Ratter (2016)

Ratter – A derivation of the acronym for a type of malware known as Remote Access Trojan, an unwittingly downloaded program that provides a hacker with undetected access to a user’s internet enabled devices. In other (non-techy geek) words – Creepy dudes can spy on you using your own webcam and the camera in your phone.

Emma (Ashley Benson), a grad student living alone in New York City is unbeknownst to herself having her everyday life watched by a stalker.

Adapted from his short film of the same premise but titled Webcam, Branden Kramer alters his cyber thriller for feature length for his directorial debut. Technically a found footage style film, Ratter’s big brother surveillance approach unfortunately follows no real narrative. As the viewer, we are also made to become the voyeur and endure the many scenes of watching Benson cook eggs, talk to her mum, shave her legs and dance around her living room… And only at mere 80-minute running time, the film feels super long.

If you withstand the first 45 minutes of repetition, a creep factor does begin to slink in. The subtle creepiness is effective, and I found myself becoming paranoid at the slightest noise in my empty house as I watched this alone on a Friday night. It too was refreshing to see Benson not turn into your typical cliché scream queen character, instead she becomes withdrawn, afraid and suspicious.

For a pretty boring movie, the ending is surprisingly very strong. It was a genuinely upsetting and disturbing closing scene. I found it truly invasive and that it was something that I shouldn’t have seen, I felt like a peeping tom and I was rightly terrified.

For a low budget techno horror, it could have used a bit more meat on its bones, it was thin on scares and thin on story. The realistic character reactions and troubling final moments at best keep the film from being a total disappointment.

5 / 10

“I am so paranoid now I just feel like some freak is gonna come grab me wherever I go”

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