Ratter full movie review - Meh
If you don't watch PLL or like Ashley Benson, I doubt you will find this entertaining.
On one hand I think it's smart the director used her to draw people in, on the other hand, it did seem a bit redundant that he used the theme of the show attempting to make it seem more real with the use of a digital camera. So, points to the writer / director for lack of creativity. And, if it had been some no-name actress I didn't know or care about, I would have turned this off in the first 5 minutes.
The film starts off pointless and makes you wonder how you can continue watching it. Because I'm already invested in the character Hannah from PLL, I'm not sure I would be invested in her otherwise, and I'm used to her being stalked and terrorized from PLL, so, I'm already empathetic and rooting for her. As it goes along it becomes more interesting, thinking about who is doing this, why, the stalker's intentions, etc. When his stalking elevates it does start to get a bit creepy. Even though I was being taken on this slowly escalating journey...I did begin to see holes. Like, this guy has advanced hacking, IT abilities, AND knows how to break into locked apartments from the inside, not seen by neighbors, look suspicious, etc, AND he is a part-time electrician who knows how to blow fuses, where to find them, etc., AND is super fit and strong like Dexter and can quickly take down and hog-tie a woman? Is this a superhero movie? In Pretty Little Liars we suspend belief because that's what you do for television and it's meant to be unbelievable, but the whole point of found-footage films is to seem believable and real, as if this really happened.
Like, how did he open a chained lock from the outside? It's obvious they made the chain longer so the actor / stalker could fit his somewhat skinny arm in there. Who in NYC would put a chain like that on their door? What manufacturer would make that chain? A lawsuit waiting to happen and not believable. Not to mention, she lives in a super expensive apartment and it doesn't have proper security? Unlikely. Also, she knows someone's been going in her smallish apartment but never bothers to check the balcony? Nor does she notice his shadow? Unlikely. I know they camouflaged his shadow but in real life that seems unrealistic. And he's out there multiple times and she doesn't notice?? And, what are the odds that the circuit breaker is on the balcony, where he's hiding, where there are things like weather? Not too likely. In fact, impossible. And he manages to jump through a sliding window, through the curtains, over a couch, in the dark, not trip and fall or seriously hurt himself, and attack her? Again, is he a superhero? And she just sits there and screams, waiting for it? My bet is the second he pulls back the sliding door she's dashing out her front door that is only 15-20 feet away. I find it literally impossible that he can do all these things before she can even sit up. If you say he 'left' the sliding door open, then the curtain would be sweeping back and forth in the wind, most likely revealing the guy on the balcony.
These are just the problems you see in the film. I wondered if this type of stalking was a real thing and looked up Ratter and nothing immediately came up other than the film and terrier dogs. When I looked up cyber stalking it said what I thought which is someone has to have access to your devices which isolates the suspects to her ex-boyfriend and the guy fixing her computer. Which, you expect me to believe her ex from Wisconsin is doing all this? Or the guy at the PC store who doesn't look physically capable to do much let alone be a stealth killer? They leave the killer ambiguous, which...is kind of a bummer. You have a movie with no plot and no real conclusion, no answers, etc.
Bottom line, this film isn't smart. They had a chance to be smart, to tell a real story, and instead they seemed to take advantage of a cheap budget in order to get something made. Cyber stalking is real and 50% of women who seek help from abuse are stalked and harassed in this way. They could have taken this opportunity to express a message rather than just gratuitously exploit a cute girl, and, in some ways, I wonder if this film is actually more appealing to the would-be stalker types and this could spurn them into thinking it's a fun, easy game? I honestly did not get the message that the writer / director is trying to make awareness about cyber stalking since he didn't bother to use any actual realistic resources that were easily available about the subject. It seems like he wrote a script in 2 days, and just made a film to make a film. It's not to say the director doesn't have any skill at all, 'cause, it did end up being a little bit creepy and did manage to build in tension. I'm just saying his work was kind of sloppy, not well thought out, not well researched. Plenty of movies are made like that but they usually have big budgets with lots of special effects, action, etc., and so you are a little more willing to suspend disbelief because there are a lot more offerings.