Let me set the scene up, you get up for a late night snack, you head to the kitchen looking to cure that craving. While in there you hear the subtle signs of something behind a cabinet door. When you investigate and open the door a giant rat jumps out, sending both you and him running for cover. People at one time or another have come across the most disliked rodent in the world. These creatures are everywhere, especially if you live in a densely populated urban area, plus because of their creepy-crawly nature they tend to be the stuff that nightmares are made of. With all that built in fear already, you might think what could up that fear to the next level? That’s easy. Morgan Spurlock.
The man behind making you fear eating at McDonalds ever again is back to add more nightmare fuel with his latest documentary “Rats”. The film starts off with a man sitting in a chair and lighting a cigar. This is not a cigar for any kind of victory, but instead it’s a talk which feels more like ‘The Godfather’ of New York Exterminators. He begins to tell a tale that will make you believe that our centuries long war with the rat is one we might never win. The film follows the major infestations of the rodent, both through history as well as current times. Stories are abundant of the diseases they carry and the cause of their population rise. We learn the study of the rat is a serious game, as we track their DNA changes, as more and more become resistant to the poison we use to kill them. How the epidemic is handled depends on the country, where in America they use bating as a method of control, while in India they use men with sticks and a net to deal with the problem. No matter the method on trying to control, in the end it just seems like there is no end in sight.
“Rats” will both amaze and scare you. While in most parts of the world rats are not seen as your friend, we see different ways they are viewed. A good percentage of the world they are seen as a nuisance, but in Vietnam they are seen as a delicacy, and in parts of India they are worshiped. This documentary is both educational and fearful, as Spurlock didn’t just make a documentary; he made a legit horror film. The score by Pierre Takal helps that tone, as well as camera shots that were chosen by Spurlock to up the ante a little. This film begs to be seen, as it helps you learn about our enemy, learning new ways to defeat them, and ways to make sure you don’t come across them in your everyday life. Premiering on the Discovery channel on October 22nd and showing in some theaters across the country now, just be sure to check under your seat in that dark theater.