Alright Rat Fans
At Garsons department store chief supervisor Susan Costello (MĂ¤dchen Amick - Scenes of the Crime) finds herself called to a dressing room where a customer has cut her finger as she reached down to get her clothes. Having found a loose carpet tack Susan thinks it is nothing to worry about until she receives a call from the hospital to say the customer is in a bad way and it looks like she was bitten by a rat. Having informed her boss they call in exterminator Jack Carver (Vincent Spano - Texas Rangers), a man of discretion, who soon discovers the rat problem is not small, it is huge. And he soon realises the problem is a lot bigger than he realised when Susan gets a call from the swimming pool where her daughter is as out of nowhere the pool is full of rats attacking the swimmers.
I don't know which makes my skin crawl the most, rats or spiders. But after watching "The Rats" I think rats are winning the skin crawl battle thanks to plenty of scenes which would make you think more than twice about venturing in to your basement at night. What is more surprising is "The Rats" is not only a made for TV movie but one which has just a simple old fashioned animal invasion storyline, the sort which has been done before with everything from swarms of bees to mutant bats but it works and works remarkably well.
The key to "The Rats" is simple old fashion human fear, playing on people's natural fear of these furry rodents and the thought of them being in your home. But it is more than that as whilst we have the horror of a human being attacked by rats and the rat invasion of a swimming pool most of the frights are more general. Scenes such as Jack finding crumbs behind a toaster, or opening a cupboard above it and pans falling out all make you feel uncomfortable, well that is if you have a fear of rats. And then there are some bigger scenes such as getting to see where rats had been, basically everywhere as well as a scene where Susan, Jack and his assistant find themselves surrounded by rats in a room.
What helps "The Rats" is the casting as both MĂ¤dchen Amick and Vincent Spano play their parts well with just the right amount of lightness to make it comical but not so much that it seems like they don't care. It just adds to the fun of the movie as is all the nonsense which include the fact these rats are mutant with a side which almost feels like they are on a vendetta against mankind.
What this all boils down to is that "The Rats" is some old fashioned horror fun which plays on the watcher's fear of rats. Of course if you think rats are cute and adorable then this isn't going to work and you might even be offended at the portrayal of rats or the ridiculous climax. But if you do have a fear of the fury rodents "The Rats" is not one to watch before you go to sleep.