably the finest actorworking in films today. He doesn't just tap on your window he huffs andpuffs and BLOWS YOUR HOUSE DOWN!!!HOORAH!!!He takes no prisoners, he takesnames and kicks your ass! He makes Ernest Borgnine's character look like thenicest boss in the world! He brings to his role of Mister Martin the sameintense, in your face no bs quality that he brought to his role of GunnerySergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket! He is what makes this film for me.
Could there be any dobut that a horror movie starring kooky, uncanny string-bean Crispin Glover would be a weird B-movie bonanza of creepy-crawly macabre?
What a shame! The producers missed a golden opportunity to take a movie that is remembered fondly,but certainly had room for improvement! Crispin Glover was a perfect choice to play Willard Stiles and he does a great job. Unfortunately, Bruce Davidson's performance is even better in the original along with Ernest Borgnine's Mr. Martin topping R.Lee Ermey's interpretation of that character. These two performances are why I still hold the original a little higher than the remake. The rats and effects are better(in most cases)in the new film,but they lost something along the way? F.Y.I. That's Elsa Lanchester as Willards mother in the original A.K.A The Bride Of Frankenstein!
This is a horror movie with genuine style, a witty screenplay and top-notch performances that walk the fine line between high camp and high drama.
While there's a lot to appreciate in this film's peculiarly dark humor ... a lot of the more clever moments are undercut by Glover's campy performance.
In the film documentary included with the DVD version, we learn that the filmcrew screens "Psycho" and "The Birds" prior to making "Willard." The influence of these two movies is abundantly evident in "Willard." Like Norman Bates in "Psycho," Willard is a lonely mama's boy. Willard's rats, like "The Birds," seemingly appear by the thousands and have the intelligence to know exactly what they are doing when following Willard's training (or not). Willard's genuine rats are seamless blended with the animatronics and computer-generated rats. Yes, the rats are too cute for the audience to believe that they are scary, especially when Willard snuggles up with sweet Socrates, but they prove vicious enough to eat the boss's (Ermey's) tires and to eventually dispatch the boss in a cage elevator -- rats doing away with a bigger rat.I watch R. Lee Ermey so often on "Mail Call" that I half-expected him to have a cartload of watermelons in his office to blow to bits with various automatic weapons. Ermey is ALWAYS over-the-top.Crispin Glover's performance is appropriately macabre. Crispin moves the character of Willard from introvert to diabolical by adopting rodent mannerisms, but not to the point where it's corny. I had a pet rat as a teen, and tried hard to mimic the constantly-moving nose and whiskers -- it ain't easy. Crispin's twitch goes from nervous to resolute and that's not an easy movement for a human. I absolutely adored Crispin's performance. "Be" the rat!
A lamely acted and frequently dull remake of the 1971 movie.
OK, it took me a long time, but better late than never. So, the mainreason why most people didn't liked it, because it was not a horrorfilm. So what? If you can understand that it's not a horror, then whydon't you watch it wherever you think it is? "Willard" is an absolutelybeautiful movie. I couldn't believe how atmospheric it was. I didn'texpected much from the movie, esp. I was worried about CGI rats, but Iwanted to see it for Crispin Glover. And the moment I've heard themusic score I knew it is going to be something special. I don't thinkthat it is weird movie at any point. It was beautiful movie. This isprobably the word that describes it best. It may sound stupid, but Iknow that I have a good taste in movies. *coughs* That's why I can saythat "Willard" is definitely one of the best recent movies and I cantell that it is not just personal opinion, it is one of the bestmovies. If it is a bad movie, then what do you consider a good movie?..OK, it worked just because of Crispin Glover. He glued everythingtogether. Without him it would be stupid and pointless. But he makesthe concept believable. It should of get a few Oscar nomination, that'sfor sure, but no one surprised that it didn't. The music score wasreally outstanding, gave it a real feeling, kudos to composer.Definitely deserves an Oscar nom. The production design as well. Superbatmosphere. CGI was great! It was a real surprise and delight to seethat CGI is great. Glen Morgan, he did such