Willard Glen Morgan

This is one of the few remakes that didn't suck. Willard retains the creepy weirdness of the original while acknowledging its camp qualities. Glen Morgan's version is quick, clever and doesn't overwhelm the screen with CGI tricks. There's little gore — the filmmakers edited out the more graphic bits to acquire a PG-13 rating — and the rats are generally believable. Willard isn't meant to be a serious horror film. It's about a lonely, vengeful guy in a crumbling mansion whose best friends are rats. Crispin Glover carries the movie; he's a master of playing eccentrics on the edge (with the right amount of vulnerability). His Willard is wonderfully twitchy and desperate. Actually, all of the acting is perfectly pitched. R. Lee Ermey, as Mr. Martin (the boss from hell), takes his drill sergeant persona (think Full Metal Jacket) to the next level. The entire movie is exaggerated without being outlandish; it's like a guilty pleasure that you don't feel too guilty about. The DVD extras are also enjoyable. The audio track with Morgan, producer James Wong, Glover and Ermey is informative and funny. Morgan spends a lot of time admitting he didn't know what he was doing and Glover enjoys pointing out hand doubles and real tears. We hear the more intense and hyper side of Glover during the audio track over his video for "Ben." He very, very quickly reads a prepared analysis that includes concept, names of everyone in the video and information concerning his own films and books. The DVD also includes deleted scenes, TV spots, trivia track and two documentaries: "Rats: Friends of Foes," narrated by Bruce Davison (the original Willard) and "The Year of the Rat," a "making of" documentary. Following Willard from pre-production to after the release, it's an intimate look at the daily grind, worries and enjoyment of movie-making. All in all, a fun couple of hours to spend with a boy and some rats. (Alliance Atlantis)