March 2, 2016

VOD Review: Ratter (2016)

"The Internet is dark and full of terrors. And Ratters."
In computer terms, RAT stands for Remote Administration Tool. RAT software is used by someone to gain outside access to a computer or device, most of the time delivered by a Trojan Horse virus.

To become infected by a Trojan Horse virus, you usually have to open an attachment or download a file with the program in it, and allow it to run. Once you do, whoever is in control of the RAT owns your computer, and you're screwed.

So the lesson here is don't download programs or open attachments unless you know exactly where they come from, and even then, think twice. In this way, Ratter is a great cautionary tale.

Emma is a sexy grad student who has just moved to NYC from her small Wisconsin town. Being a rube in the big city, she's as awestruck by how big and fancy it is, as we are by how she could afford such a massive, nice apartment in Manhattan. Her parents must own a cheese company back home or something.

Somewhere along the way, Emma downloaded or opened something online and got herself infected with a virus (Ratted), and now she's being watched by the mysterious figure who sent it to her. As she goes through her everyday life, he browses her computer and phone for pictures and info; watches her shower and go pee; turns on her music at random times to mess with her; and just wreaks havoc on her life in general.

When Emma discovers that she's been Ratted, she freaks out, buys a cat, and gets all kinds of paranoid. Seeing this, the Ratter makes his move to physically be in her life, and begins skulking around in the shadows of her home, watching her sleep, and probably plotting to rape or kill her, because where else can all of this lead, if it's not rape and/or murder?

A disturbing invasion of privacy ensues.

Even with its issues (which we'll get into in a minute), Ratter was a pretty solid Found Footage Thriller when it was actually in Thriller mode. The idea of someone having access to your life and watching your every move, let alone being in your home without you knowing it, is a pretty terrifying one. When the stakes get higher towards the end of the movie, there are more than a few intense scenes of Emma's shadowy stalker moving about her house that worked really well.

Ashley Benson is also a pretty solid actress, and her likable character absolutely made the movie more bearable. Had it been anyone else walking around on screen doing mundane activities for the better part of an hour, we may have lost interest. She's just got a way about her.

The worst part of this movie, and what really keeps it from being truly good, is that nothing really "happens" until the last 20 minutes or so when the Ratter shows up physically. Before that, we're forced to watch Emma workout, play air tennis, talk on the phone, Skype with her mom, take showers, cook, sit, sleep... Now, we know that watching her go about her daily life is the whole point, as the movie is about a stalker who hacks her gadgets to be able to do just that, but that doesn't necessarily make for a very compelling watch. At least not for the entire time.

I'm also not sure if I understand where all of the camera angles in the movie came from. Was it all supposed to be filmed with her tech toys that had been hacked, or was it half that, and half just normal movie shots? Because it it's the former, the Ratter dude must have hacked her lamp, wall, and whatever else was needed to get the angles that he got, because a lot of the shots in the movie did not come from her computer or phone.

And what was the guy's motivation? Ambiguity serves a movie like this well enough, but we have no idea who the guy is, why he does what he does, or how he does it... which I suppose is the point, being that the movie is about safety in the digital age. Still, some answers would have been nice.

Also, there's a scene after the credits that kind of explains Emma's fate, since the end of the movie was one of those "leave it up to the audience" kind of things.

No gore. Wait... there's a dead cat, so that's a type of gore, I suppose.

No nudity in this one, but Ashley Benson looked good wearing some skimpy outfits throughout. At least that's something.

If you're on the Internet, you will be Ratted at some point... unless you're smart and don't open attachments from people you don't know, you won't be Ratted. So be smart.

If you enjoy the average Found Footage movie, gaps in logic and all, then you'll probably like Ratter. It's a competent enough movie that has some genuine moments of fright throughout, but again, it's all constrained by the typical Found Footage tropes, many of which can be frustrating as hell.

If you don't mind that though, give Ratter a rent, and enjoy.


Ratter is available now on DVD and VOD.

Ash Benzo is the best part of this movie. Make of that what you will. You can see some more pics of her in her own Hottie post, right HERE.


  1. "If you enjoy the average Found Footage movie, gaps in logic and all, then you'll probably like Ratter." I love it. That one sentence is all I need to never watch this.

    1. That's why we do it, man. That's why we do it :)

    2. Btw - as you are probably well aware by now, I hate the FF films. That's because 99% of them are woeful. BUT, in fairness and for the record here are the FF films that I really like and some of these are really slept on: WNUF Halloween Special, Noroi, Lake Mungo, Troll Hunter, The Sacrament, Creep, Home Movie, As Above So Below (yep, loved it), The Conspiracy, Mr. Jones, Come Back to Me, Lovely Molly, Rec, Cloverfield.

      I also liked YellowBrickRoad (the sound design was so off putting it really creeped me out), most of VHS2 and PA 3 for whatever reason (the oscillating fan cam was clever at the time for an already stale genre). Chronicle, although not Horror, was also really clever and made the most sense in being able to use different camera angles for the genre.

      I might be forgetting some and I didn't include Man Bites Dog or Cannibal Holocaust cause I would rather not acknowledge that there is a legit argument those fall into this genre :)

    3. I agree, and every movie you listed I also think are the top FF movies out there.
      YellowBrickRoad was freaking sick. I personally think it should have been shown in theaters.
      Agreed on chronical, having the ability to have half a dozen cameras floating around with brain power was a slick way of getting coverage. Reminded me alot of Akira, if it were to have been made into a live action.

      But this movie, blech, the horrible music this girl listened to made me want to turn off the movie after about 10 minutes. I know she was supposed to be "hip" and all, but who wants to watch a gallon f mild being poured? Like watching paint dry. Stay away from this one.

    4. Haha, I intend to. It takes A LOT to get to me to watch FF as it is. Sometimes I get tricked into it because I like to go into films blind and not watch trailers. Just happened with a film called "Hostile (2016)" It didn't suck, but it wasn't very good.

    5. I should've reveiwed before watching... We don't even know if she lived or died...

    6. I should've reveiwed before watching... We don't even know if she lived or died...

  2. Lady Lisa in horror flick! Need to watch this ASAP.

  3. I'm sorry, but from what I know about girls and there blatant disregard and abuse of cell phones, most of what this movie should consist of are the inside of her back pocket.

  4. Oh, and another thing, if some pervert wants to hack into my phone and see my fat ass naked, or if I was a hot chick and it happened to me, I could car less.
    as far as getting into my house in the middle of the night? Um that probably wouldn't be a good idea with my loaded .45 auto on my night stand and the little yapping dog that barks if someone even comes close to my bedroom door. And yeah, I have a 13yr old daughter. You think I would be cuaght with a trigger lock on it or in a gun case like these poor bastards in these movies?? Sorry, end rant lol.