Ben. The two of us need look no more.
A sequel to the surprisingly enjoyable Willard I initially expected Ben to be a saccharine sweetmeat, mainly tainted by the Michael Jackson sung theme. The rat Ben has turned on Willard after an attempted poisoning and the rats are now mobile and looking for a new home. A little boy called Danny who is suffering a a possibly terminal heart condition meets Ben and, because of his sheltered life, takes him firmly to heart as his best friend.
Ben is a great little film that takes the concept of the rat army and expands it both horrifically and morally. The Rats are shown obeying the will to survive and are had they been able to avoid notice may have won. As we all know things never work like that and Ben and his army are soon hunted down by the terrified community. The real art of the piece however is the noticeable lump in the throat at the conclusion of the movie. Undeniably helped by Micheal Jacksons brilliantly performed theme tune it is still rather surprising that the fate of a killer rat can be portrayed so poignantly.
I also was greatly impressed with the Rat swarms, I imagine the Humane Society would have a paroxysm with this film now, but the (mostly) real rats truly add to the entire atmosphere. I suspect (hope) some animation is used in the flamethrower sequence but I’m happy to accept the illusion either way.
Ben (and Willard) are well worth a look. A film remembered for its soundtrack that should really be remembered on its own strengths.