Ratter (2015) (DVD film review).

If you can, watch this film without looking at or remembering the synopsis and be careful of watching late at night. You don’t know who’s watching.

Wisconsin student Emma (actress Ashley Benson) has moved to New York to attend university, dumping her boyfriend Alex and making friends with Nicole (actress Rebecca Naomi Jones) and developing an interest in fellow class student Michael (actor Matt McGorry). Her parents must be well-to-do as they’ve paid for a furnished studio flat for her. We see all of this through her laptop camera, television camera and telephone camera. There are some other views as well which don’t appear to be from any of these. We are seeing Emma’s life from her unknown stalker’s point of view only we’re not really aware of it and neither is she. Maybe we’re just seeing the director’s perspective and maybe we’re not. Don’t expect any heavy breathing. After all, photos from her laptop suddenly vanish, her messages get deleted and so forth. Keep your attention on the screen as two-thirds of the way in, you will get positively freaked.


Emma isn’t a total victim and not knowing what is going on but it takes a while to sink in that things aren’t right. She talks to her friends and parents about the odd things and eventually the police who can’t act because there is no aggravated assault and no one identifiable. They also point out that this happens a lot. Feeling a little scared by leaving your computer or phone on all the time? Maybe a little paranoid. Watch through the credits.

‘Ratter’ will make you jump when you least expect it. The threat of an unseen stalker who can tap into your camera based hardware is also a threat that isn’t that far from happening and can be done already. If anything, it’s more of a surprise that it hasn’t happened yet although you would need to be a good hacker to cut across passwords and also have a knack for picking locks. However, it is border-line into our genre, especially as so many of you reading out there rely on your computers. I suspect many of you will change your passwords at the hint of anything like this happening to you.

I’m not sure what the term ‘Ratter’ means in this context and might have chosen a better title like ‘Rattled’. There are three deleted scenes and only one that I think was right to be omitted.

The most disturbing thought after watching this film is that it can happen to anyone…even you and I bet many of you will also check your door locks again before going to bed just to be on the safe side. Be scared. It could be you.

GF Willmetts

April 2016

(type 2 DVD: pub: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. 1 DVD 98 minute film with deleted scenes. Price: £ 7.00 (UK). ASIN: CDR 3858)

cast: Ashley Benson, Matt McGorry, Kaili Vernoff, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Alex Cranmer

check out website: www.SonyPictures.com

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