a great job. He had somesmall mistakes, but he is way much more superior than today'sdirectors. It still hard to say about his style, because there is a lotof Hitchcock in him, but he did a great job in "Willard" without doubt.Kudos! Now, the acting. What can I say about Crispin Glover? He is agenius! An absolutely amazing genius! The Academy is just an ass, butit is not surprise. But he definitely deserves an Oscar, he owns it, itis THE best performance of 2003! He scared me to death, in good way. Hehas so much emotion in him, I couldn't believe how amazing hisperformance is! I have no right words to give him a credit. I'm justspeechlessÂ R. Lee Ermey, I like him a lot. He is one of my favoritestoo. Such a fun man. Kudos to you, R. Lee Ermey! JackieBarroughsÂ creepy! In a good way, she did a great job, she really is! Imean, without her scary mother the movie wouldn't be the same! LauraHarring, I like her too, she was great in "Mullholand Drive". I knowsome people say that she was completely wasted and they right, but shestill was a nice touch. I mean, it is always nice to look at her, shehas that good quality about her. I don't know, but maybe she regretthat she wasted her time here, but if I could I would say to her, thatI think it's better to be a part of this labor of love, than somecrappy Hollywood s***. If you watch deleted scenes on DVD it doesn'tseem like she is wasted at all. And, the end. I like the new endingbetter, because it gives you to think about more, the old ending, IMHO,is quite pointless. So, to end the review. It is a masterpiece on itsown right. It is an absolutely beautiful movie. So sensitive, soatmospheric, so emotional. My eyes were just glued to the screen. Iknow that Glen Morgan feels bad about the movie's failure, but heshouldn't, it was not his fault! It IS a great movie! When it ended Ihoped that the teenagers will love it (I'm a teenager, myself), becausethe studio target at them, I hoped that this beautiful movie will be anexception, when they gonna love it for not being a usual stupid movies.But when they didn't, I just realized that some people will always bestupid no matter what. Well, their loss. It is one of my favorites. Itis a deep, emotional movie. I'm sure Crispin Glover would be happy toknow that "Willard" makes people think. It really is, esp. about humancondition. I thought a lot about this movie and I'm not the only one. Irecommend it highly. Definitely 10/10.
For those who appreciate dark fun with a slice of camp, a dose of B-movie sensibility, and a side of over-the-top performances, Willard offers a good time.
Williard is a Brillant movie. I didn't like the cat getting by the rats, but an overall good movie. The office guy Frank Martin, he played in Texas Chain Saw Massacre. This man is Excellent in everything he's ever done. He is abrillant Actor! A super movie for thriller buffs. Erleen
The film never delivers on its morbid promise, thanks to the character's too-obscure motives and dialogue that's dull when it should be snappy.
I have to say Crispin Glover was born to play the role of WilliardStiles, a lonely disturbed man beaten down by his boss at work. Hismother does not even like his name and changes it to Mark. I like theusage of Bruce Davison's role in the film as Williard's father. PoorWilliard, he never had much success with women, work, or friends. So hebefriends a white mice that he names Socrates and he chooses him to behis sole companion and friend. That is eerie enough. Big Ben is a hugebrown rat who is jealous of Socrates' place in Williard's life.Williard uses the rats and trains them to become his weapon against hisvile soul-less boss, Mr. Martin. First, he uses them to seek revenge.When Socrates is murdered, Williard uses Ben and the thousands of ratfollowers to seek vengeance on his killer. When Williard loses hismother, we see his loneliness in life and in death. Poor Williard, heis friendless except for his Socrates. It is amazing how the rats knowhow to behave in this film to be dangerous and murderous. I liked thesupporting cast which includes Jacie Burroughs playing poor Mrs. Stilesand Laura Elena Harring, the only human friend Williard has at all. Theending makes us want more and a sequel could just do that. CrispinGlover rarely gets to use his acting ability in other works until now.He allows the audiences to see his potential as a lead actor and notjust a supporting actor. I am giving the film a 9 score because I thinkthey could have explored Williard's painful childhood and explain theman that he becomes in this film.
This, indeed, is a Norman Bates for the 21st century.