The world is filled with two types of people; those who have a natural aversion to rats, and those who haven’t been fully exposed to them. If you fall into that latter category, Morgan Spurlock’s latest project, Rats, may help you adjust your mindset. Based on Robert Sullivan’s Rats: Observations On The History & Habitat Of The City’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants, the film is ostensibly a documentary, but this trailer plays more like a horror film. A natural completionist, Spurlock looks at rats from just about every horrifying angle.
First, there’s the Manhattan exterminator who should absolutely be played by Kurtwood Smith in the fictionalized adaptation, chasing down rat pellets and discovering a jump scare in the form of a drop-ceiling nest. The trailer reminds us of that in cities, rodents are legion. Then all of their diseases and pathogens are pointed out for our benefit. And don’t think that rats are a local blight: Spurlock flashes a series of cities across the screen, presumably locales where he focuses on rat infestations.
Of course, where there’s a rat infestation, there’s an irrational desire to respond violently. Smashing their (and our) habitats, whacking them with things, whacking them against other things, purging by flame, and spreading poison are all options put on the table. But do these acts of violence really do anything to stop our tormentors? “Our elected officials do everything half-assed,” answers our friendly exterminator. “You just put poison down? It ain’t happening.”
And just when you think you’ve had enough, there’s the packs of fuzzy terriers trained in the English countryside to hunt down and tear apart any Rattus rattus they can apprehend. That sounds reassuring, until you see packs of snarling lap dogs that are somehow even more unsettling than the vermin they’re pursuing.
Rats will pour into Landmark Theaters for a midnight screenings on September 23 and 24, before descending upon the Discovery Channel on October 22.