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16 March 2017

Movie Review: Morgan Spurlock’s Documentary ‘Rats’

It’s very rare to be able to combine a love for pest control and cinema, but when a 1:28 horror documentary makes its way onto Netflix - it’s time to get out the popcorn.

Spurlock Rats Documentary

OK, this film might not be one of those occasions you get the whole family sitting around on a Saturday night. This feature-length documentary follows rats in urban environments around the world, exploring their resilience and talent for causing public health catastrophes throughout history.

The standout sections of the film are when we jump to cigar-smoking, Brooklyn-based Pest Controller, Ed Sheehan. Sheehan is a magnetic interviewee with 49 years’ experience tackling urban rats - he spares no details and dishes out those “hard truths” in a typically American fashion.

What makes this film completely baffling though isn’t the subject matter - it’s the shock-cut inserts and skittery sound effects. The whole experience is more Blair Witch Project than Attenborough. It’s graphic, gory and verges on sensationalist. The idea that urban rats are real disease vectors and the population must be closely controlled is explored, however, that key message is lost somewhere in the shockumentary style and severe lack of intelligent discussion.

My absolute favourite thing about the film was going through the Netflix reviews section. It’s packed with vaguely horrified and outraged viewers, who must have stumbled onto the documentary whilst in search for Disney’s Ratatouille.

In conclusion…

 If you like bad horror films and you’ve got a professional interest in rats, give it a watch. Or at least give the trailer a go on YouTube.

 I’m giving it a whole 2 stars.


Scott-Johnstone-Staff-bubbleScott Johnstone
Communications Officer

16 March 2017  |  PPC86

Source: PPC86

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