Ratter (2015) **
D: Branden Kramer
C: Ashley Benson, Matt McGorry, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Kaili Vernoff, Alex Cranmer, Michael William Freeman, John Anderson, Karl Glusman
Plot Synopsis: Emma, a graduate student living alone in New York City, is watched by a stalker on all of her technological devices. Eventually, the video feeds are not enough and he goes from a virtual to a physical stalker.
Review: One of the distinctive elements of The Blair Witch Project was that it was shot in a found footage (or pseudo documentary) style. Latter day films employed that same style not necessarily, because it was in service of the story, but for economical reasons, as it's a cost effective way to shoot a movie.
With Ratter, a cautionary tale of a stalker who obsesses over a college student by spying on her through various technological devices, they've been able to employ the found footage style, but for a reason, as the movie is told from the stalker's point of view as he spy's on the main character through cameras attached to her phone, her computer, her video game system, etc.
The found footage style creates a credible viewing experience as the overall scenario, with the stalker, remains believable throughout. This is aided by performances that have an authentic quality. As we watch this unfold, points are made of how we have these devices, which are designed to make our lives easier, but they come at the cost of our own privacy. After getting that point across, rather quickly, it's one repetitious scene of the main character being stalked. This culminates with a finale that's a given of the stalker coming face to face with his victim.
In creating a cautionary tale of how technology affects us, you have to create a commentary that's multifaceted, that will provide audiences with points of interest to debate over. Ratter has an idea, but it doesn't know how to expand upon that initial train of thought. In wanting to say something, it ends up not saying much of anything, beyond the obvious. [R] 80 minutes.
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